Bayelsa Election: Police, INEC Officials Flee As Violence Erupts In Sagbama

 

Security operatives and electoral officials deployed at some polling units in Ward 5 within Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, fled on Saturday after fights broke out between supporters of various political parties. 

According to a Twitter post by an observer group, Situation Room, the fights broke out in polling units 1,5,6 and 7.

In its tweet, the Situation Room reported that ballot boxes were broken.

It further stated that some ballot boxes were snatched and others were thrown into the river.

READ ALSO: Bayelsa Election: Electoral Officials In Southern Ijaw Have Been Kidnapped – Dickson

The report from the Situation Room comes on the heels of claims by Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State that violence has marred the election in some parts of his state.

According to Governor Dickson, many electoral officials in Southern Ijaw and some other parts of Bayelsa State have been kidnapped.

Speaking after he cast his vote at his Polling Unit 5, Ward 2, Sagbama, the Governor accused security agencies of conniving with the All Progressives Congress to rig the state governorship election.

He said, “As we are speaking, in this day and age, gun-wielding militiamen, with the aid of security forces, have overrun hapless electoral officials.

“Most of the electoral officials in Southern Ijaw, as we speak, are kidnapped and held hostage.”

Governor Dickson said it is very sad that no election was held in Southern Ijaw.

He called on President Buhari to act and ensure that security operatives work in the best interest of the Bayelsa people.

“Way forward, I call on the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, even though he has decided to look the other way since 2015.

“The President has to wake to do something. This is not a democracy. The observers are here and they know what is going on.

”I call on the President to call the security forces to order. I call on the IG of Police to do his duty to protect the people of Bayelsa State.”

 

Gunmen Kidnap LG Chairman’s Father In Bayelsa

Gunmen Kidnap LG Chairman's Father In Bayelsa

 

Gunmen have kidnapped the father of the Chairman of Sagbama Local Government Area in Bayelsa State, Wellington Magbisa.

Channels Television gathered that the victim was whisked away by gunmen in the early hours of Sunday.

An eyewitness said the kidnappers numbering at least five men came heavily armed, broke into his residence and forcefully took him.

READ ALSOGombe Governorship Election Tribunal Receives Three Petitions

The police authorities in Bayelsa have confirmed the incident to Channels Television.

According to the Police Public Relations Officer, Butswat Asinim, the gunmen gained entrance through an unprotected window before they abducted the victim.

He said, ”Five men came in through an unprotected window, captured me and escaped through the waterways. All sister agencies have been alerted to rescue the victim and also arrest the captors.”

NBA Decries Endangered Justice Delivery In Bayelsa

NBA Decries Endangered Justice Delivery In Bayelsa The Yenagoa and Sagbama branches of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Bayelsa state, have raised an alarm over what they described as the denial of justice to the people of the region.

The Federal High Court and the Industrial High Court jointly addressed a press conference to inform the general public of their displeasure over the lack of legal activities at the Yenagoa division of both courts.

Hon. Justice Tersee Agbadu-Fishimi of National Industrial Court and Hon. Justice H. Nganjiwa of the Federal High Court, the judges of both courts which have been adjudged to be among the busiest in the country, are currently undergoing criminal investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), hence their absence to preside over sittings.

Members of the association said they have since made appeals to the Chief Justice of the Federation and the National Executive of the Nigerian Bar Association to quickly fill up the void created by the investigation.

Among the agitators, was also the Attorney General of Bayelsa State, Kemesuode Wodu, who called for the immediate resumption of legal activities at the two affected courts.

He stated that his office had made serious efforts at ensuring that legal functions resume.

Meanwhile, the father of Ese Oruru, a 14 year old who was alleged to have been abducted by Yinusa, expressed worry over the fact that the lack of legal activities at the court would further stall the court proceedings.

Reacting to the matter, the Bayelsa State government, advised citizens to continue to exercise patient as well as remain law abiding.

The government also called on relevant authorities to post new judges to preside over the courts while awaiting the conclusion of the investigation of the accused judges.

Nigerian Navy Hands Over Six Suspected Hijackers

Nigerian NavyThe Nigerian Navy has handed over six suspected persons arrested in connection with the hijack of MT Maximus to the Inspector General of Police’s special investigation panel.

The MT Maximus was hijacked by pirates off the coast of Ivory Coast on February 11.

The whistle blowers were the International Maritime Bureau, while the Nigerian Navy ship Okpabana and Sagbama was scrambled to search and rescue the ship.

It was forcefully boarded on February 17 at about 370 nautical miles off the coast of Nigeria.

During the arrest, one pirate was reportedly killed and six of them were arrested and the rescued ship is now in Lagos.

All Powers Come From God Alone – Gov. Dickson

DicksonGovernor Seriake Dickson has attributed his election victory to the people of Bayelsa State.

Speaking to Channels Television’s political correspondent, Seun Okinbaloye, Mr Dickson thanked the people for their support and vowed to implement more socio-economic reforms.

“We are very grateful to the people of Bayelsa for their abiding loyality, trust and confidence in me and in our party and on the government’s programmes that we have been able to execute in the past going to four years now.

“I believe that all powers come from God alone. I want to also use this opportunity to thank God almighty who has made it possible and at all times has enabled me to overcome challenges,” he said

Speaking on the challenges he faced during the election, Governor Dickson said that he was sure of victory from the beginning of the entire process, adding that getting the residents to vote for him was not the challenge.

“The challenge was the interposition of other factors which are also critical, crucial for political victory. I am a party in opposition in my state and we have a lot of issues to contend with in areas where I have no control, that was where the challenge came from. The challenge was never from the people.

“I have always had direct contact with the people and I know the people have always been by me. Do not forget I have contested several elections in this state and I have always won all, so I knew that this was not an election to be bothered about.

“I want to thank God, thank the people of Bayelsa for finding me worthy again and investing their confidence in spite of all those challenges and renewing my mandate.”

Mr Dickson refused to respond to allegation of irregularities raised by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the party agent’s immediate call for a rerun. “I do not respond to political propaganda. Elections have been declared, elections have been won and lost,” he said, although admitting that the election had lapses.

“I believe that INEC tried to do a good job. There were lapses here and there but generally speaking, INEC tried. I want to call for more support for INEC. From my experience in this exercise, INEC needs the support of all to improve on the card reader.

“The card reader is a right way to go, our nation made the right investment in it and I think we should work with INEC to perfect it so that you do not have any cases of people coming with armed hoodlums to hijack materials and then thinking that they will just fill the forms and return for collation. That is nonsensical, that is terrorism.

“That is what has taken place and you have been in this state, you are aware of the deaths that have taken place, those killed by hoodlums and thugs, those whose houses have been burnt.

“These are important issues I will like to work with the Federal Government to address, particularly the federal law enforcement agencies.

“We had a peaceful community attacked and razed down and no arrest was made. The hoodlum is known, those who sponsored it are known and it is like that all over.

“We cannot let that be and that cannot be the Nigeria we will build together. So I want to work with the Federal Government to ensure that peace, law and order as well as security return once again to Bayelsa.

APC Agent Calls Bayelsa Election An Abuse Of Process

APCThe agent of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the collation centre in Yenagoa, Mr Dennis Otiotio has condemned INEC’s announcement of Governor Seriake Dickson as winner of the Bayelsa election.

Speaking ton Sunday evening during Channels Television’s programme, Politics Today, Mr Otiotio described the decision to announce the results as a disregard for the electoral process.

He said, “The process started with an abuse of the process from the PDP to this point, even at this point, because provision 26 of the Electoral Act is very clear.

“It says that where the difference between the winner and runner up is less than total votes cancelled, the returning officer is not supposed to make a return.

“In this case, the total votes cancelled is about 53, 000 votes while the difference between PDP and APC is 48,146. In this circumstance, the returning officer is not supposed to declare any winner.

“We have about 10 National Commissioners and two Resident Commissioners here with him but he has gone ahead, in flagrant disregard to Section 26 of the Electoral Act, to declare the winner.

“We have made protest of several issues; the undue discretional powers exercised by the ad-hoc staff in cancelling the areas where APC won. Secondly, the process of delivering the materials, the hijacking, the widespread violence that took place in Ekeremo, especially the Ward 12 materials that were hijacked, in Southern Ijaw, several materials were hijacked, they never arrived at their destination, and results were filled and brought here.”

Mr Otiotio, who said that he had refused to append his signature on the result, further claimed that a rerun should have been ordered in places where election was cancelled.

“What the returning officer should have done was to order for a rerun in the areas that were cancelled because they cancelled a total of 53,000 votes while the difference between PDP and APC is 48,000.

“When they said people should come and sign (you saw me), I went up, I did not sign and I told them ‘tell the board what was the total number of votes cancelled so that everybody will know’ but they refused to announce the total number of votes cancelled.

“If you are following, you will see that local government by local government, they were announcing the number of votes cancelled and when you sum them up, you will get 53,000.

“The thing was a trap from the beginning, it was designed from the beginning to fail, to rig APC out, and it was designed from the beginning to make PDP win,” he said.

The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Seriake Dickson was on Sunday, January 10, 2016, declared winner of the Bayelsa State governorship election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Mr Dickson polled 134,998 votes to emerge winner of the election while the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Timipre Sylva, scored 86,852 votes to place second.

Dickson Wins Bayelsa Governorship Election

DicksonThe candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Seriake Dickson has been declared winner of the Bayelsa State governorship election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Mr Dickson polled 134,998 votes to emerge winner of the election. Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Timipre Sylva, scored 86,852 votes to place second.

“Henry Dickson Seriake, having satisfied the requirements of the law and scored the highest number of votes, is hereby declared the winner and is returned elected. This is signed by the returning officer dated this 10th day of January 2016,” the Returning Officer said.

 

After taking results from four local government areas where governorship rerun election was held in Bayelsa State, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) commenced the collation of the final results in the early hours of Sunday between 12:00am and 2:00am local time.

After the results from Ogbia were announced, the electoral body said it would take a break and reconvene in the morning by 11:00am.

In the declared results, the All Progressives Congress (APC) scored 448 votes in Yenagoa LGA while the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) polled 839.

In Brass LGA, APC had 1,679 and the PDP got 5. In Sagbama LGA, APC scored 119 , PDP, 180 while APC had 139 in Ogbia LGA with PDP polling 1,290 votes.

On resumption, it was declared that in Ekeremor Local Government Area, the PDP polled a total of 2,695 votes, while the APC recorded 257 votes.

In Nembe, the PDP had 1,160 votes while the APC polled 1, 400 votes.

The result for Southern Ijaw was finally announced on Sunday evening around 7:00PM local time. The PDP scored a total of 23,081 votes, while APC scored 10,216.

The collation officer also reported that elections did not take place in Kolana Ward 17 because voting materials arrived very late and had to be returned.

“Abuse Of Process”

Meanwhile, the agent of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the collation centre in Yenagoa, Mr Dennis Otiotio has condemned INEC’s announcement of Governor Seriake Dickson as winner of the Bayelsa election.

Speaking on Sunday evening during Channels Television’s programme, Politics Today, Mr Otiotio described the decision to announce the results as a disregard for the electoral process.

“The process started with an abuse of the process from the PDP to this point, even at this point, because provision 26 of the Electoral Act is very clear.

“It says that where the difference between the winner and runner up is less than total votes cancelled, the returning officer is not supposed to make a return.

“In this case, the total votes cancelled is about 53, 000 votes while the difference between PDP and APC is 48,146. In this circumstance, the returning officer is not supposed to declare any winner,” he said.

INEC had revised its guidelines for the re-run of the governorship election in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

The Commission said all the parties had given their consent to the revised guidelines, which it believes would help to fast-track the exercise on Saturday, January 9.

According to the new document, accreditation and voting will go on simultaneously.

