Violence and late arrival of electoral officials with voting materials have marred the on-going elections in Bayelsa and Kogi states on Saturday, November 16, 2019.
While much of Bayelsa has been peaceful, gunshots were reported shortly before 11am in the Opolo area of Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, as political thugs attempted to snatch ballot boxes and ballot papers. Security operatives had to intervene promptly to restore order.
Violence was also reported in Ekeremoh local government, where political thugs were allegedly led by a top party leader to hijack sensitive electoral materials to his residence.
A common occurrence across the state, where a new governor is being voted, is the late arrival of electoral officials and electoral materials.
Among the places where voting was delayed was at the hometown of former president Goodluck Jonathan in Otueke, Ogbia LGA. This was due to the delayed arrival of officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and election materials.
Similar reports have come from Kogi State, where both governorship and senatorial rerun elections are on-going.
For example, suspected thugs attempted to snatch ballot papers in the Odu Ward 4, Odu-Ogboyaga ward 1 of Dekina Local Government Area, where the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate, Mr Musa Wada, cast his vote.
The thugs were confronted by youths and security officials who threw stones and objects to secure the electoral materials.
In Lokoja, the state capital, late arrival of security operatives at the INEC Registration Area Centre, RAC, in Ajayi Crowther Memorial Senior Secondary School delayed voting.