History will be made in Kogi state today when residents of the state decide who takes charge of the state’s affairs for the next four years.
The election process, which has gathered so much momentum in the past few days, has clearly pitched two major candidates against each other; Governor Idris Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the former governor, Audu Abubakar, who is the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate.
While there have been reports of a heavy security presence in the state, there have also been reports of people running to the market and banks to stock pile their houses with food and money as there will be no movement in the state from 6am to 6pm, when the election is expected to have been concluded.
While Wada may fancy his chances as the incumbent, the ouster of former president Goodluck Jonathan by a fresh candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari, may yet prove to him (Wada) that incumbency may not be enough to secure victory for him at the polls.
As at the time of filing this report, feelers from the state have it that the accreditation was yet to commence, but the residents have trooped out in numbers already to perfect the accreditation process before the voting commences.
Despite the 6am to 6pm curfew, Lokoja residents were seen this morning as at 7.23 am driving round town with the military turning residents back to their house.
Naij.com correspondents are on ground in the state, and will bring you live updates from Kogi state, where the attention of the political juggernauts in the country will be focused today.
Election is scheduled to commence at exactly 11.30am, before which time every voter is expected to have been accredited.
2:07pm: Ward A, polling unit 005 Adankolo clinic Lokoja LGA, voting is currently going on. It’s orderly and peaceful.
2:04pm: Same scene at the opposite Chief Magistrate Court Magongo has been reported in Okene LGA as APC and PDP agents are allegedly sharing money in PU 026, Idoji ward,Okene LGA.
2:03pm: Voters opposite Chief Magistrate Court Magongo 22/15/07/002 receiving money for voting. N500 advance with N1,500 after voting.
2:02pm: In Adavi LGA. Ward 10. PU 004. No. of registered – 145; number of failures – 30. Total number accredited – 115. Voting to commence in a jiffy.
2:00pm: Also, card readers are not working with over 150 people on queue in ward udwoda of idah LGA.
1:57pm: Reports reaching Naij.com has it that voting is about to stop because they are fighting in ogugu ward 3 of olamaboro LGA.
1:55pm: Voting has began in most parts of Lokoja. At Ganaja village , polling unit 009 Ajaokuta LGA, voting just began and its peaceful and orderly so far.
1.54pm: Voting has also started at PU 018-Ganaja/Township, Ajaokuta.
1.46pm: Voting has commenced in some areas following the successful accreditation of voters while in some areas, accreditation is still on.
1:46pm. In PU 001, Obangede ward,Okehi LGA, accreditation concluded at 12.35pm.
1:46pm. In PU 008, Idoju ward, Okene LGA, accreditation concluded at 1:00pm.
1.43pm: Accredited voters on a queue, waiting patiently to cast their votes and leave the venue.
1.36pm: At PU 014 ward A, Lokoja LG accreditation was peaceful. Voters are now queuing up and are eager to cast their votes.
1.30pm: Accreditation rounded off at Ogbonicha/Ofache polling unit Ofu LGA, where former governor Audu was accredited. Voting about to start.
1.22pm: There are also reports that not less than 350 ballot boxes have been snatched in quite a number of Polling Units in Anyigba.
1.21pm: Latest report has it that only 130 out of 650 voters were accredited at PU 12/01/10/025 as the voters refused to turnout for accreditation.
12.28pm: Reports coming in from PU 022, Anjigba ward, Anjigba LGA indicate that policemen are currently firing teargas after fight broke out among voters. Thugs were also reported to be spraying intending voters with teargas.
12.20pm: APC’s candidate, Abubakar Audu got accredited at Ogbonicha/Ofache polling unit Ofu LGA with heavy presence of security men. The former governor got his accreditation within 5 minutes and left the polling unit without speaking with journalists.
12.15pm: Reports just coming in say INEC officials at PU 29, Zariagi ward, Adavi LGA are not following guidelines for manual accreditation after card reader failure.
The deputy commandant Kogi state civil defense service corp, Hilary Kelechi Madu, arriving Ogbonicha/ofache polling unit in Ofu LGA, Kogi.
12.08pm: Accreditation of voters has ended at Asco Township 1, PU 018, Ajaokuta. Reports say 1,064 registered voters are awaiting voting at 1:30pm.
12.00: “The process is going peacefully very optimistic, it will be a success,” says Abubakar Umar, leader of the local observer told Naij.com’s correspondent.
11.51am: The governor’s wife could not be accredited and had to use an incident form. The governor is not happy about this development.
11.42am: Reports have it that accreditation stopped as battery has run down at Karaworo PU No003, Ward C, Lokoja, as a replacement is being expected.
11.40am: At Ofukolo ward unit 006, the presiding officer, Mr Ubonnu Kelechi revealed that although electoral materials were adequate, the card reader machines were malfunctioning.
