- Gov defeats Sylva by 48,146 votes
â€¢ Civil society decries violence
IT was a huge relief for the residents of Bayelsa State yesterday.The state governorship election which kept them on edge since December 5, 2016, leading to the loss of lives came to an end. Governor Seriake Dickson of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) emerged winner, defeating his closest rival,Â Timipre Sylva of the All progressives Congress (APC).
According to results announced by the State Collation/ Returning Officer, Prof. Zana Akpagu, Dickson won with 134,998 votes as against Sylva who polled 86,852 votes.
PDP defeated APC by a total of 48,146 votes in the election that had a total of 232,167 votes cast with 225,520 valid votes and 6,647 rejected.
Huge relief at the conclusion of the tension-soaked and violence-racked polls notwithstanding, there were tears yesterday for the four soldiers and two policemen killed in Ekeremor town during the conduct of the supplementary election at the weekend.
The six were among the people felled by bullets in some parts of the state, during the Saturday bye-election. A source revealed that the bodies were first moved to Bomadi General Hospital Mortuary, in neighbouring Delta State, but were later relocated.
Unconfirmed reports said that while the remains of the late security officers were relocated, the civilians among them may have been buried.
Meanwhile, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, yesterday Â decried reports of violence and deaths trailing the rescheduled governorship election in Southern Ijaw Local Council and other parts of the state.
Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, Goveror of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose and his Rivers State counterpart, Nyesom Wike hailed the result of the election, saying the will of the people had prevailed.
Saraki in a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, said it was unacceptable that an election meant to produce a governor for the state was turned into a theatre of war with attendant loss ofÂ lives and property.
â€œI call on the security agencies to quickly end the bloodbath and also ensure that those responsible for the violence are arrested and prosecuted irrespective of the political affiliation,â€ Saraki stated.
The Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room (Situation Room) had also yesterday , issued a statement, decrying the violence just as it acknowledged efforts of INEC and security personnel who conducted their work at times under enormous pressure, threats to their safety, and challenges from very difficult terrain.
The statement also, while commending voters for participating in the supplementary elections despite the tension in the state over the days preceding the election, however, registered profound disappointment in the conduct of major political parties were before and during polling there have been instances of persistent allegations against INEC and security services; violent incidents in which full-time and ad hoc INEC staff have been abducted and threatened in the course of their duty as well as violence between party supporters, which have resulted in a number of casualties that are certain to include innocent bystanders among others
There was mild drama at the Yenagoa Local Government Headquarters collation center as the agents of the two main parties disagreed on the election results.
Prior to the announcement about 8: 36 p.m. by the state returning officer, there were altercations between the APC and PDP agents over cancellations of results particularly in Southern Ijaw local council of the state.
No sooner had the returning officer for the Ekeremor Local Government polls, announced the results in the area, did the APC agent, Dennis Otiotio, raise an objection to the cancellation of about 6, 600 votes by the electoral body.
The PDP agent at the venue, Chief Alfred Agbedi, also caused a stir when to the consternation of his opponent and those present at the venue, demanded an outright cancellation of the 257 votes recorded for APC.
Agbedi argued that APC thugs had carted away all the votes that belonged to his party and had turned them around for themselves.