November 11, 2023

Bayelsa, Imo, Kogi Gov Polls: Intrigues, fear as 52 men go to war

Live Updates: Bayelsa, Imo, Kogi governorship elections

By Clifford Ndujihe

After over one year of preparation, the stage is finally set. No fewer than 104 candidates including nine women will go to the battle field today for six slots-three governorship and three deputy governorship positions in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi states.

Among the nine women, two are going for the governorship while seven are vying for the deputy governorship.

In October 2022, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, released the timetable for the elections. The tenure of Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State will end on January 14, 2024, while those of Yahaya Bello of Kogi and Senator Douye Diri of Bayelsa will end on January 26, 2024 and February 13, 2024 respectively.

The three governors are facing political battles of their lives. While Diri and Uzodimma are fighting re-election, Bello is battling to get his anointed candidate, Usman Ododo elected.

The elections are holding amid fear of voter apathy occasioned by insecurity. No fewer than 15 of the 27 local councils of Imo are ravaged by insecurity. In Bayelsa, Nembe and Southern Ijaw LGAs among others are potential flashpoints. A similar scenario obtains in Kogi, which also has a number of flashpoints.

The security agencies have assured of adequate security and deployed their personnel to the states to ensure violence-free exercises.

Security agencies that deployed personnel include the Police, Army, Federal Road Safety Corps and even the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences, ICPC, which deployed monitors to check vote buying and selling during the polls.

A peep into the three states reveals battles royals that are difficult to predict.