The Nigerian Civil Society Situation Room has said electoral violence and vote-buying were rife in Saturday governorship election in Kogi State.
The organisation said this in an interim statement on the poll on Saturday.
It said attacks on electoral observers, vote-buying and electoral violence happened despite the heavy presence of security officials.
The statement signed by Dudu Manuga and Celestine Odo decried the attitude of politicians and political parties.
“At this time we are receiving incidents of vote-buying across the state with a systematic approach by politicians,” the statement said.
“These occurred in about 60 per cent of the polling units where Situation Room observed.”
“It was visible seeing politicians distributing N6,000 per person in Olamaboro LGA Ward at Ogugu polling unit 004,” it said.
PREMIUM TIMES earlier reported how gunshots continued in various parts of Lokoja, the capital city, where hoodlums carted away several ballot boxes, ending the process abruptly for many voters.
Election observers had predicted violence and disruption of votes but INEC and the police had assured of their preparedness to conduct the election in a peaceful manner.
But the group said“the large presence of security officials has not deterred thugs from instigating and perpetrating violence.
“In Ayingba Dekina LGA, PU 003, 005, 009, 025 and 026 etc, ballot boxes were snatched and some destroyed.
“In Ijumu LGA at Aiyetoro ward 1, Polling Unit 004, thugs were seen snatching ballot boxes and a voter was shot.” they added.
The election is mainly between Governor Yahaya Bello of the All Progressive Congress and Musa Wada of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.