The battle for the control of Creek House, Yenagoa and Lugard House, Lokoja in Bayelsa and Kogi states respectively, is moving to the election tribunal as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has vowed to challenge the victories of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the last Saturday governorship elections.
The main opposition party has maintained that it was robbed in both states.
Shortly after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) pronounced David Lyon winner in a landslide victory, yesterday morning, the candidate of the PDP in Bayelsa, Senator Douye Diri, declared that he was robbed.
The Returning Officer, Prof. Faraday Orumwense, Vice Chancellor of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) said Lyon polled 352, 552 votes and scored the highest votes in six local government areas against Diri who polled 143, 172 votes and won in two councils.
However, Diri at a press conference, said INEC and the Nigerian Army connived with the APC to rob him and the PDP.
Results collated from the PDP situation room indicated that he won Lyon in all the local government areas, he claimed.
Aside that, he said based on court judgment, APC was not on the ballot and any vote for it is void.
He maintained that by legal provisions, APC should not have participated in the election and wondered why INEC would not produce the Court order that directed it to include APC on the ballot.
“There was a subsisting court judgment that disqualified APC as of the time the election was conducted. The request by PDP agent at the state collation centre, Dr. Don Osusu that INEC should produce the order, which made APC’s presence during collation legitimate, was ignored. We urgently call on INEC to declare me winner. It is only shameful and laughable that INEC would manufacture figures. For us, the rule of law is under threat in this democracy; anarchy is looming in this democracy, democracy is being raped. All the figures reeled out are a charade and a ruse.”
Diri, who listed several areas in the state where APC leaders and Nigerian Army allegedly intimidated, harassed and molested PDP leaders regretted that INEC staff were also kidnapped and forced to accept fake results.
Governorship candidates from Gre¡en Party, United Patriots, DPP, UPP, APGA, NPC, NCNP, DPP and APGA have dismissed the figures presented by INEC for APC and aligned with the PDP governorship candidate.
In Kogi, Musa Wada had earlier rejected the results describing it as a sham and a murder of democracy
He said the result was not a reflection of the wishes of the people who willingly cast their votes for him. He urged all lovers of democracy to join hands with PDP in the condemnation of the entire process
Wada, who was flanked by his running mate, Sam Aro, at a press conference in Lokoja, decried the militarisation of the election saying security agents working in collusion with the APC harassed and intimidated voters who came to exercise their civic responsibility.
He said the entire exercise was a daylight robbery as results were written for the APC. He also alleged that the Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Busari, had relocated his office to Dekina LGA collation centre where he had field day doctoring results for the APC.
• Our victory was made easy, says Sylva
While the PDP is crying foul, Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, has said the victory of the APC was made easier by the party’s choice of acceptable candidate and the mis-governance of Governor Seriake Dickson.
“It’s been a very hectic week but I will like to bring in this Eritrean proverb, that if you marry a wife very well, you will be blessed with another wife. Governor Dickson, unfortunately made our job very easy because he married the wife very badly. Of course, this proverb pre-supposes that if you marry a wife badly, you will not get another wife. So, he did not marry the state very well, so the state roundly rejected him.”
Apart from leading Lyon to the Presidency, Sylva also led APC leaders including the governor-elect to visit the former president’s home.
Sylva noted that as a former president and leader of the state, Jonathan deserved to be respected and honoured by all Bayelsa people, irrespective of their party leanings.
• Buhari regrets violence in Kogi, congratulates Lyon, Bello
President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, hailed Governor Yahaya Bello, describing his re-election as “a race well run and a victory well won.”
He urged him to see his renewed mandate as another opportunity to build on the foundations already laid towards improving the lives of the people of the state.
A statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Adviser, Femi Adesina, said Buhari commended the All Progressives Congress (APC) supporters for remaining steadfast and resolute even in the face of isolated incidents of violence.
He also hailed Lyon, on his impressive victory.
The president urged him to carry other divergent interests along in the next phase of governance, imploring those not satisfied with the outcome of the poll to seek redress through the constitutionally established channels.
He condoled with families and loved ones of those who lost their lives as a result of “regrettable acts of violence by thugs doing the bidding of their political sponsors.”
He charged all political actors and stakeholders to take deliberate steps to eschew electoral violence as a peaceful and orderly process is vital to our quest for enduring democracy.
He saluted officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies for creditably discharging their responsibilities under difficult conditions.
Condemning the loss of lives in Bayelsa, particularly prior to the election, the president commiserated with families of the victims.
•Lawan, Gbajabiamila speak
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has also lauded the party and its candidates on their victory in the governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States.
Lawan particularly rejoiced with Bello on his reelection, and Lyon for making history as the first governor Bayelsa has elected on a platform different from the PDP.
In separate congratulatory messages, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said the victory recorded by the candidates was an indication of the wide acceptance the party enjoyed in the two states.
Gbajabiamila said Bayelsa in particular, had joined the `Next Level’ train, having seen the massive change driven by the APC-led government at the federal level.
“It is gladdening to know that our party, the APC, came out victorious in the governorship election in Kogi and Bayelsa.
•Kalu, Tinubu hail winners
Chief Whip of the Senate and former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Kalu, has congratulated the newly re-elected Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the last Saturday gubernatorial election in Kogi State.
The former governor, while acknowledging the level of maturity and patriotism demonstrated by the governorship candidates of all the political parties, commended the people of Kogi State for maintaining peace before, during and after the poll.
Kalu, who called on Bello to extend a hand of fellowship to his opponents, stressed that the re-elected governor will consolidate on his achievements in his first tenure.
The senator noted that the APC will continue to sustain its tentacles across the country, adding that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government would work closely with Kogi State in advancing the cause of the people.Kalu, who commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), civil society organizations, security agencies, the media and other stakeholders for ensuring a free and fair poll, called on the people of Kogi to sustain their support for Bello in a bid to take the state to enviable heights.
Similarly, the party National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, congratulated the victors in the just-concluded governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states, Alhaji Yahaya Bello and Mr. David Lyon, respectively.
He also extends congratulations to the party’s National Chairman, Kogi and Bayelsa State Chairmen and other leaders in the two states on this twin-victory. The outcome of the elections, he said showed, that the people believed in the direction that President Buhari and the APC was taking the nation.
“The electorate has faith in the progressive reforms our party envisions. Their victories stand as testament to the growing acceptance of our party, the quality of our leadership and governance and the credibility of our promise to lead the people and the nation to the Next Level. It shows that the people have no appetite to return to the failed policies and practices of the past,” he said.
•NSGF, Obaseki, Oyetola react
The Northern States Governors Forum, (NSGF), hailed their victories. Chairman of the Forum and Plateau Governor, Simon Lalong, described Lyon’s victory as a demonstration of the people’s confidence in his ability to perform and the re-election of Bello another sign of confidence reposed in him by the people of Kogi.
Lalong said it was also an opportunity for the state government and the people to work harder in taking the state to the next level.
He assured the elected governors of the support of the Forum as they settled down to fulfill their campaign promises to the electorate.
Similalry, Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki and his Osun counterpart, Alhaji Adegboyega Oyetola said the victory of both governors-elect was a triumph for the APC and has once again proven the party to be the peoples’ choice.