Voters in both Kogi and Bayelsa states were greeted with heavy security presence. The two states in Nigeria will simultaneously hold their gubernatorial elections today.
In Bayelsa state, security personnel have mounted checkpoints in major junctions in Yenagoa, the capital of Bayelsa, as the state votes to elect its governor.
As Bayelsa voters go to the polls, Governor Seriake Dickson-backed People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Douye Diri, will engage ex-governor Timipre Sylva-backed All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, David Lyon, in a fierce battle to outdo each other in the local government areas believed to be their respective strongholds.
Sylva, who is the leader of the APC in the state and current Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, is from the Nembe-Brass zone, where he holds sway in Bayelsa East.
In the last general elections, the party, under his leadership, won the Nembe/Brass Federal Constituency. Also, the party’s deputy governorship candidate, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, who is from Nembe LGA, is the senator representing Bayelsa East at the National Assembly.
In Kogi, votes will be cast in the three senatorial districts with 1,646,350 registered voters deciding who will govern them in the next four years among 24 contestants.
The APC candidate Alhaji Yahaya Bello and current Governor of Kogi State will battle it out with the candidate of the PDP Engr. Musa Atayi Wada and 23 other candidates contesting the elections.
Findings show that both Bello and Wada will seek votes outside their domains or strongholds to claim victory.
Though Bello is from Kogi Central while Wada is from Kogi East, both will need votes from Kogi West, where Dino Melaye and Smart Adeyemi will slug it out in a rerun for the senatorial seat of the area.
Background to the election
Kogi and Bayelsa are among the six states that did not participate in the governorship elections during the 2019 general elections. Others are Anambra, Edo, Ekiti, Ondo and Osun.
These states’ governorship elections are conducted outside of the election cycle as a result of court judgments that nullified the election of their governors at different times in the past.