From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The All Progressive Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are at logger-heads over the House of Assembly results in Nembe Constituency 2 and 3 in Opu Nembe (Nembe-Bassambiri) in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared APC’s Edward Erigha winner, polling 8,167 votes to defeat Princess Ingo Goldn of the PDP who polled 401. The Commission also declared Douglas Sampson winner of Nembe Constituency 3, beating PDP’s Orugbani to a distant second position with 302 votes.
However, the PDP has rejected the results, citing irregularities, particularly harassment and intimidation of PDP members which forced many of them to flee the community.
The PDP, quoting a domestic election observer group, Women Arise, said elections were not conducted in seven wards under Constituency 2, namely 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12 and 13 all in Nembe-Bassambiri.
The APC has, however, dismissed the claims of the PDP and the domestic observer group, explaining that other observer groups and journalists monitored voting in polling units in the community and had witnessed the end of voting and ballots being sorted.
Party publicity secretary Mr Doifie Buokoribo expressed disappointment that an INEC accredited observer group would, according to him, be acting out the script of politicians to instigate crisis in the community.
Also speaking on the elections, youth leader Theo Iruo, who said he was apolitical in an interview with newsmen, noted that the allegations that members and supporters of the PDP were chased out of the community were untrue.
“Everybody voted for their preferred candidates. There was no report of violence. Most of the things you hear in Yenagoa are mere rumours. As a community man, I represent everybody. Anybody who left the community left out of their own volition,” he said.
Also speaking, community leader Daniel Fawari-Nengigha commended the security operatives deployed to the community for maintaining peace and order.
“We all voted our candidates. We are not fighting anybody and nobody is fighting in the community. The voting was peaceful and the most popular candidate would win. Let the losers accept defeat and congratulate the winners so that we can have peace in our community,” he said.