Bayelsa, Imo, Kogi Gov Elections To Hold November 2023 – INEC

A file photo of an INEC official carrying a bag with electoral materials.

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission on Tuesday said it will conduct governorship elections for Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi states on November 11, 2023.

According to a statement signed by INEC National Commissioner, Festus Okoye, the decision is in fulfillment of constitutional provisions.

“At its weekly meeting held today Tuesday 22nd October 2022, the Commission approved the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi States’ Governorship elections,” the statement said.

“This decision is in fulfillment of the requirement of Section 28(1) of the Electoral Act 2022 which mandates the Commission to publish the Notice of Election not later than 360 days before the date fixed for the elections. Similarly, Sections 178(1) and (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 mandates the Commission to conduct such elections not earlier than 150 days and not later than 30 days before the expiration of the term of the last holder of the office.

“The tenure of the incumbent Governor of Imo State ends on 14th January 2024 while those of Kogi and Beyelsa States end on 26th January 2024 and 13th February 2024 respectively.

“Accordingly, the Commission has decided to conduct the three elections on Saturday 11th November 2023.

“The statutory Notice for the elections will be published in the three States on 14th November 2022. Party primaries will be held from 27th March to 17th April 2023 while the online portal for the submission of nomination forms (EC9 and EC9B) by political parties opens at 9.00am on 24th April 2023 and closes at 6.00pm on 5th May 2023. The final list of candidates will be published on 9th June 2023 while campaign by political parties commences on 14th June 2023 and ends at midnight on 9th November 2023.

“The full Timetable and Schedule of Activities has been uploaded to the Commission’s website and social media platforms.”

VIDEO: Flood Washes Up Corpses In Bayelsa Cemetery

 

As the water level keeps rising in Bayelsa State, even the dead are not left to rest in peace as the flood has now exhumed corpses from the shallow graves at the Bayelsa State cemetery in Yenagoa.

The cemetery is located off Azikoro village road in Yenagoa and for over two weeks, residents say the stench from the cemetery has become unbearable after the corpses were uncovered by the flood.

Restructuring: ‘No Justice’ In What Bayelsa Gets From Oil Revenues, Says Governor Diri

 

Bayelsa State Governor Douye Diri on Thursday criticised the federal allocation revenue system as unfair to Bayelsa State and the Niger-Delta region.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, the Governor was reacting to a private sector report alluding that the state’s finances may be in the red zone.

“The question you will ask yourself is that, is that fair, is that just, that what is generated here as income comes back to Bayelsa State as federal allocation,” Mr Diri said.

READ ALSO: NNPC GMD Reveals How ‘Adulterated Fuel’ Was Imported And The Importers

“And maybe, truly, a paltry federal allocation. And those are the issues that we have been talking about: that you cannot have the whole chunk of money generated from our land here and taken to the federal and shared to the states, and in the end you now say Bayelsa State is insolvent.

“And that’s why we are talking about restructuring, that’s why we are talking about the amendment of our country’s constitution. A constitution that says land surface rights belongs to the people, and what is under that land belongs to Federal Government. There is no justice in it. And anybody who bandies these figures, you are annoying the people of Bayelsa State, and indeed the people of the Niger-Delta.

Bayelsa State Governor Douye Diri featured on Channels Television's Sunrise Daily on February 10, 2022.
Bayelsa State Governor Douye Diri featured on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on February 10, 2022.

 

“So, for us, we need to rework our constitution; we need to restructure our country, in a way that we can approximate our own resources here and pay tax to the Federal Government. And nobody will be talking about Bayelsa State being insolvent or any other state in the Niger Delta for that matter.

“If Bayelsa state is insolvent, then it means Nigeria is insolvent. From where you get all your resources, and the resources are not ploughed back here. And you say the state is insolvent?”

Cocoa money?

Mr Diri also explained that oil wasn’t developed in Nigeria by money made from cocoa farming.

“A lot of people make a mistake and say we used cocoa money to developed oil, that’s not true.

“Multinational, international oil companies came with the capital in oil exploration and exploitation,” Mr Diri said.

“There was no money from Nigeria, every money that came was monies from those who came to develop oil here. These are the issues Nigeria needs to resolve.”

