Home News Round-Up: Off-Cycle Elections in Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi

Round-Up: Off-Cycle Elections in Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi

In what looked like another test for the Independent National Electoral Commission after the 2023 general election, the gubernatorial elections held on November 11, 2023, in Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi states were marred by controversies involving irregularities, violence, vote buying, and notably low voter turnout.


In Imo, despite reports of violence, vote buying, and low voter turnout, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Hope Uzodimma of the All Progressives Congress as the winner of the gubernatorial election.

The results, announced by the state Returning Officer, Prof. Abayomi Fasina, revealed Uzodimma securing 540,308 votes, while Samuel Anyanwu of the Peoples Democratic Party came in second with 71,503 votes.

Athan Achonu of the Labour Party claimed the third position with 64,081 votes. The incumbent’s victory encompassed all 27 Local Government Areas of the state.

Moving to Kogi, the All Progressives Congress candidate, Usman Ododo, emerged as the winner with 446,237 votes. Despite INEC’s announcement of fresh polls in specific polling units in the Ogori/Magongo Local Government Area on November 18, 2023, Ododo secured a decisive victory.

His closest rival, Murtala Ajaka of the Social Democratic Party, garnered 259,052 votes, while Dino Melaye of the Peoples Democratic Party obtained 46,362 votes.

However, the Governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Kogi State, Murtala Ajaka, has alleged irregularities in Saturday’s election. But he has further stated that we will not contest the result in court as it will amount to wasting his resources. He mentioned this while speaking on Channels TV’s ‘The 2023 Verdict: Off-Cycle Elections.’

In Bayelsa, INEC returning officer, Farouk Kuta had earlier announced the postponement of the collation of the final election results on Saturday. As per the electoral commission’s records, 1,017,613 out of the total 1,056,862 registered voters successfully obtained their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs), making them eligible to participate in the gubernatorial election held on November 11, 2023.

Incumbent Governor Douye Diri, representing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has emerged victorious in the election.

The election results for the Bayelsa governorship were officially announced in Yenagoa on Monday, revealing that Diri secured a total of 175,196 votes, defeating his closest competitor, Timipre Sylva of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who garnered 115,262 votes.

Diri achieved victory in six out of the eight local government areas, while Sylva won in Brass and Nembe.

Diri’s voting tally included 18,435 votes in Ogbia, 18,465 votes in Kolokuma/Opokuma, 37,777 votes in Yenagoa, 23,172 votes in Ekeremor, 24,685 votes in Southern Ijaw, 4,556 votes in Nembe, and 12,602 votes in Brass. However, the electoral process was marred by incidents of violence and other malpractices, with the top three candidates and their supporters accusing each other of involvement in the recorded violence.

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