Observers Laud INEC’s Conduct Of Bayelsa poll

A coalition of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, accredited observer groups for the Bayelsa State governorship election, yesterday, declared the just concluded poll as transparent, free, fair and credible, saying it complied with the relevant electoral laws and global best practice.

The coalition, in a communiqué in Yenagoa and read by Dr. Gabriel Nwabu, President, Centre For Credible Leadership and Citizens, recommended the Bayelsa poll as a model for other elections in the country.

He said, “There was a remarkable improvement in the performance of the Card Readers in terms of authenticating Permanent Voters’ Cards and resolving issues associated with over voting, snatching of ballot boxes, and manipulation of election.

“We, as a coalition of INEC accredited observer groups hereby adjudge that although the process was characterized by massive violence, thuggery, ballot box snatching, it must be noted that INEC is an electoral management body and not a security/law enforcement agency.


Consequently, the entire process as demonstrated by INEC was transparent, free fair and credible.”


Credit : Vanguard

Bayelsa Election: APC Condemns Violence, Killings, Expresses Reservations About Conduct

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has condemned the violence and killings in the just-concluded supplementary governorship election in Bayelsa on Saturday.


The APC Chairman, Chief John Oyegun, condemned the killings while answering questions from State House correspondents in Abuja on Monday night after a meeting of the party’s Central Working Committee.


The meeting was attended by President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.


Oyegun also said that the party had “a lot of reservations’’ about the conduct of the election and would, therefore, “examine what has come out very carefully and decide the next line of action’’.


“The Bayelsa election has come and gone. We have very deep regrets that there was so much blood that was spilt in the process.


“We have a lot of reservations, some of which our candidate has very eloquently expressed.


“We are going to examine what has come out very carefully and decide the next line of action.’’


On the ongoing fight against corruption, Oyegun said that the party was not in any way apologetic over the arrest and interrogation of some politicians and bigwigs across the country.


According to him, there is a lot of rot in the system, which the present administration is determined to cleanse no matter whose ox is gored.


The APC chairman also said it was not true that the anti-corruption crusade was meant to decimate the opposition, especially the top members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).


“The APC is not in any way apologetic. We promised change and there is a lot of rot in the system.


“This must be cleansed and whoever and whatever ox is being gored, where ever the tree is going to fall, so, let it be.


“We must get use to the fact that in the process of cleansing this nation, there is going to be a lot of bullets to bite.


“The APC has not been in office at national level for the last 10 to 16 years. So, the issue of whether somebody is PDP or not PDP does not arise.


“We have a nation to cleanse. The president has committed himself to that and that and we should fight it whatever way it comes. We are not being apologetic about that at all.


“It has nothing to do with witch-hunting. It just happens that the dramatis personae of the period all happened to be on one side of the political divide.’’


The chairman stated that the APC-led administration will continue to encourage constructive opposition that will keep the government on its toes in discharging its responsibilities.


He said that the APC-led government had no intention of turning Nigeria into a one party state.


“We have absolutely no intention to pressurise any group or any nation towards a one-party state.


“It is not in our interest so to do because we need a vibrant opposition.


“We need an opposition that will contribute constructively to national discourse that will make us sit up and deliver to the people what we promised.


“But, the task is enormous and if anybody is ready to help to discharge these responsibilities, he is most welcome.’’



Oyegun said that during the meeting at the state house, the party leadership had briefed the President and vice-president on the state of the party and its challenges.


He said that the party would soon be facing about 78 different electoral exercises following various court judgments across the country.


“As of today, we have 78 elections to contend with, mostly arising from court actions following the national elections.


“And we also took the opportunity to be briefed on the state of the nation and the great work the administration is doing in the face of very, very intense challenges to tackle these issues and these problems.


“So, we are going away fulfilled, happy that government has substantially blocked the leakages in the system.


Oyegun said that the party was looking forward to the early passage of the 2016 budget by the National Assembly to ensure its smooth implementation.





IG Deploys 5000 Policemen For Bayelsa Governorship Re-run Election

The Inspector-General of Police (I-G), Mr Solomon Arase has deployed over 5,000 policemen for the Nov. 9 Bayelsa governorship Supplementary election in seven Local Government Areas.

This is contained in statement issued by the Force spokesperson, Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police, ACP Olabisi Kolawole, in Abuja on Wednesday.

It said that adequate security logistics and manpower have been strategically deployed to achieve a most conducive electioneering atmosphere.

The statement said that a Deputy Inspector-General of Police had also been deployed to supervise security arrangements during the election.