Focus on farming

The Governor noted that despite Bayelsa’s oil wealth, his administration is working to re-orientate youths to go into farming.

According to him, farming is a priority and everyone in the state is encouraged to key into it.

“Agriculture is a priority for this government, we are working hard to have a change of mindset of our youths to key into Agriculture.

“Tomorrow, the Akwa-Ibom Governor is coming into Bayelsa to flag off the farming season. He will also superintend over the made-in-Bayelsa Agriculture show.

“Oil is almost going; we cannot continue to live (dependent) on oil. The focus of this government is agriculture. Let us all key into Agriculture,” the governor said.

Bayelsa State Teams Dominate AITEO Cup Finale

A photo of Bayelsa United FC receiving their cheque prize

 

For the first time in the history of Nigeria’s Cup competitions, one State claimed both the women and men titles as Nigeria National League side, Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens were crowned champions of the 2021 AITEO Cup competition at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin city, Edo state.

The teams ignored the rain to play breathtaking football and the epic battles produced 10 goals to the delight of football officials, state dignitaries, and spectators.

Bayelsa Queens’ striker, Mary Anjor set the ball rolling for a fruitful day for the ‘Glory of all Lands’ when she poked in her eighth goal of the competition in the 15th minute of the women’s final to put her team ahead. FC Robo’s captain, Gift Monday didn’t waste time to respond four minutes later, but Juliet Sunday (37th minute) and Peace Efih (43rd minute) made sure the girls from Yenagoa held a comfortable lead going into the break.

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki presenting the prize to the winner

 

When play resumed in the second half, Habibat Akinwande pulled one back for the girls from Lagos in the 65th minute, but substitute Joy Bokiri made the game safe with a spectacular fourth goal from a free-kick 22 yards out.

In the men’s final, with the fine run of Bayelsa United to the final, Nigeria Professional Football League side Nasarawa United had no reason to be complacent. The NNL team is coached by former international Dipreye Teibowei and they stunned Rangers International, Lobi Stars, and Rivers United on their way to the final.

Bayelsa United confirmed they mean business when Inikurogha Okardi smashed in from the right in the 19th minute. The loud ovation that greeted the goal was still on when Chinedu Ohanachom sent a pile driver past goalkeeper John Shaibu for the leveler.

Aliyu Abdullahi shot the Solid Miners in front in the 26th minute, but 10 minutes later, Emo James rose highest in the box to nod home a sweet equalizer for the Bayelsa boys.

 

The second period was a tight and tense affair that however produced no goal. In the penalty shootout, the boys from Bayelsa prevailed 4-3 to claim their first-ever national silverware.

Bayelsa United pocketed the sum of N25million for their triumph, with Nasarawa United earning N10million. Bayelsa Queens also secured N10million while FC Robo Queens returned to Lagos with N5million.

Bayelsa Queens’ Mary Anjor emerged the Top Scorer of the women’s competition and also claimed the Most Valuable Player award. In the men’s competition, the Top Scorer award went to Gafaar Olafimihan of 3SC while Nasarawa United goalkeeper Mohammed Galadima claimed the Most Valuable Player award.

Police Parade Alleged Masterminds Of Attack On Seriake Dickson’s Residence

 

The police in Bayelsa State have arrested the suspects behind the attack which was recently carried out on the residence of the former governor of the state, Seriake Dickson.

Commissioner of Police in the state, Mike Okoli stated this while addressing journalists in Yenogoa, the state capital.

Gunmen had earlier in November attacked the residence of former Governor in Sagbama Local Government Area of the state.

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A police inspector was killed while he was trying to repel the attack.

The police commissioner said following the attack, “We have been following the case diligently. I am happy to inform you that at the moment, five suspects connected to that incident are in our net.”

He added that the suspects confessed that they planned the attack.

Also, many other suspects were paraded for carrying out nefarious activities in the state. Large quantities of substances suspected to be Indian hemps, bag containing 200 live cartridges were also retrieved from the suspects.

Bye-Election: At Least Three Policemen Feared Killed As Boat Capsizes In Bayelsa

Bayelsa Govt House Photographer, One Other Shot Dead

 

A boat carrying some policemen to the southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, has capsized.

