Kogi’s Gov. Yahaya Bello has commended INEC and security operatives for their conduct at Saturday’s off-cycle governorship election in the state.
Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the election, Alhaji Usman Ododo, gave similar commendation.
Bello spoke after voting at his polling unit in Okene where he noted that the level of preparedness by INEC and its officials resulted in a smooth conduct of the exercise.
“I commend INEC for a job well done. I also commend security operatives for offering residents of Kogi the peaceful environment to participate in the election without hindrance.
“I am optimistic that our candidate, Usman Ododo, will emerge victorious at the end of the exercise.
“We have come out in numbers to cast our votes. I have just cast my vote and others are casting their votes. It is timely. All materials were deployed within the time stipulated.
“So far I haven’t heard of complaint from any quarter. The conduct of INEC so far has been so fantastic. All the security agencies have conducted themselves so far very professionally.
“Citizens that are exercising their franchise are doing that freely. There are no hitches; no rancour.
“We are united and we are happy at this exercise. By the special grace of God we are going to come off very triumphant,’’ Bello said.
The governor also did some comparisons between elections held in Kogi over the years and the ones conducted since he got into office in 2015.
“From the benefit of hindsight and looking back at 2019, this brings a strong reminder of an election.
“Incidence of electoral violence in Kogi in my own time is a media creation. Go into history; go into records and compare my own regime and that of the previous ones.
“You will discover that in the regime of Gov. Bello, conduct of elections has been violence-free exercises; the freest; the most free, fair and credible.
“Therefore, the issue of violence in our election in Kogi is a media creation and figment of imagination of all those who do not want good things to happen here in Kogi.
“There is nothing like violence. The conduct of free and fair and credible election is in the hands of security agencies and the citizens,’’ he said.
On his part, Ododo also expressed satisfaction at the conduct of security operatives at the election and praised them for ensuring that things were smooth and peaceful.
“While I express confidence at winning this election, I thank Kogi people for turning out en-masse to vote in the crucial exercise,’’ he said.
Source: News Agency of Nigeria