Friday, 20 November 2015




Friday 20th, November 2015

Election Monitor (EM) is one of the fifty (50) Election Observation groups accredited by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to observe the 2015 Kogi State Governorship Election. Election Monitor has 84 observers in its mission who will be deployed across local government areas of Kogi State on Saturday 21st November, 2015.

INEC has maintained at several fora that they are prepared for the Kogi Governorship election.  The distribution of the sensitive materials to SuperRACs (Registration Area Centres) has already commenced. INEC also earmarked Wednesday 18th and Thursday 19th November, 2015 for the distribution of observer kits and already extended it to Friday, 20th November, 2015 for those observers that could not collect their kits in the previous two days.

The Inspector General of Police, Solomon E. Arase, fdc, NPM at the INEC organised stakeholders meeting held in Lokoja on Tuesday 17th November 2015 assured that there would be adequate provision of security personnel for the conduct of the elections. The IGP also stated that soldiers would be deployed to support other security services but not at polling units. Election Monitor observed some convoys of trucks of soldiers within some parts of Kogi State and a large number of police officers and vehicles were also observed around the State Police Headquarters environs on Wednesday 18th and Thursday 19th November, 2015. According to media reports, the IGP has directed the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of Department of Operations, DIG Sotonye L. Wakama, to relocate to Lokoja, the Headquarters of Kogi State so as to ensure adequate Police presence and coordination of all security operations for the election. Three commissioners of police are also expected to further coordinate security operations for the three senatorial districts.

A good number of INEC National Commissioners and top personnel from Abuja were sighted at INEC State Headquarters Lokoja on Thursday 19th November 2015. These personnel are part of INEC’s monitoring team to cover the 21 LGAs of Kogi State during the election.  Election Monitor calls on INEC to carry out its activities effectively and ensure it remains neutral in all circumstances. The newly constituted Commission should use this election as an opportunity to showcase its commitment to free, fair and credible elections. INEC should also ensure that it effectively monitors the strict compliance to its guidelines on usage of card readers.

In the light of some cases of pre-election violence in Kogi State, Election Monitor calls on the Nigeria Police and other security agencies to ensure that they provide adequate security across the state and maintain neutrality in their operations. Media reports put the expected police deployment at 16, 000 officers. Security agents are encouraged to allow election observers and voters carry out their duties on Election Day uninterrupted and without harassment or intimidation. The Nigeria Police should keep its promise to bring to book all electoral offenders no matter how highly placed.

Political parties are encouraged to respect the rights of citizens and adhere to the rule of law in their activities. Politicians should endeavour to inform their supporters to eschew violence in all its ramifications.  

Election Monitor enjoins all eligible voters with permanent voter cards in Kogi State to come out en masse and exercise their civic duty on Saturday 21st November, 2015.


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