Some residents of Kogi Central have attributed the massive turnout of voters during Saturday’s governorship election in the state, to the love for Governor Yahaya Bello and the All Progressives Congress candidate, Alhaji Usman Ododo.
According to the Daily Post, some of the residents of the zone, interviewed by newsmen, expressed happiness over the love and support shown to Governor Bello and Ododo.
One of the residents, Alhaji Ibrahim Haruna who spoke during the interview, said “We witnessed a massive turnout of voters in Kogi Central as residents trooped out in their numbers to cast their votes in the much-anticipated off-cycle election.”
Alhaji Haruna further disclosed that Ebira indigenes, in particular, had, as early as Wednesday, begun to arrive in droves in Okene and other Local Government Areas of the state, to ensure what they described as a total delivery of votes for Alhaji Ododo, who was the only candidate from the zone in the race.
Similarly, some individuals who were interviewed at some polling units amidst mammoth crowds, revealed how sons and daughters of the area mobilised money among themselves to hire luxury buses for people to return home to vote.
Speaking with newsmen, an independent observer, Mr Yakubu Jimoh, said he went around and found, first-hand, that the people loved the outgoing governor, and were ready to prove the love with their votes.
He said, “Households were cooking for people like it was a festival and there was peace everywhere. Even with the heavy presence of military men, people went about their voting without issue. The turnout was massive.
Also speaking, Kogi NUJ Chairman, Mr Adeiza Momojimoh said, “It was like zonal rallies in many polling units. People wait as early as 7.30 a.m., to cast their votes. We have never had such a massive turnout before. In the past, there was always violence in Central.”
Another observer who spoke with newsmen at Igalamela, Mrs Adanna Amaechi, said that the threats of violence, especially by the opposition parties, who threatened people against voting for other tribes kept many people indoors and led to low voter turnout.
“Where we were, even those that said they had PVCs preferred to stay away. The violence recorded in the area in the past and the mode of campaign of the Social Democratic Party in particular, scared people away from voting,” she stated.
An anonymous supporter of Igala’s agenda also said, “How would you be spreading fake news that they are planning to kill people and expect your people to turn out? We warned them that time that they would use this style to affect us. They thought we didn’t like SDP.”