Monday, December 7, 2015 5:06 pm
There is no victor yet in the governorship election held in Bayelsa State at the weekend.
The INEC returning officer, Professor Zana Akpagu, announced this evening that he could not make a return yet as the result from Southern Ijaw local council, with 120,827 registered voters was not available. The election was rescheduled till 6 December, following violence on 5 December.
The INEC resident commissioner,Baritor Kpagi,then announced that the election in the local council has been cancelled due to violence, ballot box snatching and other electoral offences.
A new date for the election will be announced later.
In the results announced for the 7 local councils, incumbent Governor Seriake Dickson has 105,748 votes, while Timipre Sylva of the APC has 72, 594 votes.
Southern Ijaw voters are expected to decide the winner.
Kpagi who read a statement at about 4:30 pm at the collation centre where the results of the other seven local government areas had earlier been announced, said the decision to cancel the election was as a result of irregularities in the conduct of the election in the affected area.
“Reports of the election conducted in the Southern Ijaw local government area on the 6th of December, 2015, revealed that the election was essentially marred with violence, including reports from political parties, Observers, both local and foreign. This falls short of the internationally acceptable threshold for credible elections.
“Consequently, the Commission has decided in the integrity of the process, to cancel the election in the Southern Ijaw local government area. A new date for the conduct of the election in Southern Ijaw will be announced in due course,” he read.
The confusion over what next to do on the election was noticed much earlier in the day when Prof. Akpagu, had at about 1:30 pm, put on hold indefinitely, the release of the Southern Ijaw result, the last and only local government area yet to be declared.
He had announced that it was necessary to go on the break to enable the Returning Officer from the local government to come with the result, after which he advised whoever wished to go and get some refreshments to do so.
But people had not gotten the the refreshments when two Hilux vans loaded with ballot boxes were escorted by security agents into the premises and AIG Hashim Argungu briefly addressed the press.
Everyone present who hoped that collation would be resumed, was disappointed when announcement was made that all journalists should proceed to INEC office, located about five kilometers away where they said the Commission was to address the press.
The over 200 journalists rushed to the INEC office and remained there from about 1:50 pm till 4:20 pm when it was again announced that they should return to the collation centre where the cancellation announcement was finally made.
With that, the 5 December, 2015 Bayelsa state gubernatorial election remains inconclusive.