Home / Lead Story / Bayelsa guber poll: INEC cancels Southern Ijaw LG election results; Dickson praises Bayelsa electorate for ‘protecting their votes’; as PDP commends ‘fearless’ Bayelsans
PDP protest

Bayelsa guber poll: INEC cancels Southern Ijaw LG election results; Dickson praises Bayelsa electorate for ‘protecting their votes’; as PDP commends ‘fearless’ Bayelsans

PDP supporters protsting in Yenagoa
PDP supporters protesting in Yenagoa

NEDU MARK, Yenagoa

Following the irregularities and violence which characterized the December 5 and 6 governorship elections in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa state, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has cancelled the election which held in the area with the incumbent governor clearly in the lead.

This is as the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, reacting to the decision by INEC to cancel the poll in the council area, rather commended the ‘courage of the people of Bayelsa state in fearlessly curtailing APC’s rigging machinery.’

Also, the state governor praised the people of the state for defending their votes.

The Commission, Monday, said a new date for a fresh poll will be announced.

INEC said the poll was characterized by violence and rigging beyond an internationally acceptable standard as monitored by foreign and local election observers.

Briefing journalists at the INEC Collation Centre in Yenagoa, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Bartitor Kpaigh said the Commission has decided to fix a new date for the conduct of the governorship poll in the area.

Although no date has been announced yet by the Commission for the rescheduled polls, the Commission, however, released the breakdown of the election results so far conducted in the seven local government areas of the state.

The Commission announced the results received and collated in the six local government areas of the state – Yenagoa, Brass, Nembe, Sagbama, Kolokuma/Opokuma, Ogbia, with the results for Southern Ijaw declared inconclusive.

According to INEC, the All Progressives Congress (APC) scored a total of 72,595 votes, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) scored 105,748 votes, KOWA – 13 votes, PDM-1,422 and the Labour Party- 70 votes.

Earlier in Yenagoa, over 200 aggrieved women supporters of the PDP staged a peaceful protest in the afternoon calling on the Commission to cancel the elections in Southern Ijaw council.

The aggrieved supporters said the election in the area was full of irregularities as hired armed thugs allegedly shot sporadically to scare away voters.

They also alleged that elections were being held in the night which, according to them, breached the INEC rules and regulations.

The protests were, however, peaceful even as armed policemen stood guard to avoid a breakdown of law and order.

On his part,  Governor of Bayelsa State, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson has commended the electorate in the state for ‘standing up to be counted by protecting their votes so far in the December 5 governorship election in the face of intimidation, harassment, killings of innocent voters and ballot snatching by the Nigerian military and APC thugs in Brass and Southern Ijaw local governments.’

Reacting in a statement by Daniel Iworiso-Markson, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Bayelsa State, Dickson praised the people for their courage, stressing that, the cancellation of the elections in Southern Ijaw could not have happened without the resilience and courage of Bayelsans in defending democracy and the Ijaw nation.

According to the statement, the cancellation has further vindicated Governor Seriake Dickson, who had earlier urged the commission and the security agencies not to go ahead with the election in Southern Ijaw in the light of clear cases of insecurity created by the APC, ‘who were jittery and were losing in the results collated from seven out of eight local government areas.’

“If the commission and the security agencies had heeded the governor’s counsel, they wouldn’t have wasted tax payers’ money conducting the ill-fated elections in some wards in Southern Ijaw,” the governor said.

The statement also commended INEC for cancelling the election and called on the federal security not to put the state under siege again in the rescheduled date, because Bayelsans will always resist any attempt to subvert the will of the people.

The statement enjoined Bayelsans to remain law abiding and go about their businesses, assuring them of the government’s readiness to always protect their interest and also deliver democracy dividends to all Bayelsans and the Ijaw nation.

Meanwhile, the national leadership of the PDP has commended ‘the courage of the people of Bayelsa state in fearlessly curtailing APC’s rigging machinery, which led to the cancellation of the fabricated elections in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area.’

According to the PDP, ‘but for the bravery of Bayelsans in standing up for their votes against the hordes of harassments by the military and other security forces working for the APC, their will as a people would have been completely subverted in the election.’

The PDP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, Monday, said it is proud of the actions and concerted efforts of its members in resisting rigging and impunity.

“We condemn in the strongest possible term, the wanton confiscation and transfer of voting materials by security operatives directly to APC agents for outright allocation of votes.

“For the purposes of the rescheduled Southern Ijaw election, we wish to make it abundantly clear that we are ready, willing and able to defend the choice of the people. Never again will this leadership of the PDP allow our party candidates to be manipulated out of any election at any level. In that regard, we have activated our structures across the country to defend our mandate always, with all force and means available in a democracy.

“Nevertheless, we are indeed concerned about the apparent inability of the present INEC to conduct a credible election in a single state, especially in the light of the fact that very soon they will need to conduct a general election in all the states.

“Finally, for the security forces busy brutalizing innocent Nigerians exercising their democratic rights, we declare that they should hide their faces in shame over the flexing of muscles in terror free zones,” said the party.

About Global Patriot Staff

Check Also

‘Time to grab opportunities in livestock noise’ By MARTINS OLOJA

The age-long challenge of ‘information overload’ is beginning to affect us in this part of …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *