Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), David Lyon, is coasting to a comfortable win following Saturday’s governorship election with results from two local government areas, Southern Ijaw and Ekeremor, left unreported.
Lyon has already won in four local government areas namely Brass, Nembe, Yenagoa and Ogbia Local Government Areas, respectively, of the six declared while his main challenger from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Senator Douye Diri has only won in Sagbama and Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government.
Lyon from the six local government areas has polled 148,244 votes as against Diri who polled 106,167 votes.
The APC created a major upset as it won big in the home local government area of Former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan with a total of 58,016 as against the 13, 763 votes for the PDP
The results for Southern Ijaw, which is Lyon’s home local government, and Ekeremor are being expected but results released from polling units indicate that Lyon is leading Diri by a comfortable margin.
PDP leaders have however called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to reject what they called cooked up figures being presented as results from the governorship election.
Diri, his running mate, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, the Chairman of Bayelsa governorship national campaign council, Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State, the Deputy national chairman, Emmanuel Ogidi who addressed reporters in Yenagoa, accused the military of intimidating electoral officers to alter results in favour of the APC in Ogbia, Southern Ijaw, Ekeremor and parts of Yenagoa.
The governorship candidate, who said he has earlier raised concerns in the Nembe, Brass and parts of Southern Ijaw, said results declared from those areas do not reflect the wishes of the people.
Diri, who commended Bayelsans for coming out to vote, accused members of the Nigerian Army connived with the APC members in the state to hijack electoral materials on Saturday, and when not satisfied changed results at the collation centres.
“Bayelsa PDP members should be resolute. As a party, from information available to us from our polling units, we are cruising and coasting to victory. We have very credible information that the Nigerian Army has connived with our opponents to hijack and change results. The presence of soldiers at collation centres is not acceptable to us. INEC should reject the doctored results being presented to it. Democracy is being arrested and whipped in Bayelsa. This is not how to grow our democracy. We call on all the lovers of democracy to come to the aid of Bayelsa,” he said.
In their separate remarks, Senator Bala Mohammed and Ogidi also commended the INEC for their efforts so far.
Senator Mohammed urged Bayelsans to disregard the propaganda making the rounds, noting that the PDP is leading in the results being announced.
Ogidi condemned the level of violence perpetrated allegedly by the APC before and during the election, saying that it was unfortunate that the APC wants to take control of the state by force.