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Kogi , Bayelsa on the edge as violence sweep through

Bloody violence swept through Kogi and Bayelsa states where  governorship elections as well as the Kogi West senatorial rerun were held  on Saturday  as shootings, killings, vote-buying and ballot box snatching as became the order of the day in  the two states .

Four persons were killed in Kogi during the election by political thugs while many were injured in Bayelsa where party thugs visited mayhem on some voters.

Witnesses say the elections commenced on a peaceful note across the state as there was a large turnout of voters with the electorate, mostly women trooped to the various polling units as early as 6.30am in Kogi.

But in spite of Busari’s assurance and voters enthusiasm, mayhem broke out in some polling units in Kogi East, Kogi West and Lokoja, the state capital.

Two persons were also reportedly killed by stray bullets at the Adankolo polling unit in Lokoja.

It was gathered that the incident occured when some hoodlums tried to snatch ballot boxes at the polling unit.

Eyewitness said the two persons were killed when voters resisted the thugs. The thugs, it was gathered, killed the two persons while a passerby sustained a life-threatening injury from gunshot wound.

This angered the youth who mobilised and set the house of a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress in the area ablaze.

When the state police command was contacted, its spokesperson, DSP William Aya, said all enquiries should be directed to the Commissioner of Police in the state Commissioner of Police.

But the commissioner did not pick his call when one of our correspondents put a call across to him.

An officer of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, who spoke to one of our correspondents on condition of anonymity at a restaurant in Lokoja, scored security low during the election.

He claimed that there were many thugs terrorising voters with guns, adding that security operatives were brazenly bribed by party officials.

One of our correspondents, who monitored the elections in Kogi West, observed that in some of the polling units visited, one or two security officers were attached to each of them.

The voting areas were largely unguarded while the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission seemed overwhelmed by the crowd.

At the Okoro/Gbede in Ijumu council area of Kogi West, the zonal coordinator of the Peoples Democratic Party in the area, Kola Ojo, alleged that in Odokoro, where the sole administrator of the council area came from, ballot papers were allegedly snatched from INEC officials.

When one of our correspondents visited the Odokoro polling unit 002, the PDP party agent at the polling unit, Razak Arekemase, alleged that an influential native of the community stormed the place with personal security men.

The man, he alleged, said those who were not going to vote for a particular political party should leave the queue.

But the traditional leader of the area, Olu of Olokorodo, Oba Isa Elemenimeji, who also spoke to one of our correspondents at the unit, denied intimidation of voters by anyone.

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