The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), says despite reports of violence recorded in different parts of Kogi and Bayelsa states, most voters who were willing to vote had the opportunity to do so.
In a communique by its National Commissioner, Mr. Festus Okoye, the commission said it carefully monitored the electoral process in both states.
The Commission further stated that reports from accredited observers and electoral officials in the field indicate that those who were willing to vote did vote accordingly.
This statement is coming amid outcry over violence, thuggery, and vote-buying during the electoral exercise in Kogi and Bayelsa States.
In Kogi State, suspected thugs attempted to snatch ballot papers in the Odu Ward 4, Odu-Ogboyaga ward 1 of Dekina local government area, where the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Mr. Musa Wada cast his vote.
The thugs were confronted by youths and security officials who threw stones and objects to secure the electoral materials.
Similarly, the electoral process was disrupted in ward 2, Lokoja, as gunshots were fired into the air by suspected thugs who made away with ballot boxes.
Voters in the Ajayi Crowther Memorial School were forced to scamper for safety following the invasion of thugs.
Commencement of voting in the polling unit which is the biggest in Lokoja, the Kogi state capital had a delay due to late arrival of security officials.
However, INEC argues that the Commission delivered materials to its offices in both Bayelsa and Kogi.
INEC further noted that despite all efforts to promote peaceful elections including several engagements with stakeholders and the signing of the peace accords, there were cases of thuggery and violence, which the Commission condemns unequivocally.