Ahead of tomorrow’s elections in Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi, a total of 52 candidates vying for the three governorship positions concluded their campaigns and expressed confidence in their chances of victory.
Bayelsa sees Governor Douye Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seeking re-election, facing opposition from Chief Timipre Sylva of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Udengs Eradiri of the Labour Party (LP), among others.
Imo has Governor Hope Uzodimma of the APC facing challenges from Senator Sam Anyanwu of the PDP and Senator Athan Achonu of the LP, among other contenders.
Meanwhile, in Kogi, Governor Yahaya Bello of the APC is not seeking re-election but is focused on securing victory for his anointed candidate, Usman Ododo, against 17 other contenders, including Senator Dino Melaye of the PDP, Leke Abejide of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), and Muritala Ajaka of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
Despite voter apathy and insecurity concerns, candidates expressed optimism during various campaign functions held across the states.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) affirmed its readiness to conduct credible polls, with the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) warning against electoral corruption in the off-cycle elections.
The ICPC announced the deployment of its operatives to monitor the upcoming governorship elections in the three states on Saturday, November 11, 2023. Operatives will be stationed in the 56 local government areas and 649 wards to prevent vote-buying and other electoral malpractices.
In response to INEC’s invitation, ICPC operatives were instructed to collaborate with the Military, Police, Department of State Security (DSS), and other security agencies to ensure free and fair elections.
The Head of Special Duty Division (SDD), Alex Chukwura, emphasized adherence to ICPC guidelines, urging officers to maintain discipline, integrity, and teamwork.
Operatives were directed to take appropriate actions against any perpetrators of corruption, irrespective of their social status in the electoral processes.
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Voters in the three states were encouraged to fulfil their civic responsibilities on election day while avoiding actions that could lead to electoral and related offences.
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