Monday, January 4, 2016 12:00 am
The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has condemned in strong terms, the allegation that Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State had compromised the Bayelsa State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Baritor Kpagir with N200million to rig the December 5 governorship election.
Ted Francis, a top notcher in All Progressives Congress (APC) had reportedly deposed to an affidavit at a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt that the governor had given the said money in bribe to the REC. IYC therefore called Governor Dickson to sue APC and Mr. Francis for defamation of character.
In a statement signed by IYC Central Zonal Chairman, Comrade Bobolaiyefa Owopelei, the body also dismissed the allegation as a figment of the imagination of the enemies of democracy and the Ijaw nation. The IYC also described the allegation as a naked falsehood by APC to blackmail and discredit the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), having failed in their bid to compromise the REC. While describing Kpagir as a man of integrity, the group said APC is bent on destroying the REC for refusing to be bribed.
While describing the Bayelsa APC and its agents as serial liars, IYC said the latest allegation leveled against the governor is consistent with the antics of the APC which would stop at nothing to use the name of President Muhammadu Buhari to redeploy INEC officials in the state and replace them with those that will compromise the electoral process on January 9 in the rescheduled election in Southern Ijaw. The IYC wondered why Governor Dickson who has always had a head start over Sylva would compromise a REC who has no power to influence the outcome of the election. The umbrella organization for the Ijaw youths reasoned that only the people on whose shoulders sovereignty rests can decide who the next governor is and not the REC. According to the IYC, since the governor has won six local government areas out of the seven where the elections held, the election has already been won by PDP and Dickson adding that the outcome of the elections in Southern Ijaw will not alter Governor Dickson’s victory, it will only consolidate it. While calling on Governor Dickson not to be distracted, he group described the governor as a man of integrity who cannot condescend to the level of bribing anybody.
IYC warned the APC and its governorship candidate to desist from dragging the name of federal agencies in the mud. The group averred that democracy can only flourish if federal institutions like INEC continue to play the neutral role that the commission has so far played in Bayelsa State and wondered why Sylva is bent on rubbishing the commission.
IYC said no amount of propaganda and blackmail by APC will make them win the governorship polls because according to him, Bayelsans and the Ijaw nation have endorsed Governor Dickson as their governor and the PDP as their party.