Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has broken the hegemony of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State by grabbing three National Assembly seat in the just concluded elections.
It is the first time an opposition party would win National Assembly seats in Bayelsa since 1999 when Mr Emmanuel Diffa won election into the Senate on the platform of Alliance for Democracy with the current state governor Henry Seriake Dickson as chairman.
According to the results declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) the only lawmaker in the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Hon Israel Sunny- Goli won election to represent Nembe/ Brass federal constituency. The Returning Officer for the election, Prof Lawrence Ohale, who declared Sunny-Goli as winner at Twon Brass, headquarters of the Nembe/ Brass Federal Constituency said he polled 41 150 to defeat Mrs Maria Ebikake of the PDP who polled 19, 279.
In Southern Ijaw federal constituency, Preye Oseke polled 56, 804 to beat the incumbent Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Hon Konbowei Friday Benson of the PDP who polled 34,105 votes.
In Bayelsa East, former President Goodluck Jonathan, senatorial district, Biobarakuma Degi-Erenenyo, was declared the winner as the senator-elect
Meanwhile, various political parties that participated in the election have commended INEC and security agencies for providing a level playing field that allowed another political party aside the PDP to win elections in the state.
The political parties under the aegis of Political Parties of Like-Minds said though there were still some challenges INEC should overcome before the next round of elections, they noted that those challenges were not enough to affect the credibility of the election.
Chief Kenneth Gbalikumo of the Freedom Democratic Party who spoke on behalf of other chairmen of the party said they are satisfied with the neutrality displayed by INEC.
“We just concluded the 2019 presidential and National Assembly elections. Collation has been completed and results have been announced. We want to say that we unanimously accept the outcome of the election. We commended INEC. The election was free, fair, transparent and credible. Although there were grey areas which INEC can improve upon, we, however, give INEC pass mark.”