Bayelsa Boiling As INEC Collates Election Results

The Bayelsa State governorship election which was initially scheduled to hold last Saturday, came to play Sunday, 6 December, due to some uncertainties, but the results were still being collated by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

The Sylva/Igiri governorship campaign organization of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa state had called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to cancel election results in the two local government areas of the state – Sagbama and Ekeremor.

Gov. Dickson casting his vote

Gov. Dickson casting his vote

Speaking late Sunday in Yenagoa, the state capital, Director of Media and Publicity, Chief Nathan Egba, said that the request became expedient in view of the widespread corruption and irregularities that marred the elections in the two council areas.

According to him, the widespread violence, security breaches and election manipulation that were carried out in parts of the state during last Saturday’s Governorship election, election results in those areas cannot be said to be credible.

“Therefore, the Sylva/Igiri Campaign Organisation hereby calls for the cancellation of elections results from Ekeremor and Sagbama Local Government Areas of the State,” he said.

Following results released earlier by INEC, the ruling party in the state, PDP, had late Sunday, was leading in the two disputed LGAs. Results from three local government areas of Sagbama, Yenagoa and Kolokuma/Opokuma were also in favour of the party.

“The Independent Electoral Commission has made the results of 3 Local Government Areas in yesterday’s Governorship election in Bayelsa State public.

“The result shows that, In Yenagoa LGA, which has the largest number of voters, the PDP scored a total of 24, 258 votes to APC’s 14, 563.

“The PDP candidate and incumbent governor, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, also came out victorious in Kolokuma/Opokuma LGA, where he polled a total 7, 619 votes to 6, 396 for Chief Timipre Sylva of the APC,

“While in Sagbama LGA, the PDP amassed a total 28, 934 votes to 5, 382 for the APC and 506 for the PDM,” the statement claimed.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan casting his vote

Former President Goodluck Jonathan casting his vote

However, the APC campaign’s spokesperson dismissed the claims, insisting that elections in the disputed two LGAs were not credible due to the violence and electoral fraud that pervaded the areas on election day.

Egba said that on election day, over one thousand armed thugs suspected to have been imported from Delta and Rivers States by Gov. Dickson stormed Ekeremor community and unleashed terror on the community.

He said the invaders attacked the community in the wee hours of election day for many hours before they were repelled by the Army, only for them to return in the evening when results were about to be collated.

The APC spokesperson claimed that the thugs were suspected to have been hired for the sole purpose of assassinating the Hon. Minister for State, Agriculture, Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri, a chieftain of the APC.

“They launched a sustained attack on his residence with grenade, dynamite and gunshots for hours before the Army repelled them.

“Lokpobiri was very lucky to have survived that night as the gunmen returned in the evening to continue till they were again repelled by the army,” he said.

Egba said that during attack, the armed thugs carted away sensitive election materials to manipulate the election in favour of PDP and returned for collation.

According to him, the scenario in Sagbama Local Government Area, the home-place of Gov. Dickson was same, as armed youths who were allegedly brought into the state from neighbouring Delta and Rivers states, also hijacked electoral materials.

“The armed youths hijacked materials that were meant for all the riverine communities in the LGA including the ward of the former Acting-Governor of the State, Hon. Nestor Binabo,” Egba said.

He further alleged that elections did not hold in Ward I and II in the LGA, saying that the violence that rocked the state on election day, largely took place in Sagbama, Ekeremor and Southern Ijaw LGAs.

“We therefore, call on the INEC to cancel the election results in the two local government areas of Sagbama and Ekeremor and reschedule the
exercise.

“The Sylva-Igiri Campaign also condemn in very strong terms the continuous breach of electoral laws by Gov. Dickson when he stormed the Yenagoa LGA Collation Centre last night to threaten APC Collation Agents.

“Also this (Sunday) morning, Dickson went to Oporoma, headquarters of Southern Ijaw local government area, where election was rescheduled, which is against the law and also with full security details against the IGP’s directive,” Egba said.

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