11.39am: Meanwhile, accreditation of voters commenced at about 8.45 am at Idah in Kogi East Senatorial District with heavy presence of security personnel in most of the polling stations. At New GRA ward, Unit 001, the presiding Officer, Ms Joy Okonkwo, confirmed that the two card reader machines deployed to the unit were in perfect condition.
11.38am: In Ajaokuta Local Government Area, most of the voters were youths while the turnout of women was low.
Mr Torres Chris, a United States embassy observer, said the accreditation process was “great and good”. At Ogori-Magongo Local Government Area, the exercise was also peaceful while voters turned out in large numbers to discharge their civic responsibilities.11.36am: there was low turnout of voters in Okene and its environs, while at Ogaminana, Nagazi and Obangede in Adavi and Okehi local government areas, the process was smooth.
11:32am. Pu 004,Ward 12 Felefa, Lokoja LGA is presently rowdy, while money is being shared to voters by an unidentified ”BigMan”.
11.32am: A PDP stalwart in Ofu Local govt, Hon Obiefule Emele (JP) has told Naij.com that APC youths snatched a ballot box in Open Space ward, unit 013.
11.30am: PU 003, Ward 10, Dekina LGA. Iji Right open space card reader not recognizing finger prints.
11.21am: Reports say card readers still not recognising finger prints at Polling Unit 003, Ward 10, Dekina LGA.
11.14am: APC candidate, Audu Abubakar is being expected at polling unit 001, Ogbonicha/Ofache polling unit in Ofu LGA. Some security just arrived ahead of his arrival as accreditation is ongoing on smoothly.
Voters waiting for accreditation at Audu Abubakar’s ward in Ogbonicha/ofache polling unit in Ofu LGA.
10.51am: Reports say accreditation ongoing smoothly at polling unit 001, Adagana Ward, Ajaokuta LGA.
10:50am: Accreditation process has been disrupted in PU 008, Saraki Noma Open Space, Lokoja LGA as there are reports of total card reader failure.
10.41am: Ward A, polling unit 14 accreditation is going on smoothly with the card readers working.
10.40am: PU 003 & 005, Ward 10, Dekina LGA. Accreditation started late, card reader in PU 003 is not recognising finger prints.
In a chat with Jacob Tam, a foreign observer with the European Union, Naij.com can report that the accreditation process has been calm and good.
”So far, so calm. We are only going to a few polling units but there are a lot of domestic observers on ground,” he said.
10.35am: PU 006, Ward 10, Dekina LGA. It is rowdy because ballot box has been destroyed.
10.32am: Commercial motorcyclists are reportedly plying some major streets in Lokoja despite the restriction of movement.
10.30am: Pu 023, Lokogoma Phase 1 Ward, Kogi West. Huge voter turnout, but card reader is not functioning.
10.22am: In Ayetoro as well, turn out is impressive, the security men are on ground and everything has been peaceful. Accreditation so far has been inconsistent.
10.20am: Separate lines for male and female Accreditation pattern.
10.18am: The Kogi state deputy governor has been accredited at the Iluteju unit area of Ayetoro in Mupa Muro.
10.13am: Ward C, polling unit 003, Lokoja LGA. Accreditation is going on smoothly. This is where the King, Maigiri of Kogi, is expected to vote. He’s yet to come for accreditation as at 10:13am when our reporter visited the poling unit.
10.09am: Ayangba area has been peaceful ever since, but accreditation did not start until about 9.30am. No security men in some of the centres.
10.07am: Naij.com can authoritatively report that commuters passing through Kogi state have been left stranded as military personnel have blocked the highways.
Some of the stranded road users in Kogi state today. Photo credit: Jerrywright Ukwu
A stranded commuter trekking on one of the roads in Kogi state. Photo Credit: Jerrywright Ukwu
10.06am: Security situation has been fantastic, atmosphere has been calm. From Okene polling unit, accreditation has been going on smoothly. The card reader failed only on one occasion, apart from that, it has been smooth.
10.00am: New layout PU.019, Ward A. Lokoja. 9:36am – Card Reader malfunction. PO has made a call for replacement
9.55am: Ward A, polling unit 019 is rowdy, especially with the male voters conducting themselves in an unruly manner. At this polling centre as well, only a handful of security officials are on ground.
The INEC officials told our correspondent that the youths are not co-operating with them. A youth here also attempted to stop Naij.com’s journalist from taking photos at this centre.
9:51am: PU 025 & 029, Zariagi LGA school 1, Kabba Junction, Adavi LGA. No party agents seen.
9.48am: PU 008 Texaco Ward E 2: High registered voters’ turn out, one card reader.
9.45am: PU 018, Nagazi farm centre, Adavi LGA. Calm, peaceful and voters queuing in an orderly manner.
9.43am: PU 025 and PU 029 Zariaga LG School 1, Kabba Junction, Adaria LGA. No party agent seen in both units. Registered voters 025- 650, 029- 286.
