Accept defeat, political parties urge Sylva
As Okowa lauds Dickson for hard earned victory
By Samuel Oyadongha, Jimitota Onoyume, Festus Ahon & Emem Idio
Former Bayelsa State governor and candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC, in the just concluded governorship poll in the state, Chief Timipre Sylva, yesterday said he would challenge the outcome of the election in the state at the tribunal, describing the exercise as a sham.
Sylva, at a news conference in Yenagoa, slammed the state Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, describing it as a Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, rigging machine.
Meanwhile, 14 of the 20 political parties that fielded candidates in the just concluded election, have advised Sylva to accept the outcome of the poll.
The political parties, while also endorsing the result of the poll, expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the poll and called on Sylva to join forces with Governor Seriake Dickson, winner of the election, to move the state forward and stressed that the state needs ideas and partnership and not antagonism.
Similarly, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, yesterday, congratulated Governor Dickson on his victory at the governorship poll.
Okowa, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Charles Aniagwu, described the victory as well deserved.
Meanwhile, PDP has demanded for a comprehensive inquest into the violence and killings allegedly recorded in the just-concluded election.
A statement by the acting National Chairman of the party, Mr Uche Secondus, in Abuja, yesterday, decried what it described as “desperation” of the APC, whose ‘’thugs openly engaged in violence resulting in the killing and maiming of innocent Bayelsans.
“We, hereby, demand a comprehensive inquest into these killings and that all perpetrators be brought to book,” the statement said.
It alleged that from what happened in Bayelsa, it was clear that the APC was not disposed to free, fair and credible electoral process in the country.
‘’The PDP and lovers of democracy salute the people of Bayelsa State for standing against intimidation, rigging and violence to ensure that their votes prevailed in Saturday’s supplementary election.
“In fact, the steadfastness and resilience showed by the people, particularly in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, will go down in history as one of the many sacrifices made to defend democracy in the land,” it said.
Sylva head for tribunal
Sylva, who advanced reasons for rejecting the outcome of the election, said that INEC and the PDP colluded to deny him and the APC victory at the poll.
He said: “I am sure you are aware of my complaints about INEC in Bayelsa. I had initially complained about the Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, Baritoh Kpagih and the Administrative Secretary of INEC. I said it repeatedly and even put it to writing.
“Usually, before an election, the INEC officials are switched. But they chose to keep the PDP rigging machine. This was the same rigging machine that returned former President Goodluck Jonathan 100 per cent votes. We felt these people could not conduct a free and fair election. All our cry fell on deaf ears.
“Even the REC descended into the arena by accusing a faceless candidate of offering him bribe. A REC that was arguing with a candidate was allowed to conduct the election. This is strange.
“From the beginning, INEC was playing a game. Materials from the nearest communities were deployed first, while those in distant communities were sent last. They did not send materials to Ezetu, Azuzuama,Ukubie, Foropa and Koluama early. What they did was to frustrate the election process because they had a lead.
“And also the outcome could have been declared inconclusive with outstanding votes of 53,000 cancelled. They went against the laws. They plotted against the APC. Anywhere APC won, they cancelled.
“They rigged the distribution of materials. Even the vehicles used were provided by the state government.”
14 parties commend INEC, congratulate Dickson
Addressing newsmen in Yenagoa, state chairman of Independent Democrat, ID, Prince Elemah, flanked by state chairmen of other parties, commended the efforts of INEC, in the distribution of electoral materials to remote areas of the state and providing a level playing ground for all during the supplementary poll and congratulated Governor Dickson on what they described as a well deserved victory
The political parties that endorsed the statement include All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA; Democratic Peoples Party, DPP; African Democratic Congress, ADC; KOWA, Democratic People’s Congress, DPC; Social Democratic Party, SDP; African Peoples Alliance, APA; Independent Democrats, ID; Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, ACPN; Peoples Party of Nigeria, PPN; United Progressive Party, UPP; People for Democratic Change, PDC; New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP, and Mega Progressives Peoples Party, MPPP.
Dickson will work harder —Aginighan
Chieftain of APC in Ijaw nation and former acting Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Pastor Power Aginighan, has expressed the hope that the keenly contested governorship election in Bayelsa State will make the winner, Governor Dickson, conduct the affairs of governance with high regards for the feelings of Bayelsans.
Aginighan, in a statement in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, said that the APC governorship candidate, Sylva had raised the bar of politics in the state by nurturing the party into a very strong opposition waiting to grab power anytime.
“There is no doubt that Governor Dickson will be humbled by the tortuous electoral journey he went through and cannot afford to conduct the business of governance without regard for the genuine feelings of the Bayelsa electorate,” he said.
Governor Okowa has, congratulated Dickson on his victory at the governorship poll.
Okowa, in a statement by Aniagwu, described the victory as “well deserved” for Dickson.
Commending INEC, security agencies and Bayelsans for a successful election, the governor condemned the reported cases of violence and killings which characterized the election.
Okowa said: “On behalf of the government and people of Delta State, I congratulate you on your hard earned victory at the Bayelsa State governorship election. Your victory is well deserved because you campaigned vigorously, selling the party’s policies and programme to Bayelsans. Your victory in seven out of eight local government areas in the state showed that Bayelsa State is home to PDP.
“Your re-election for a record second term is a fulfilment of the clearly expressed wish of the people of Bayelsa State. I, therefore, urge you to be humble and magnanimous in victory, remain focused and committed to your restoration agenda and work for the advancement of the interests of all Bayelsa people irrespective of their political affiliations.”
Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, worldwide, has expressed sadness over the reported deaths during the governorship election.
Spokesman of IYC, Eric Omare, in Yenagoa, said that the election of a governor should not be a do or die affair, especially in a homogenous state like Bayelsa.
He commended Dickson for his hard earned electoral victory and all the contestants and the people of the state for their contributions to the deepening of democracy by insisting that only their votes determine who emerged victorious.
“The IYC is sad that so many lives were lost during the electoral process. Election of a governor should not to be a do or die affair especially in a state like Bayelsa that is homogenous. The IYC recalls that under President Jonathan, sanity was restored to the electoral process in Nigeria and the do or die spirit which was prevalent under President Olusegun Obasanjo was banished to the dustbin.
“However, it is sad to note that Nigeria’s democracy has returned to the do or die era.”