“Severe Militant Activities”

The INEC had in December 2015 declared the Bayelsa election inconclusive after it rescheduled the governorship election in Southern Ijaw for January 9.

Professor Mustapha Leki announced the rescheduled election at the headquarters of INEC in Yenagoa, the capital of the State.

He said the INEC experienced major disturbances and challenges in a number of places, especially the Southern Ijaw Local Government Area.

“These were occasioned as a result of severe militant activities. As a result of this development and working in conjunction with security agencies, our first concern is to take steps to stabilise the situation to ensure the safety of electoral officials and the security of materials,” he told reporters.

After INEC rescheduled the election, the major candidates – the incumbent Governor, Seriake Dickson of the Peoples Democratic Party and the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Timipre Sylva – expressed displeasure with the circumstance that led to the cancellation of election in the area.

While the incumbent governor said he had set up a judicial commission of enquiry to examine the alleged violence and thuggery during the governorship election, the APC candidate said the action of the election umpire was a rape on democracy that had denied the people of Bayelsa the right to choose their leaders.

Bayelsa Rerun Election: APC, PDP Agents Disagree

bayelsaIt has been quite hectic in Bayelsa State where agents of political parties are at loggerheads over results so far released by the returning officer in the Bayelsa supplementary elections.

It has been drama at the collation centre where agents of the PDP and APC have made several allegations of malpractice.

One of the agents also tried to provoke the returning officer. But he calmly managed the situation.

After the announcement of the results from polling units in Ekeremor Local Government Area, the APC’s agent described the process as flawed.

He said his party had written a petition detailing electoral malpractices, and demanded that the state returning officer attend to the petition first.

However, the PDP agent insisted that the APC had hijacked the votes they scored in the local government and demanded that they should be cancelled.

In Nembe Local Government Area, results were cancelled in three units of Kolo Asiri ward.

According to the INEC returning officer for Nembe, the cancellation in two of the units was owing to non-use of the card reader, while one unit was cancelled because of over-voting.

The APC agent objected to the reason of card-reader failure given for cancellation of the results in those units. He insisted that the local government collation had exercised undue jurisdiction in cancelling the results.

Bayelsa Rerun Election: INEC Announces Ekeremor, Nembe Results

bayelsaOnly one local government area’s result is remaining as INEC gets set to announce the final result of the rerun governorship election in Bayelsa State.

The electoral umpire, INEC, on Sunday resumed the collation of the final results after it took a break to re-convene.

In Ekeremor Local Government Area, the PDP polled a total of 2,695 votes, while the APC recorded 257 votes.

In Nembe, the PDP had 1,160 votes while the APC polled 1, 400 votes.

The results from Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State are still being collated by the INEC officials.

Election Controversies

Meanwhile, the announcement of results from the remaining local government areas in the Bayelsa rerun polls have been dogged by controversy at the collation centre.

After the announcement of the results from polling units in Ekeremor Local Government Area, the APC’s agent described the process as flawed.

He said his party had written a petition detailing electoral malpractices, and demanded that the state returning officer attend to the petition first.

However, the PDP agent insisted that the APC had hijacked the votes they scored in the local government and demanded that they should be cancelled.

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In Nembe Local Government Area, results were cancelled in three units of Kolo Asiri ward.

According to the INEC returning officer for Nembe, the cancellation in two of the units was owing to non-use of the card reader, while one unit was cancelled because of over-voting.

The APC agent objected to the reason of card-reader failure given for cancellation of the results in those units. He insisted that the local government collation had exercised undue jurisdiction in cancelling the results.

 

Bayelsa Re-run Election: INEC To Announce Winner On Sunday

Bayelsa electionAfter taking results from four local government areas where governorship re-run election was held in Bayelsa State, the Independent National Electoral Commission said it will reconvene later in the day to conclude the process.

Officials of the electoral body that handled elections in Brass, Yenagoa, Sagbama and Ogbia Local Government Areas announced the results in the early hours of Sunday – between 12:00am and 2:00am local time.