It stated that he would be assisted by an Assistant Inspector-General of Police and three Commissioners of Police.

The statement said that extensive security operations had began in the state, including the deployment of detectives and surveillance helicopters for aerial patrols.

It said that gunboats and speed boats would complement the Police Marine Unit to convey security personnel and election materials to riverine communities.

The statement said that armed personnel from Police Mobile Force, Special Protection Unit as well as Counter Terrorism Unit were on ground to support the ongoing security operations in the State.

It stated that the I-G had placed a ban on movements in and out of the LGAs where elections would hold with effect from 6 a.m. to 6p.m. on the day of the election.

The statement said that the measure was to restrict the influx and movement of undesirable and criminal elements in and out of the affected Local Government Areas before and during the election.

It enjoined the citizens to come out enmasse to exercise their civic right, as the Police, assisted by other security agencies, would provide adequate security for them.

The statement advised them to shun violence and all forms of thuggery, as the full weight of the law would take its course on anyone apprehended.

It regretted any inconveniences that road users and the general public may suffer as a result of this restriction.



Credit : Vanguard

Bayelsa: PDP Vows Not To Accept Result If Election Not Free, Fair

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday said it would not accept anything short of free, fair and credible election in Saturday’s supplementary poll in the governorship election in Bayelsa.
This is contained in a statement signed by the party’s National Publicity S ecretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, and issued in Abuja.
The supplementary poll will be conducted in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area where the exercise was cancelled following widespread violence.
Metuh said that PDP had again rallied its formation in the state, particularly in Southern Ijaw, to use all means necessary in a democracy to resist any move to rig the supplementary election.
He claimed that Southern Ijaw was a well-known PDP stronghold and that the party would never accept any results that did not reflect the will of the people.
“Let it be known to all that the PDP is fully mobilised for Saturday’s supplementary election.
“Our members across Southern Ijaw have been stationed in every polling unit, every collation centre and every exit and entry point in the area, and have been directed to use all means available in a democracy to stop APC in its trail.
“Southern Ijaw Local Government is a well-known stronghold of the PDP and we will not in any way accept anything short of free, fair and credible election, abundantly reflecting the will of the people.
“Anything to the contrary will attract terrible consequences.
“We restate our resolve that never again would the PDP allow itself to be manipulated out in any election at any level, no matter the intimidation by the APC-led administration,’’ he said.
Metuh said that the party had called on its members and supporters not to leave the polling area after casting their votes but to remain alert within the distance provided by the law.
He also called on them to go ahead to use all means necessary to defend and protect their votes, should there be any attempt by anybody to rig the process.
“The PDP will intently monitor and keep records of activities, including all votes cast in every polling unit in Southern Ijaw and our members will not hesitate to unleash a legitimate anger, if at any point in collation, fictitious figures appear.”




Bayelsa: PDP Agrees With INEC Over Election Cancellation, APC Kicks

Rep. Fred Agbedi, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), agent at the collation centre in Yenagoa has said the cancellation of election in Southern Ijaw Local Government of Bayelsa was in order.
He said the election in the area was marred by violence, intimidation and snatching of election materials.
Agbedi (PDP-Ekeremor/Southern Ijaw Federal Constituency 1), said election should not be conducted in an insecure atmosphere, where voters could not exercise their civic rights.
The All Progressives Congress (APC), however has rejected the cancellation of election in Southern Ijaw Local Government.
Mr Denis Otiotio, the party’s agent at the collation centre, said it objected to the cancellation because they were on course for victory.
He said “the cancellation of the election in Southern Ijaw is an attempt to manipulate the result in favour of a particular party,” he said.
Meanwhile, President of Ijaw Youths Council, Mr Udengs Eradiri said the decision to cancel the rescheduled governorship election in Southern Ijaw may have averted crises.
He told NAN in Yenagoa that the tension generated by the rescheduled poll could have turned to an ugly situation.
“We expect honourable conduct of a new election on a date to be fixed.
“We are also happy that the Independent National Electoral Commission lived up to expectation and should continue to be an unbiased umpire,” he said.
Eradiri commended international and local observers for insisting that the right thing should be done to ensure free and fair election.



INEC Declares It’s Decision On Bayelsa Election

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has cancelled the elections which held in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

INEC says the polls were marred by several electoral malpractices especially ballot box snatching and thuggery.

The situation in Southern Ijaw, according to INEC, renders the election inconclusive.

The commission says a new date for fresh elections in the local government will be announced soon.