Channels Television gathered that they were reportedly traveling to the area to monitor the senatorial bye-election.

Although the police has yet to confirm the number of victims, at least three policemen are said to have drowned.

Read Also: INEC Conducts Bye-Elections In Lagos, 10 Other States

Bye-elections are currently holding in 11 states across the country, covering six senatorial districts and nine state constituencies.

While Lagos and Cross River are the only states where both senatorial and state assembly elections are being conducted, the other nine states are either holding senatorial or assembly elections.

INEC had postponed the elections earlier scheduled for October 31, following the #EndSARS protests and other security and environmental challenges.

Police Officer Dies While Repelling Gunmen Attack On Ex-Gov Dickson’s House

The crest of the Nigeria Police Force crest is on a police officer in Abuja on October 3rd, 2020 PHOTO: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV

 

A police inspector has died while repelling an attack on the residence of former Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, in Sagbama Local Government Area of the state.

According to a statement by Asinim Butswat, the police spokesperson in Bayelsa State, the officer, died “after sustaining gunshots injuries resulting from the fierce encounter with the gunmen.”

His corpse has been deposited at the mortuary.

Butswat explaining the incident said the gunmen struck on November 19 and came in three speedboats.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Kill District Head, Son In Zango Kataf, Two Others In Giwa LGA Kaduna

“Unknown gunmen in three speedboats who came through the Forcados River attempted to invade the residence of Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson at the riverine community of Toru-Orua, Sagbama Local Government Area, but were repelled by Policemen on duty.

“An Inspector of Police who sustained gunshot injuries resulting from the fierce encounter with the gunmen later died and his corpse has been deposited at the mortuary.

“The Command condoles with the family and relatives of the Inspector of Police who fought gallantly with his team to prevent the gunmen from invading the residence,” the statement read in part.

Also, the Commissioner of Police, Bayelsa State Command, Mike Okoli has visited the scene.

He said investigations have commenced following the unfortunate incident.

Lyon Finally Accepts Supreme Court Judgment, Urges Supporters To Be Law Abiding

 

Mr David Lyon, the ousted governor-elect of Bayelsa State, has finally accepted the ruling of the Supreme Court that nullified his victory at the November 16th, 2019 governorship election.

In a statement he personally signed and made available to reporters on Thursday, Lyon said he is aware of the extent to which the Apex Court’s decision has further dashed the hopes of Bayelsans “as it upturns the democratic mandate of the Bayelsa electorate”.

Lyon urged supporters of his political party and those who voted him to accept the verdict and maintain the peace.

READ ALSO: Court Declares Impeachment Of Kogi Ex-Deputy Governor Achuba Illegal

He stated that while they have a right to think the judgment was unjustice, they must shun all forms of violence or any conduct that threatens the peace and development of Bayelsa State.

“I hereby unequivocally state my decision to accept the Supreme Court verdict however distressing as it is, it is the decision of the Supreme Court, and we are all bound to accept the outcome as law-abiding citizens of this great country,” Mr Lyon said.

The ousted governor-elect thanked the leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC, at the state and national levels for their tenacity in upholding the ideals of constitutional democracy.

He appealed to all Bayelsans not to shy away from participating in the governance of the State for the common good and well-being of the people.

According to Mr Lyon, it is his resolve to continue to join forces with well-meaning individuals, institutions, and organisations towards bringing the much-needed development to Bayelsa State.

‘My Disqualification Is Distressing,’ Sacked Bayelsa Deputy Gov-Elect Heads To Supreme Court

The sacked deputy governor-elect in Bayelsa State, Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo has headed to the Supreme Court, describing his disqualification as distressing.

Degi-Eremienyo says he is challenging the court ruling that sacked him and David Lyon on the grounds that he presented forged certificate to the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC).

He also condemned any act of forgery or impersonation adding that he has never been associated with such.

READ ALSO: We Will Hold Sylva, Oshiomhole Responsible If Anything Happens To Odili – Rivers Govt

“The vent of my disqualification is distressing and traumatised to me personally. It is, of course, a greater trauma inflicted on my party, the governorship candidate and the good people of Bayelsa State who signified their choice of who should be their governor and deputy governor.