After the results from Ogbia were announced the electoral body said it would take a break and reconvene in the morning by 11:00am.

 

In the declared results, the All Progressives Congress scored 448 votes in Yenagoa LGA while the Peoples Democratic Party polled 839. In Brass LGA, APC had 1,679 and the PDP got 5. In Sagbama LGA, APC scored 119 , PDP, 180 while APC had 139 in Ogbia LGA with PDP polling 1,290 votes.

Results are expected from Southern Ijaw and some other polling units in two other local government areas – Kolokuma/Opokuma and Nembe – to conclude the election that was declared inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) after the initial poll on December 5.

The Southern Ijaw Local Government Election was cancelled on the December 7, 2015, due to violence, ballot box snatching and stuffing, harassment and abduction of electoral officials.

Southern Ijaw Local Government has a total of 120, 827 registered voters, 425 Polling Units and five Voting Points.

Thirty-eight thousand registered voters in 102 Polling Units across six Local Governments – Brass, Ekeremor, Nembe, Sagbama, Yenagoa and Ogbia – also participate in the election to conclude the Bayelsa State governorship election earlier scheduled for Saturday, December 5, 2015.

During the collation, some party agents raised issues with the process in Brass Local Government Area, citing cases of malpractices and irregularities.

A party agent called for the cancellation of the election in Brass.

Responding to issues raised, the Returning Officer said all complaints should be forwarded to the commission’s office, promising that they would be addressed accordingly.

Earlier, Channels Television’s correspondent in Bayelsa, Seun Okinbaloye, said election materials arrived early at some polling units in Yenagoa, but other areas such as Southern Ijaw got election materials late.

INEC had promised early delivery of materials to polling units where voting took place.

To fast-track the process, INEC revised its election guideline on Friday, making it possible for accreditation and voting to go on simultaneously.

Bayelsa State Holds Governorship Re-Run Election

taraba electio has been termed as the voice of the peopleA re-run election holds today, (Saturday) in Southern Ijaw and six other local government areas in Bayelsa State to conclude the governorship election earlier declared inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Ahead of the election, INEC revised its guidelines for the re-run, making it possible for accreditation and voting to go on simultaneously.

An official of the electoral body, Mustapha Lecky, said that the decision would help fast-track the exercise.

Mr Lecky told reporters that all the parties had given their consent to the revised guidelines.

According to the new document, accreditation and voting will go on simultaneously while ad-hoc officials, observers and journalists are to be given life jackets because of the terrain.

Materials had earlier been distributed to Registration Area Center to make room for easy movement of the materials to polling units.

“There is a lot of benefit in doing that. This means that we will conclude the polling quite early,” Mr Lecky said in optimism.

According to the INEC official, the polling units will open by 8:00am, with a plan to close voting by 2:00pm local time.

Security has also been beefed up with the police deploying more officials in the state.

The Southern Ijaw Local Government Election was cancelled on the December 7, 2015, due to violence, ballot box snatching and stuffing, harassment and abduction of electoral officials.

Southern Ijaw Local Government has a total of 120, 827 registered voters, 425 Polling Units and five Voting Points.

Thirty-eight thousand registered voters in 102 Polling Units across six Local Governments – Brass, Ekeremor, Nembe, Sagbama, Yenagoa and Ogbia – will also participate in the election to conclude the Bayelsa State governorship election earlier scheduled for Saturday, December 5, 2015.

Dickson Gets Accredited, Experiences Card Reader Malfunction

dicksonGovernor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has been accredited alongside his wife and mother.

The Governor whose Permanent Voters Card (PVC) was authenticated by the smart card reader expressed his displeasure with the failure of the card reader in authenticating his finger prints and that of most voters in his polling unit.

The Governor who got accredited at Sagbama 06, ward 2, Oruerware compound in Toru- orua community by 10:45am also complained about the slow pace involved in accrediting a voter.

Even though the elections in Sagbama Local Government Areas has been very peaceful, reports from other Local Government Areas in the state are worrisome as there is reported electoral violence in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area and Nembe Local Government Area of the State.