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The Bayelsa State gubernatorial election held on Saturday was marred by allegations of vote buying, with a notable presence of police officers at the polling unit.

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By Daniel Edu

Reports suggest that numerous voters were directed by two individuals, accompanied by a woman comfortably seated at the polling unit, apparently awaiting compensation after casting their votes.

According to The Nation, some police officers were observed guiding voters on where to receive money. In a confusing turn of events, some voters even approached a team of journalists, mistakenly thinking they were involved in the distribution of funds.

In a concerning twist, one voter handed his ballot paper to one of the individuals involved for inspection before officially casting his vote. In some instances, voters abstained from casting their ballots after thumbprinting.

In a related incident, the ongoing governorship election in Kogi State witnessed agents from political parties offering financial incentives to voters in Lokoja, the state capital.

These agents strategically positioned themselves approximately 500 meters away from polling units, providing money to voters to influence their choice of candidate. The amounts disbursed ranged from N3,000 to N5,000, depending on the individual’s perceived influence or negotiation skills.

To receive the financial inducement, voters were required to present their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) as a precondition.

Beneficiaries of this apparent vote-buying scheme shared with journalists that the agents distributing cash had been moving from one polling booth to another, raising concerns about the integrity of the electoral process in both Bayelsa and Kogi States.

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