Tension in Kogi, Bayelsa as parties engage on all fronts
By John Eche
Ahead of Saturday’s gubernatorial polls, a palpable air of tension has gripped Kogi and Bayelsa states as political parties engage themselves on all fronts.
The elections which are being fiercely contested in both states are to decide the parties and persons that would run both states after the current tenures of the serving governors lapse in the next few months.
In Bayelsa, Governor Seriake Dickson has served his maximum two terms in office and is ineligible to run. In Kogi however, Governor Yahaya Bello is seeking a second term in office.
While pundits say it is a two and a half horse race in Kogi that features the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Social Democratic Party, SDP, in Bayelsa, it is a clear contest between the ruling PDP and the APC.
Ordinarily, candidates and parties are expected to woo voters through selling their achievements and programmes. While some of this is still going on, however, some of the fireworks has now come to involve spirited legal disputes and the use of violence.
In Kogi, SDP gubernatorial candidate, who had just survived a legal ambush has further had alleged thugs attempting to assault herself and party officials and supporters with other allegations of the party’s offices being vandalised.
In Bayelsa, the courts ruled that the featured Deputy Governorship Candidate on the platform of the APC, who is himself a serving senator, was ineligible to contest even as another legal brickbat involving the same party would very likely be concluded on Thursday.