The Kogi State governorship election was held on Saturday, November 11, 2023, with low voter turnout and allegations of vote-buying reported in some polling units. However, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies were commended for the peaceful and timely conduct of the poll.
Ad-hoc staff of INEC arrived early at polling units across some parts of Lokoja, the state capital, with sensitive and non-sensitive materials. However, there was a low turnout of voters in the early hours of the day.
Africa Eye News correspondent observed that the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) functioned well at the polling units visited. Voters were captured within seconds. However, there were reports of vote-buying at some polling units, with voters allegedly being given money after casting their votes.
An election observer, Stephen Ojo of Christian Association of Nigeria, commended INEC and the security agencies for the peaceful and timely conduct of the poll. He noted that INEC officials and election materials arrived on time, and that the BVAS was working perfectly.
However, Africa Eye News correspondent observed that there was a low turnout of voters at the polling unit visited, even though it had a high number of registered voters.
The All Progressives Congress party agent attached to Federal Medical Centre junction polling unit 058, Lokoja Local Government Area, was also allegedly involved in vote-buying. He was reportedly seen luring voters to the back of the polling unit and giving them money after they cast their votes.
Also, in Igala Mela Local Government, a local government Chairman apprehended over alleged vote buying, possession of large amount of cash and possession of ammunition.
The Kogi State governorship election is still ongoing, and the outcome is yet to be known. However, the low voter turnout and allegations of vote-buying have raised concerns about the credibility of the process.