Voters in Kogi State will go to the 3,541 polling units spread across the North-central state to pick a governor from among the 18 candidates in the race.
Kogi State voters will today elect a new governor for the state.
The contest is featuring 18 candidates, though it is believed that five of them are leading the pack in the race to occupy the Lugard House, Lokoja.
They are Ahmed Ododo of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Murtala Ajaka of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Dino Melaye of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Leke Abejide of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) and Olayinka Braimoh of the Action Alliance (AA).
Today’s election signals the winding down of Governor Yahaya Bello’s tenure. Mr Bello of the APC has been in the saddle since 2016 and will conclude his second term of four years on 27 January 2024.
Kogi is the only one among the three states, where off-season governorship elections are taking place on Saturday, that is not featuring an incumbent as a candidate. The incumbent governors in the two other states – Hope Uzodinma of Imo State and Duoye Diri of Bayelsa State – are seeking to be reelected for their second and final terms in office.
Kogi has a total of 1,932,654 registered voters from its 21 local government areas and 239 wards. Of this figure, 1,833,160 who have collected their Permanent Voters Cards (PVC) are eligible to to vote in the election.
Going by INEC’s data, Kogi East senatorial district remains a major decider in the current equation, with about 49 percent of the total registered voters coming from the zone. It has a total of 952, 369 voters.
Kogi West has 505,731 registered voters while Kogi Central has 474,554 registered voters.
All the three senatorial districts have at least one formidable candidate in the race. The APC candidate, obviously enjoying the backing of the incumbent governor, emerged from the Central senatorial district, the SDP candidate is from the Eastern zone. Messrs Melaye, Abejide and Braimoh are from the Western senatorial district.
Voting will take place in the 3,541 polling units across the state.
There has been apprehension among the citizens and watchers from outside the state about possible violence during the election. But the police, other security agencies, and INEC have assured voters of the security of their lives, property and their votes during the poll.
PREMIUM TIMES team of reporters is on the ground in the three senatorial districts of the state to bring to you all the details of the election as they unfold in real time. Also follow us on our Facebook, YouTube and Twitter accounts.