9:40am: PU 006, Ward 10, Dekina LGA. Ballot box snatching due to breakdown of order.
9:40am: PU 008, Ward 8 Ijiho, Koton Karfe LGA. Segregation on queue, but no preference for old persons and people living with disability.
9.37am: Ward A, Polling unit 016 Lokoja LGA, where Governor Idris Wada would have voted had he registered in Lokoja. Naij.com correspondent on ground reports that so far, only 23 cases of failed thumb print identification by the card reader has been recorded. Card reader working well so far here.
9.35am: Reports from Lokoja, the state capital, have it that is calm with security well represented
9.23am: PU 001, Ward 10 Nagazi, Adavi LGA. Women are clamoring for a separate line, so there is confusion.
9.17am: At the Ward A, polling 003 of the workers village and housing unit for civil servants in the state, accreditation has also started with the card reader working perfectly.
9.14am: PU 002, Akuba ward 01, Kogi east. Accreditation in progress but one card reader not configured.
9.05am: PU C.C Ogaminana1,Ward 10, Okene LGA. Presence of security, no party agents, all going very peacefully.
9.05am: PU 003, 005 & 006, Ohueta Ward, Ihima/Okehi LGA. Accreditation is done manually due to card reader failure.
9.05am: Accreditation is going on at Ward A, polling unit 022, Lokoja LGA. At this polling unit, the card reader has failed to accredit some voters. The INEC official has improvised by asking voters to wash their hands with water properly before going for accreditation with the card reader.
Commercial activities going on at old Mami market. Naij.com reporter who visited the area at about 8.53am saw traders selling to their customers.
8.57am: Accreditation is going on at Ward A, polling unit 022, Lokoja LGA. At this polling unit, the card reader has failed to accredit some voters. The INEC official has improvised by asking voters to wash their hands with water properly before going for accreditation with the card reader.
8.50am: In the RAC centre, Anyigba LGA, some thugs of one of the political parties fired gunshots, to snatch ballot boxes.
8.47am: Accreditation has begun at Ward A, polling unit 2, Lokoja LGA and it is going on orderly with security officers around. The card readers are working fine here as well.
INEC’s situation room
8.46am: Three cases of failed fingerprint verification recorded so far at LGEA Primary school, PU 005/A. Incident form filled.
8.45am: Pu 003, Shaba Yagi Ward, Lokoja LGA, accreditation has commenced.
8.45am: Accreditation started by 8.30am at the ECSS Ogaminana, Nagazi, Lokoja PU 006.
8.40am: PU 003, Ward D, Lokoja LG. There is commotion as opposing parties object to the accreditation.
8.35am: PU 001, Kogi East, Bassa Abolok Ward. Accreditation started at 7:50am. Money is being shared to some people.
8:35am: PU 005, Kogi East, Dakina Health Centre Ward A. Accreditation started at 8:00am and it was very peaceful.
8.34am: Reports from LGEA primary school PU oo2/Ward A have it that the card reader was showing reading fail message.
8.32am: The streets of Lokoja are empty as only security personnel, election observers and INEC officials are on the road. Naij.com has observed that many of the residents are not coming out for the voters’ accreditation yet.
8.28am: Naij.com has sighted members of the Nigerian Navy and Nigerian Army on the streets of Lokoja, mounting road blocks.
8.25am: INEC officials are already on ground at the Crowther primary school, Lokoja as voters are checking their names at the voters’ register list displayed in the school premises. Accreditation has commenced and Naij.com sighted members of the European Union observers at the polling unit.
8.25am: Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Kogi state, Mr Halilu Pai is also already on ground to monitor proceedings here.
8.21am: In Adavi LGA, Kogi state, officials have arrived at Carlik School, PU no. 012 at 7:45 for set up.
8.21am: INEC officials arrived at 8:04am to Ebira Community Secondary School Ogaminana- PU 005.
8.13am: INEC officials just arrived at Ward A Lokogoma Phase 1, Polling unit 023. Accreditation is yet to commence at this centre as voters are just beginning to arrive.
8.12am: Distribution of materials to Polling Units is ongoing at LGA Primary School, Lokoja.
8.10am: PU 005 Lange, Lokoja, Ward D. Accreditation is yet to start.
8.07am: One of the prospective voters is unhappy about the INEC officials who came late as the people had arrived since about past seven. Even the security operatives got there since 6:30am and their presence has settled the residents.
8.05am: Ad-hoc officials just arriving, a lot of security operatives on ground before the arrival of the electorates.
8.04am: Lokoja, the state capital, is relatively calm as three national commissioners have been brought in for the election.
7.30am: INEC officials have arrived Polling unit 004, Ward A in Lokongoma, Lokoja Local government. Accreditation is yet to start (accreditation starts 8am).
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