Bayelsa Governorship Poll: Dickson, Sylva Know Fate Today | WakaWaka Reporters
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Bayelsa Governorship Poll: Dickson, Sylva Know Fate Today

Both the incumbent governor in Bayelsa State, Hon Seriake Dickson of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and his main opponent, former governor Timipre Sylva of the All Progressives Congress (APC) will today know their fate as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday disclosed that it would today declare the results of the remaining three local government areas in the state, having announced the results in five LGAs yesterday.

Results from five local governments announced by INEC yesterday showed that the candidate of the PDP, Governor Seriake Dickson, was leading his APC counterpart, former governor Timipre Sylva with a margin of 25,415 votes.

The results released last night by INEC were those from the returning officers in Ekeremor, Kolokuma/Opokuma, Sagbama, Yenagoa and Brass local government areas of the state. Three local governments whose results are to be announced today are Ogbia, Nembe and Southern Ijaw.

The total number of votes from each of the local government as announced yesterday were: Ekeremor – PDP 7,619, APC 6,897; Yenagoa – PDP 24,258, APC14,563; Sagbama – PDP 28,934, APC 5,382; Brass – PDP 6,516, APC 21,755 and Kolokuma/Opokuma – PDP 14,602, APC 7,918.

Governor Dickson who won four of the five local government areas polled 81,929 votes overall, while Sylva won in only one local government, Ekeremor, and scored a total of 56, 514 votes overall.

It was gathered that out of the three local governments where results are yet to be announced, two – Ogbia and Nembe – are the strongholds of the PDP. While former President Goodluck Jonathan hails from Ogbia, the incumbent deputy governor is a son of Nembe.

But as some of the supporters of the PDP are basking in the euphoria of their candidate having an early lead based on results from five local governments, others are worried by the fact that Southern Ijaw local government, where Sylva’s running mate and all the ex-militants who support Sylva hail from, has the highest number of registered voters in the state with a voting capacity of 108, 838.

Consequently, the PDP is concerned about the conduct of the rescheduled governorship poll in the biggest local government area of the state, Southern Ijaw.

Ogbia has about 55,000 votes, same as Nembe. Already both leaders of the APC and the PDP are engaged in a battle of wits over calls for the cancellation of the election in Southern Ijaw.

The APC insists the election be announced, while the PDP is raising dust over the alleged irregularities in the conduct of the election in Southern Ijaw.

According to the PDP, “We have uncovered the plot by INEC and the relevant security agencies to rig the Bayelsa governorship election in favour of the leading opposition party, the APC.

INEC’s decision to go ahead with the rescheduled election in Southern Ijaw local government area in spite of the protest by the people and even ad-hoc staff, lateness in the commencement of accreditation and voting exercise as well as provision of inadequate security among others are a pointer to the fact that the body had concluded arrangements to announce the APC candidate as the winner of the election, it alleged.

Briefing newsmen on the sharp practices being perpetrated by INEC in connivance with the security agencies in some local governments, the acting chairman of the PDP, Chief Serena Dokubo-Spiff, said INEC was wrong to order that accreditation and voting exercise should go on simultaneously.

Describing this development as part of sinister moves to upturn the already declared result by the INEC through voodoo votes, the acting chairman said it was unheard of and undemocratic.

“We, the PDP, hereby say that, that is irregular, improper and unacceptable. We would resist it. We must commit to doing the right thing in this country. The resident electoral commissioner, Mr Baritor Kpasih, should stick to doing the right thing,” the party said.

“How can you say that accreditation and voting exercise should go on simultaneously in a place like Southern ijaw that has geographical components as far flung as from here to Siberia?

“We fear that they are intending to do some ‘mago mago;’ that would not be accepted and we are saying so emphatically for record purposes.”

The minister of state for agriculture and rural development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, who also doubles as the director-general of the APC campaign, insisted on the conduct of the poll in Southern Ijaw, saying both parties should agree on a peaceful exercise.

“That election must hold; all we need is peace and a non-violent exercise that will allow the will of the people to prevail as they file out to elect their governor.

“Our disappointment, however, has been the violence orchestrated by people who feel threatened that their time is up and would want to hold on to power at all cost.