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BAYELSA: Election Undercurrents As Winners, Losers Emerge

  • Written by  John Odhe
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BAYELSA: Election Undercurrents As Winners, Losers Emerge

APC's Sunny-Goli Wins Brass/Nembe Fed. Constituency

The member representing Brass Constituency 1 in the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Israel Sunny-Goli has been declared winner of the Brass/Nembe Federal House of Representatives election.

Sunny-Goli of the All Progressives Congress, APC was declared winner by the returning officer Prof. Lawrence Ohale on Monday at the INEC office in Brass, who stated the lawmaker satisfied all requirements and scored the highest number of votes.

He won with 41,150 votes as against 19,279 votes scored by his closest rival and candidate of the PDP, Mrs Marie Ebikake.

Speaking to newsmen shortly after he was declared winner, Sunny-Goli commended the professionalism and neutrality of the security operatives who being conscious of their statutory responsibility did all they could to protect the people and safeguard their rights during the electoral process.

He also commended his opponent, Marie Ebikake for her courage and bravery and promised to work with her to move the constituency forward in the interest of the state. "I will carry her along and work with her as my mother", stated.

The lawmaker debunked rumours making the rounds on social media about the election results which came in from Nembe Local Government Area and stressed that his supporters did not abduct any police officer but were only insisting that the results that should be collated in Brass could not be forcefully taken to Yenagoa on the orders of the state Commissioner of Police.

Protest At INEC Office In Twon Brass

Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for Brass/Nembe Federal Constituency, Mrs. Marie Ebikake led hundreds of her supporters to the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Twon Brass, Brass local government area to protest alleged smuggling of elections results from Nembe Basambiri to INEC office in Brass.

Ebikake, who spoke to newsmen on Sunday accused the APC of smuggling results from Nembe Basambiri where, according to her, elections did not hold.

She called on the electoral umpire to cancel all results sent from the said community to give room for a free, fair, credible and acceptable elections.

"We came to INEC to protest because we got information that they have smuggled in election results from Nembe Basambiri where elections did not hold.

"The most alarming situation is that a former party secretary of the All Progressives Congress was the one who brought the materials, not accompanied by collation officer, so we came to make them know that it is unacceptable to us," she said.

Army Arrest suspected Thugs, Recovers Arms

Men of the  Operation Safe Conduct and others attached to the 5 Battalion and 16 Brigade of the Nigerian Army  have arrested 15 armed men suspected to be political thugs at Ikebiri 1 in Southern Ijaw local government area of Bayelsa State.

According to a statement by the16 Brigade's Public Relations Officer, Major Jonah Danjuma, the operation  led to the recovery of large cache of arms and ammunition.

Major Danjuma said the armed men, suspected to be political thugs were planning to disrupt the presidential and National Assembly elections in the Southern Ijaw Local Government Area in Bayelsa State.

According to him, items recovered from them include one General Purpose Machine Gun, two 200 horse-power speedboats and a large quantity of ammunition.

Other recovered items were 16 mobile phones, seven hand-held motorola radio, battery chargers and four identity cards, among others.

The army emphasized its resolve to ensure a seamless conduct of the general election in the state, with support from other security agencies.

The statement said those arrested would be handed over to the police for further interrogation and prosecution.

PDP, APC Trade Accusations

The two major contending political parties, PDP and APC, are trading tirades over who is responsible for the violence that rocked the presidential and National Assembly elections in Bayelsa State which led to lose of lives and maiming of several others.

Southern Ijaw and Nembe local government areas were said to be the hotbed of violence before and during the polls with snatching of ballots recorded.

On Friday evening, sporadic shootings were heard at Nembe Basambiri in Nembe local government area of the state while in Southern Ijaw, some armed men in army uniforms stormed Oporoma, headquarters of the local government, allegedly shooting and killing two PDP members.

State chairman of the PDP, Mr. Moses Cleopas had blamed the leadership of the APC in connivance with security agents for causing the mayhems.

