The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State has challenged the return of Governor Seriake Dickson in the just concluded election, saying the whole process appeared untidy.
The Director of Communication for APC Campaign Organisation, Nathan Egba, made the declaration on Sunrise Daily on Monday while speaking from Yenegoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
He attributed the victory of Governor Dickson to manipulation of results announced by the Returning Officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“Obviously, there is a lot of backroom drama leading to what we saw and I am sorry to say (with all due respect), the figures that were announced as far as some of us are concerned were just allocated because the whole process, the entire system, everything ended up appearing untidy.
“Even the person that was announced as the winner knows that he did not win the election properly. He only won the election based on the announcement that was made by the returning officer based on figures that as far as we are concerned, were doctored, were cooked up, were arranged and were allocated to the various candidates,” he said.
Mr Egba also blamed the APC loss to the cancellation of results in their stronghold, lamenting the prevention of the party agent from partaking in the collation process.
“At Okporoma, which is the Local Government headquarters of the Southern Ijaw, our party agent was arrested in the middle of the election, taken away and was prevented from partaking in the collation process,” he said while adding that the same incident was recorded in Ogbia Local Government Area (LGA).
According to the APC official, “The Electoral Law says if the number of votes that are cancelled are in excess of the difference between two leading candidates, then that election will be called as inconclusive.
“Even if we did not protest or complain or whatever, it is still not right to have returned Seriake Dickson as the winner because the votes that they got and the results did not meet the parameters of the Electoral Law,” he said.
In his reaction to the APC claims, the Director of Publicity for Dickson Campaign Organisation, Jonathan Obuebite, said “what happened in Bayelsa was just a true reflection of what the Ijaw nation represent”.
He said that the Governor was widely accepted, maintaining that the people of Bayelsa State had promised to return him for a second term.
Mr Obuebite also highlighted claims that the PDP Chairman in Bayelsa State was held hostage for three hours while his residence was vandalised.
He added that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members were prevented from participating in the election in the wards where APC won in Brass LGA, saying they were attacked as well as chased out of the community.
According to the PDP official, “Before the election, we did stated that we are aware the APC has been going around brandishing results to people which they use in convincing so many persons to defect to their party that they have results and that their result will be announced,” stating that the APC never came into the election with the purpose of allowing the electorate decide who would rule them.
On ensuring the subsequent conduct of peaceful elections in the country, Mr Obuebite recommended that agencies responsible for ensuring security should endeavor not to play according to party lines.