Why Kogi Needs a Widely Popular Governorship Candidate in November Election

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As Kogi State prepares for its governorship election on November 11, 2023, one of the factors that will determine the outcome is the popularity of the candidates across the state. This is because the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has introduced a new device called the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) that will verify and authenticate voters using their fingerprints and facial features.

The BVAS is an electronic device that can read permanent voter cards (PVCs) and match them with the biometric data of the voters stored in INEC’s database. The device can also capture and upload the polling unit results to INEC’s Result Viewing Portal (IReV) in real-time. The BVAS is expected to enhance the credibility and transparency of the electoral process by preventing multiple voting, impersonation, and manipulation of results. 

However, the BVAS also poses some challenges for the candidates and their parties. According to INEC, if a voter’s fingerprint fails to match the data on the device, the voter will be asked to place his or her face on the device for facial recognition. If both methods fail, the voter will not be accredited and will not be allowed to vote. This means that candidates who rely on loyal party members or supporters who may not have valid PVCs or whose biometric data may not be captured by the device will lose votes.

Therefore, candidates who want to win the governorship election in Kogi State must have a broad appeal that transcends their party affiliations or ethnic backgrounds. They must be able to attract and mobilize voters from different parts of the state who have valid PVCs and whose biometric data can be verified by the BVAS.

One such potential contender is Yakubu Murtala Ajaka, who is reportedly vying for a governorship position on a minority platform. Ajaka currently holds the position of Deputy National Publicity Secretary for the APC. He had a disagreement with Governor Yahaya Bello due to Bello’s alleged manipulation of the All Progressives Congress APC primary election to favor his cousin, Ahmed Usman Ododo 

Ajaka is widely regarded as a grassroots politician who has a strong support base across the state, especially among the youth and women.

Ajaka has promised to restore good governance, accountability, and development to Kogi State if elected as governor. Ajaka’s popularity and acceptance across the state, coupled with the introduction of BVAS by INEC, make him the standout candidate among all parties.

The BVAS factors suggest that in Kogi State’s November 11 election, a gubernatorial candidate must have widespread appeal, rather than simply being popular within their political party. This will ensure that they can secure enough votes from verified and authenticated voters who will determine the fate of the state for the next four years.

– Adams Yusuf writes from Abuja.

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