Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Governor Seriake Dickson has tendered a video evidence in support of the killings and election violence that characterised the conduct of last Saturday’s governorship election in Nembe local government area and some other parts of the state.
Addressing a world press conference in Yenagoa on Tuesday, Governor Dickson described the election as a charade and a carefully orchestrated plan to forcefully take over Bayelsa state towards entrenching a one party system in by the All Progressive Congress (APC)
He condemned in its entirety what he termed, the brazen connivance of security agents particularly the Nigerian Army with the APC thugs to hijack electoral materials in most local government areas.
According to Governor Dickson, soldiers were deployed to Ogbia local government area and other parts of the state led by a certain Lieutenant Col from the 6th Division of the Nigerian Army to cart away electoral materials thereby undermining the process in favour of the APC.
The governor therefore called on the APC-led Federal Government to take drastic action in safeguarding the country’s democratic principles and protecting the fundamental rights of Nigerians in every election.
The Governor who was speaking for the first time after the conduct of the election noted with dismay the involvement of the Army in the killings of some members of the PDP, ballot snatching and hijacking of election materials by APC members and declaration of results by INEC even in the areas where election did not hold.
The Governor who urged Bayelsans to be calm said that the reprehensible acts against democracy would be addressed through democratic procedures.
“This was not the first time that we are having elections. People were killed, some ripped open and thrown into the river and up till now no arrest. We all know those that plotted and carried out this heinous act, which actually was an assassination attempt because I was billed to visit Nembe that day for the PDP campaign. As democrats, we believe in using democratic procedures in challenging what happened in Ogbia. In Ogbia, there was no collation done. In most of the areas, at the conclusion of voting, the soldiers came and rounded up everybody and forcibly took them to Ogbia town and asked all PDP leaders to leave to enable them replace pre-written results. And so the results announced for Ogbia, like those for Southern Ijaw and Nembe were not real. What has happened in Bayelsa is one of the most brazen acts of distortion and rape of our democracy. What took place was not a democratic election. It was a military coup. It was the height of conspiracy by the federal government and security agencies to subvert the democratic rights of our people for the sole purpose of foisting the APC on the people. It has never been like this before. In 2015, it wasn’t as bad as this. In this case, not only was the Army directed to take over our place, but to collude with the APC thugs to unleash terror on our people.”