TMG gives preliminary report on Bayelsa, Imo, Kogi polls

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The Transition Monitoring Group, TMG, has described the governorship elections in Imo, Kogi and Bayelsa states as relatively peaceful.

In a statement issued by the Chairman, Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani) on Saturday, TMG said observers reported impressive voter turnout in Imo and Kogi states and a low turnout in Bayelsa.

The group attributed the low turnout in Bayelsa to poor weather conditions, difficult terrain and logistics issues as well as voter apathy in a number of polling units.

The TMG chairman noted that there were some polling units which witnessed pockets of violence, particularly in Ayingba and Idah town, in Ida local government areas, where the military reportedly killed a political thug, as well as incidences of vote trading as witnessed in PU 010, Ekinrin-Ade, Ijumu LGA, Imiringi, PU 002, Ward 008, Ogbia LGA of Bayelsa State.

According to the statement, “TMG observers reported pockets of violence in few of the polling units observed across the states. Political thugs were reportedly killed by the military in Ayingba and Idah town in Ida LGA of Kogi State.

“On incidence of vote trading, while sections 121 and 127 of the Electoral Act 2022 prohibit vote trading, TMG observers reported that several means were devised to induce voters by desperate politicians who were seen doling out cash gifts ranging from N5,000 to N30,000, food items and clothing materials (wrappers) in some of the polling units observed. These include PU 010, Ekinrin-Ade, Ijumu LGA, Imiringi, PU 002, Ward 008, Ogbia LGA, Bayelsa.”

The TMG chairman commended INEC for playing its role well, starting from ensuring earlier arrival of election materials accross the states to adequate deployment and functionality of BVAS across polling units in the three states.

He also noted that security officials deployed a high level of professionalism during the exercise.

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