Residents of Bayelsa and Kogi states will today vote to determine who will govern the state for the next four years. In Bayelsa, 45 candidates are in the governorship race, according to data from the Independent National Electoral Commission. Mr David Lyon of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Senator Douye Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party are believed to be the top contenders in the race.
The race is expected to produce a successor to Governor Seriake Dickson who is in the final months of his second term. In Kogi, a tight race is expected, involving 24 candidates. It is a heated race with Governor Yahaya Bello of the All Progressives Congress seeking re-election, while the man he and his party ousted from power, Musa Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party, is a leading candidate to stop him and claim the second term he missed out on four years ago.
The build-up to the election has been dramatic and sometimes violent. Just on Thursday, the candidate of the Social Democratic Party, Natasha Akpoti, was attacked outside the venue of a meeting between stakeholders and the Inspector General of the Police and the INEC Chairman.
An added dimension to today’s election in Kogi is the Senatorial election rerun in Kogi West which pits old foes Dino Melaye of the PDP and Smart Adeyemi of the APC against each other once again. Melaye had ousted Adeyemi from the Senate as a member of the APC in 2015. At the time, Adeyemi was a member of the PDP.