The collation of results in the Bayelsa governorship election resumed on Monday at the Collation Centre of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Yenagoa, the capital of the state.

The results from seven local government areas have been collated. On Sunday, results from five local government areas – Brass, Ekeremor, Kolokuma/Opokuma, Sagbama and Yenagoa were announced by INEC’s returning officers, while Nembe and Ogbia were added on Monday.

Election in the Southern Ijaw Local Government was rescheduled to Sunday owing to major disturbances and challenges experienced by the electoral body.

The Sunday election, however, started late because of the peculiarity of the riverine area and the challenge of securing electoral officials and materials which eventually arrived late.

Earlier in the evening, there were also reports that ex-militants had disrupted the election in Amassoma ward of Ijaw South Local Government Area.

The militants carrying firearms were said to have chased away the voters and INEC officials conducting the exercise in the area.

INEC’s decision to cancel the Southern Ijaw election, which renders the entire election inconclusive, had been predicted by an election observer, Abiodun Ajijola, who warned that owing to the violence in the region it could be impossible to declare a winner without results from Southern Ijaw LGA which has 425 polling units.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Bayelsa Election: Candidates Embark On Final Campaigns

Less than a week to the Bayelsa governorship election, key contestants have embarked on final campaigns.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Bayelsa State, Mr Timipre Sylva, has taken his campaign to Otuokpoti and Ayaiama communities.

Over the weekend, the people pledged their support for his candidacy and demanded more development projects in their communities if he wins the December 5 governorship election.

Mr Sylva reminded the two communities of his records of development and assured them that more would come if he is voted into office.

Some beneficiaries of his first term in office seized the opportunity to thank him for touching their lives and prayed that he would return to touch their lives more.

Credit: ChannelsTV

INEC To Distribute PVCs In Kogi, Bayelsa From Nov. 6

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it would commence the distribution of Permanent Voter Card (PVC) to eligible voters in Kogi and Bayelsa on Friday.

Deputy Director of Publicity in the commission, Mr Nick Dazang, made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Abuja.

Dazang said that the exercise would commence Kogi on Friday and end on November 11, and run from November 13 to November 19 in Bayelsa.

He said that the distribution would take place at ward level and would be for only registered voters, running from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily.

“The distribution of PVCs is for voters whose biometric was captured during the just-concluded Continues Voter Registration (CVR) by INEC in the two states.

“It is also opened to those who registered before but are yet to collect their PVCs,” Dazang said.

He therefore urged registered voters in both states, who were yet to collect their PVCs, to use the opportunity to do so before the election date.

He stressed that nobody would be allowed to vote without PVCs.

“We also call on our stakeholders, including the political parties, media and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to sensitise people to the exercise in the two states.

“There is the need for eligible voters to collect their cards as well as participate fully in the elections.

“On the part of INEC, we are putting in place all the machinery to educate the people on the collection date, and every other thing expected of them before, during and after the election,” Dazang said.

He restated that collection of PVC was free, warning that it was criminal for anybody to ask for money before given out PVC.

“Members of the public should take note of any of our staff that asks for money and report such to the commission for appropriate punishment,” he advised.

Dazang assured that the commission would conduct free and credible election in both states as well as provide a level playing ground to all political parties participating in the elections.

Bayelsa Poll: Oshiomhole, Tambuwal, Ambode To Campaign For Sylva

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, on Monday mandated Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole and six other APC governors to deliver Bayelsa State to the party in the December 5 governorship election in the state.

Oyegun, who spoke while inaugurating a 38- member high powered Bayelsa Governorship Campaign Council at the party secretariat in Abuja, said Bayelsa is a state where the party wants to prove a point, saying “change must come to Bayelsa State.”

The other governors tasked with the mandate of winning the Bayelsa governorship election for the party are Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto) who will act as deputy chairman, Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos), Kashim Shettima ( Borno), Owelle Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Abdullahi Umar Ganduje (Kano)and Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara).

Other members of the committee are the Deputy National Chairman, South, Engr. Segun Oni, National Secretary, Mai Mala Buni, National Vice Chairman, South West, South- South, South East and North West, Chief Pius Oluwole Akinyelure, Prince Hilliard Etta, Hon. Emma Eneukwu and Inuwa Abdulkadir respectively.

Inaugurating the committee, Oyegun said the party is expecting all its 22 governors to be part of the campaign, adding that “what is important is that seven governors have volunteered to give up their time and energy to serve as members of the campaign council.


Credit : The Nation