But the APC has asked the general public to disregard the allegations made by the ruling party in the state, stating that it was the PDP's stock in trade to always cry wolf whereas it was responsible for all manner of violence in the state.

Leader of APC and former governor of the state, Chief Timipre Sylva, who spoke to newsmen after casting his vote at Okpoama in Brass LGA, said he only heard of shooting in Nembe and Opolo in Yenagoa the state capital but never had any hand in them.

A statement by the state publicity secretary, Mr. Doifie Buokoribo also debunked the allegations, stating that the PDP was suffering from its poor outings at the polls.

"Governor Seriake Dickson is raising a false alarm about violence during Saturday's presidential election in the state to try to conceal his own violent attitude to the poll.

"Dickson and his supporters in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were to blame for any crisis during the election in the state following their groundwork, which they unsuccessfully tried to mask. 

“Dickson was quoted by some online media of accusing the APC of sponsoring violence, without any proof, and purely based on hearsay, even by his own admission.

“We have always known that crying wolf is a fancy act performed with outrageous ease by Dickson. But accusing APC of violence after openly unleashing his security strike force, Operation Doo Akpo, on the state to intimidate the electorate during the Presidential and National Assembly elections is the height of indecency by a governor who ought to be the state's chief security officer.

 “We advise Dickson to retrace his treacherous ways and join decent Nigerians in advancing the course of democracy, Buokoribo said.”  

Apathy In Brass

In Twon Brass, in the Brass local government area of the state, the exercise witnessed low turnout of voter's.

As at 10 am, polling units visited by our correspondent recorded scanty voters.

Some of the electorate told TNN that they were sceptical following harrowing security experience they had witnessed during past elections in the area.

Others, however, attributed the voter apathy to the postponement of the elections which were scheduled to hold last Saturday.

According to a voter, Mrs. Inatimi David, "some people thought there would be insecurity as usual. They thought there will be shooting during the elections as we used to hear gunshots anytime there is election in Brass".

"That is why some people decided to stay in the comfort of their homes because of the fear of the unknown but I thank God that the whole place is calm and peaceful"

Ebikake Bemoans ineffective Card Readers, As Sunny-Goli Hails Exercise

Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for Nembe/Brass Federal Constituency, Mrs. Marrie Ebikake on Saturday expressed dissatisfaction over malfunctioning of card readers in her Ward 1 polling Unit 19 where she voted.

While commending the security agencies for providing a peaceful atmosphere for elections in 15 years, Ebikake lamented that the card reader could only read her thumb but could not authenticate her finger prints.

She said she was allowed to vote because the card reader was able to verify her permanent voter's card.

"I am happy with the peaceful atmosphere but I have minus for the operatives of the process. They are too slow. It's glaring, the way they are doing it, I don't think we can get20 people to vote today.

"If not for the assistance of the Supervising Presiding Officer, SPO, I wouldn't have been given the opportunity to vote.

However, the APC candidate, Sunny-Goli expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the polls, stating that he was sure of victory.

"I am very sure of victory for myself and my senatorial candidate and Mr. President. You can see that the voting process is going on in a peaceful manner. I want to commend INEC and the security agencies for living up to our expectations.

Shot Govt House Photographer still alive

The photographer attached to the Bayelsa state Government House, Mr. Reginald Dei, who was hit by bullet at his Yekorogha community in Southern Ijaw local government area of the state during election violence on Saturday is still alive.

The news of the deaths of Dei and a PDP ward chairman in Southern Ijaw went viral on Saturday with the PDP and the state government accusing the opposition APC of unleashing mayhem on the electorate.

A radio announcement on the state owned Glory FM 97.1 on Monday said Reginald Dei was alive and responding to treatment at a hospital in Yenagoa, the state capital.

It could be recalled that gunmen stormed Yekorogha community during the presidential and National Assembly elections on Saturday, shooting and maiming people and in the process, a bullet hit the government house photographer who was reported dead on the way to the hospital.

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