The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Seriake Dickson, has been declared winner of the Bayelsa State governorship election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Mr Dickson polled 134,998 votes to emerge winner of the election. Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Timipre Sylva, scored 86,852 votes to place second.
“Henry Dickson Seriake, having satisfied the requirements of the law and scored the highest number of votes, is hereby declared the winner and is returned elected. This is signed by the returning officer dated this 10th day of January 2016,” the Returning Officer said.
After taking results from four local government areas where governorship rerun election was held in Bayelsa State, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) commenced the collation of the final results in the early hours of Sunday between 12:00am and 2:00am local time.
After the results from Ogbia were announced, the electoral body said it would take a break and reconvene in the morning by 11:00am.
In the declared results, the All Progressives Congress (APC) scored 448 votes in Yenagoa LGA while the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) polled 839.
In Brass LGA, APC had 1,679 and the PDP got 5. In Sagbama LGA, APC scored 119 , PDP, 180 while APC had 139 in Ogbia LGA with PDP polling 1,290 votes.
On resumption, it was declared that in Ekeremor Local Government Area, the PDP polled a total of 2,695 votes, while the APC recorded 257 votes.
In Nembe, the PDP had 1,160 votes while the APC polled 1, 400 votes.
The result for Southern Ijaw was finally announced on Sunday evening around 7:00PM local time. The PDP scored a total of 23,081 votes, while APC scored 10,216.
The collation officer also reported that elections did not take place in Kolana Ward 17 because voting materials arrived very late and had to be returned.
Meanwhile, the agent of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the collation centre in Yenagoa, Mr Dennis Otiotio has condemned INEC’s announcement of Governor Seriake Dickson as winner of the Bayelsa election.
Speaking on Sunday evening during Channels Television’s programme, Politics Today, Mr Otiotio described the decision to announce the results as a disregard for the electoral process.
“The process started with an abuse of the process from the PDP to this point, even at this point, because provision 26 of the Electoral Act is very clear.
“It says that where the difference between the winner and runner up is less than total votes cancelled, the returning officer is not supposed to make a return.
“In this case, the total votes cancelled is about 53, 000 votes while the difference between PDP and APC is 48,146. In this circumstance, the returning officer is not supposed to declare any winner,” he said.
INEC had revised its guidelines for the re-run of the governorship election in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
The Commission said all the parties had given their consent to the revised guidelines, which it believes would help to fast-track the exercise on Saturday, January 9.
According to the new document, accreditation and voting will go on simultaneously.
“Severe Militant Activities”
The INEC had in December 2015 declared the Bayelsa election inconclusive after it rescheduled the governorship election in Southern Ijaw for January 9.
Professor Mustapha Leki announced the rescheduled election at the headquarters of INEC in Yenagoa, the capital of the State.
He said the INEC experienced major disturbances and challenges in a number of places, especially the Southern Ijaw Local Government Area.
“These were occasioned as a result of severe militant activities. As a result of this development and working in conjunction with security agencies, our first concern is to take steps to stabilise the situation to ensure the safety of electoral officials and the security of materials,” he told reporters.
After INEC rescheduled the election, the major candidates – the incumbent Governor, Seriake Dickson of the Peoples Democratic Party and the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Timipre Sylva – expressed displeasure with the circumstance that led to the cancellation of election in the area.
While the incumbent governor said he had set up a judicial commission of enquiry to examine the alleged violence and thuggery during the governorship election, the APC candidate said the action of the election umpire was a rape on democracy that had denied the people of Bayelsa the right to choose their leaders.