- Scaremongering by opposition affects turnout in Kogi East – Observers
- ‘In Central, households were cooking like it was a festival‘
There was massive turnout in Kogi Central on Saturday as residents trooped out in their numbers to cast their votes in the much-anticipated off-cycle governorship election in Kogi State.
Ebira indigenes, in particular, had, as early as Wednesday, begun to arrive in droves in Okene and other Local Government Areas of the state to ensure what they described as a total delivery of votes for the Governorship Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Ododo Ahmed Usman, who is the only candidate from Kogi Central in the race.
Some of those who were interviewed at some polling units with mammoth crowd revealed how sons and daughters of the area had mobilised money among themselves to hire luxurious buses for people to return home to vote.
Speaking on the massive turnout in Kogi Central, an independent observer, Yakubu Jimoh, said he went round on Friday and found, first hand, that the people loved the outgoing governor, and were ready to, on their own, prove this point with their votes.
“Households were cooking for people like it was actually a festival and there was peace everywhere. Even with the heavy presence of military men, people went about their voting without issue. The turnout was massive,” he said.
“It was like Zonal rallies in many polling units. People waiting as early as 7.30am to cast their votes. We have never had such massive turnout before. In the past, they were always causing violence in Central,” Kogi NUJ Chairman, Adeiza Momojimoh said.
Another observer, Adanna Amaechi, who was in Igalamela, said on phone that the threats of violence, especially by the opposition parties, who threatened people against voting other tribes kept many people indoor and led to low voter turnout.
“Where we were, even those that said they had PVCs preferred to stay away. The violence recorded in the area in the past and the mode of campaign of the Social Democratic Party, in particular, scared people away from voting,” she stated.
“How would you be spreading fake news that they are planning to kill people and expect your people to turnout. We warned them that time that they would use this their style to affect us. They thought we didn’t like SDP,” a supporter of the Igala Agenda, who asked not to be named, said.