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Kogi Decides: Police complain of zero allowance as food vendors make brisk business

In Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, the conduct of voters in the governorship election has been generally peaceful. The restriction of movement order has been…

In Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, the conduct of voters in the governorship election has been generally peaceful. The restriction of movement order has been in force since 6:30 am as only INEC officials, security operatives, accredited journalists and others involved in the exercise were seen on the streets. There are no transit vehicles passing through Lokoja on either side of the expressway.

 
Police complain of unpaid allowances
 
There is high presence of security personnel patrolling the streets of Lokoja to maintain peace and enforce the restriction of movement order. A Police personnel who pleaded not to be named, however, complained of lack of payment of their allowances, saying it was subjecting them to hardship. The personnel, a corporal, who was deployed from one of the North Western state said: "No welfare was given to us; the little money we carried along on our own has been exhausted and now we are facing challenges. We were simply asked to give our account numbers but we have not seen anything."
 
Accreditation
 
Accreditation in most of the polling units in Lokoja commenced between 8am and 9am with relatively low turnout as most eligible voters who registered in their local government areas were said to have traveled there for accreditation and voting earlier.
 
At the Crowther Memorial College polling unit located at Sabon Gari, the presiding officer (a corps member) Abiebhode Odianose said accreditation commenced by 8am.
 
Four card readers were being used at the unit for fingerprint authentication at the unit. There were, however, cases of improper capturing of fingerprints of some prospective voters by the card readers. A number of voters also complained they did not find their names on the voters’ list.
 
At another polling unit called New Layout, also located in Lokoja, Maryam Adamson, the presiding officer said accreditation had commenced at 8am. The turnout was relatively low. There was serious issue of fingerprints failure as 50 of such cases were recorded at the time our reporter visited. Voters, however, were enthusiastic and expressed their willingness to cast their votes in an atmosphere of peace.
 
At the Cinema Hall polling unit located at Ungwan Tiv, accreditation also commenced at 8am. There were three card readers provided for fingerprint verification. Adediran Shegun, the presiding officer said everything was going on well but added that there were about 11 cases of fingerprint identification failure there were recorded in the incidence form.
 
Business activities at polling units
 
Our reporter observed that even as accreditation was going on, some traders took advantage to sell some items, especially food, at the polling units. One of the traders said they had to do so in order to survive.

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