“It is this unsolicited assault on my personality and reputation by the judgement in question that has constrained me to chart this course of action.

“I condemn in strong terms all forms of forgery impersonation or criminality in any form by the political class and I have never been associated with same.”

Degi-Eremienyo insisted that the apex court never gave him an opportunity to defend his educational qualifications before concluding that they were forged.

He called on the police to investigate the allegations of forgery against him.

He concluded that all his certificates were acquired from Nigerian institutions which are all in existence to date.

The certificates, he added, can, therefore, be easily verified.

A five-man panel of the Supreme Court led by Justice Mary Peter-Odili had earlier in February ordered the INEC to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to the APC candidates after ruling that Degi-Eremienyo’s disqualification had infected the joint ticket with Lyon.

The Bayelsa election was held on November 16, 2019.

Nigerian Army Confirms Killing Of Four Soldiers In Bayelsa

 

The Nigerian Army has confirmed the killing of four soldiers by gunmen in Letugene, Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

This was disclosed in a statement on Wednesday by the spokesperson of Operation Delta Safe, Major Victor Olukoya.

The army explained that troops were on their routine duty in the area when they were ambushed by the gunmen on Sunday, February 16th leading to the death of the soldiers.

READ ALSO: Identity Of Youth Who Jumped From 3rd Mainland Bridge Confirmed

“Troops while carrying out their routine duty within its area of responsibility on Sunday 16 February 2020 at about 6:00 p.m. were ambushed by gunmen and killed.

“Four soldiers were killed in action. However, an investigation is ongoing to ascertain the person’s or groups behind the attack,” the statement read in part.

The army in the statement also denied online reports claiming that the troops invaded the community following the attack and killing of the soldiers.

“It is important to state here that contrary to an online report; the men of OPDS did not invade any community in Ekeremor LGA of Bayelsa state as a result of the incident.

“Please be informed that the Nigerian Military is an organised and disciplined force and all its operations are guided by codes of conduct and rules of engagement.”

It explained further that the Commander Operation Delta Safe along with the Commander 16 Brigade and Commander Sector 2, embarked on an operational visit to Letugene, and some other communities in the local government area after the incident and observed that the areas were peaceful.

Douye Diri Sworn In As Bayelsa Governor

 

The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the 2019 governorship election in Bayelsa State, Senator Duoye Diri, has been sworn in as governor.

His swearing-in comes a day after the Supreme Court sacked the former governor-elect of Bayelsa State, David Lyon, and his Deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo.

A five-man panel of the apex court led by Justice Mary Peter-Odili ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to withdraw the Certificate of Return that had been issued to the candidate of the All Progressives Congress as the winner of the November 16, 2019 governorship election.


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The court then ordered INEC to issue a fresh Certificate-of-Return to the candidate of the party with the next highest votes and with the required constitutional spread of votes in the results of the election, which was the PDP.

Hours before the swearing-in on Friday, INEC officially declared Diri as the winner of the election in the state.

He was sworn-in along with his Deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo.

While delivering his acceptance speech, the new governor asked Bayelsan’s to embrace each other in love and avoid hatred which he believes would only inhibit the growth and development of the state.

Bayelsa Election: Angry Protesters Attack Dickson’s Private Home

 

The personal home of the immediate past Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, was on Friday attacked by unknown protesters.

The attack comes just hours after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) issued a Certificate of Return to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, in the 2019 governorship election, Diri Douye.

Some angry protesters suspected to be loyal to the All Progressives Congress (APC) earlier in the day attacked the PDP secretariat in Yenagoa, the State capital, destroying properties.

Diri was issued the certificate of return following the Supreme Court ruling which sacked APC candidate, David Lyon as Bayelsa State governor-elect.

The INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, told journalists during a briefing in Abuja that Diri was declared the winner of the November 2019 election after top INEC officials met to review the results of the election, without the votes of the APC which have been voided by the court.

“The total votes cast after excluding those of the APC now stand at 146,999. PDP polled 143,172 and scored 25 percent as required by the law,” Yakubu said during the briefing.

See photos from the attack below…