PDP Takes The Lead In Bayelsa Polls

PDP Takes The Lead In Bayelsa Polls

The PDP was leading in four of the five local government areas declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) last night. The APC won in one.

The councils are: Yenagoa, Ekeremor, Sagbama, Brass and Kolokuma/Opokuma.

The commission is expected to announce the rest of the results today.

The PDP faulted INEC’s decision to continue with the conduct of the rescheduled governorship election in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, Bayelsa State.

It also accused the APC of skewing the process against the ruling party.

The governorship election in the local council, which has 120,000 registered voters, became a subject of dispute, after INEC cancelled the exercise following widespread violence, which reportedly claimed five lives in the area.

But, at a news conference in Yenagoa yesterday, the PDP said INEC’s decision to continue with the poll yesterday was wrong since the issues of security of lives and electoral materials which caused the postponement had not been adequately addressed.

At the conference were the party’s Southsouth Zonal Chairman, Chief Cairo Ojuigbo, state Chairman, Chief Serena Dokubo-Spiff and the Senator representing Bayelsa West Senatorial District, Chief Foster Ogola.

Dokubo-Spiff alleged that the orgy of violence in Southern Ijaw was perpetrated by APC members resulted in the death of five persons.

He said: “From information, the majority of the indigenes of Oporoma, headquarters of the Southern Ijaw Local Government Area and some other communities are still taking refuge in the forest and swamps as a result of the heavy gunfire.

“The security situation has been confirmed to be even worse in the creeks and other communities in the area. The situation is still so tense with gunshots heard in parts of Oporoma and other major communities in the local government area, making it clearly impossible for any peaceful election to hold.”

He said the position of the PDP was that adequate arrangements should be put in place in the next couple of days to ensure security for voters, INEC ad-hoc staff, including members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and materials.

“This is because lives have already been lost. It is crucial to take steps to ensure that more lives are not lost. It is hoped that INEC, the security agencies and other stakeholders take genuine fear into consideration so that the people of Southern Ijaw can freely exercise their civic responsibilities”, he said.

He also alleged that the  APC candidate Chief Timipre Sylva, was holding consultations with senior government officials to rig the poll.

According to him, Sylva was mounting pressure on government officials to direct the Resident Electoral Commission to compromise the process.

He alleged: “We the PDP, hereby, say that it is irregular, improper, it is unacceptable, we will resist it and we will not accept it. We must commit to doing the right thing in this country. We will not accept it, so the REC, who is my friend, should stick to doing the right thing and desist from doing the wrong thing.

“How can you say accreditation and voting should go on simultaneously in a place like Southern Ijaw which has geography as far-flung as almost from here to Siberia, going by our own geography. It is not right. We fear that there is an impending plan to do ‘mago mago.’”
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