Lyon’s victory and future of Bayelsa
• Jonathan, Alams family, IYC congratulate Lyon
• Results not consistent with norm, says YIAGA Africa
There was wild jubilation in Yenagoa, Ogbia town and other communities in Bayelsa State as All Progressive Congress (APC) gubernatorial candidate, Chief David Lyon, was declared winner of the keenly contested gubernatorial election on Monday. Residents of Yenagoa, the state capital and its environs, took to the streets in celebration immediately after the returning officer and Vice Chancellor, University of Benin, Benin City, Prof. Osasore Orumwese, declared him duly elected.
The returning officer announced that Lyon polled 352,552 votes to defeat Duoye Diri of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who polled 143,172 votes. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had therefore declared David Lyon, candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Saturday’s exercise winner of the election. The total number of registered voters was 922,562 and the number of accredited voters was put at 517,88. Lyon won in six of the eight local government areas in the state, while PDP’s candidate, Senator Douye Diri, won two local government areas.
While speaking on his victory at the poll, Governor-elect, Lyon, thanked the good people of Bayelsa for giving him overwhelming support during the campaigns and the election on Saturday. He attributed his victory to God and the understanding and resilient character of Bayelsans, who understand the difference between light and darkness.
The governor, who flanked by the Minister for State, Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, the Governors of Kebbi and Bauchi States, described his victory as divine call from God almighty to salvage the people of Bayelsa State from the shackles of guided oppression and internal colonialism. He assured Bayelsans of development-oriented programmes and asked God almighty to direct him so he could to deliver the dividends of democracy, which they have been yearning for in the past eight years.
He vowed to fulfill his promise of providing security, power, peace, and development for the people of Bayelsa, adding that Bayelsa is one family, which no individual or group of persons irrespective of their political affiliations or standards could separate their collective destiny. Chief Lyon said his victory is a victory for all Bayelsans, and that he was extending his hands of fellowship to his brother, Senator Douye Diri and all other contestants to join hands with him to form an all-inclusive government. He added that there is no victor no vanquished in politics.
“We will not segregate ourselves from each other because of political differences,” he said. “We must unite and move forward together; that is the next level agenda. We must integrate our state to the mainstream politics to attract rapid development into our state.”
Meanwhile, Peoples Democratic Party’s governorship candidate in the state, Senator Diri, has said he and not Lyon, the APC candidate, won the Saturday gubernatorial election in the state. Diri, therefore, declared himself winner and called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare him winner of the just-concluded election in the state.
Senator Diri, who made the call on Monday while briefing newsmen in Yenagoa, said the results monitored by his party’s situation room in the eight local government areas showed in clear terms that he won and should be declared the governor-elect of Bayelsa State. The PDP governorship candidate, who announced 98,582 as the total figure scored by PDP, said APC got a total of 55,903 in the election as monitored from his situation room.
Giving a breakdown of the figures, Diri said PDP scored 4,096 in Brass Local Government Area while All Progressives Congress (APC) got 2,525. According to him, PDP polled 9,903 while APC had 7,976 in Ogbia while in Southern Ijaw, PDP scored 12,225 and APC got 9,542.
Senator Diri, who announced that in Yenagoa PDP polled 21,165 votes, said APC scored 15,560, while in Sagbama, PDP got 60,339 and APC had 7,831. He further explained that the PDP polled a total of 21,381 in Ekeremor, while the APC scored 8,780. Also in Kolokuma/Opokuma, he noted that PDP had 12,110 and APC 6,659 while in Nembe, PDP polled 24 and APC had 908 votes.He maintained that it was illegal for APC to have contested the governorship election because of a subsisting court judgment and urged INEC to disqualify APC, which is a major contender in the exercise. He stressed that he did not contest the election against the candidate of APC, David Lyon, who was returned winner by INEC as the party had already been disqualified by the court before the election.
Also yesterday, leaders of APC in Bayelsa paid former President Goodluck Jonathan a courtesy visit soon after Saturday’s governorship elections in the state. Minister of State for Petroleum, Sylva, led APC leaders, including governor-elect Lyon, to visit the former president in his Yenagoa home on Monday. Sylva stated that they did that in recognition of the position of Jonathan as the father and leader of the state.
Sylva noted that as a former president and leader in the state, Jonathan deserves to be respected and honoured by all Bayelsans, irrespective of their partisan leanings, hence the need to present the Governor-elect for his blessing and guidance.Silva said further: “Being a former president of the country and a past governor of the state, Jonathan remains an asset to the state and his inputs will always be needed to advance the course of governance in the Bayelsa. As such it was important for us to introduce the Governor-elect to him and seek his support and guidance in building a better Bayelsa.”
While responding, Jonathan tasked Lyon to put the welfare and interest of Bayelsans above every other issue.He said: “As a former President of Nigeria, I am a father to all Bayelsans, hence my doors are open to all citizens irrespective of their political affiliations. I urge you to make the welfare of Bayelsans a top priority and carry all Bayelsans along irrespective of the party they voted for.
“Elections are over now. So, I want you to see yourself as the governor of all Bayelsans and not only to the sections that voted for you. This is the way to move Bayelsa forward.”Jonathan also condemned the violence that happened in some parts of the state, describing it as unfortunate and regrettable. According to him, the nation’s democracy would never mature if we continue to experience violence and irregularities during elections.
Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) worldwide also congratulated the Governor-elect of Bayelsa State, Lyon, for coming out victories in the keenly contested November 16, governorship elections. A statement by IYC President, Eric Omare, said Lyon’s victory is a manifestation of the wishes of the people of Bayelsa State and by extension the Ijaw nation.
“We call on other contestants who lost out in the contest to join hands with the Governor-elect in the interest of the Ijaw nation,” Omare said. “We also call on the outgoing governor, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, who is a strong advocate of the Ijaw interest to support the Governor-elect in the interest of the Ijaw nation.
“The Governor-elect, Chief Lyon, is a son of the Ijaw nation, hence we should all give him the needed support. The people of Bayelsa State have spoken through their votes and they have spoken loud and clear. “The Governor-elect must see himself as a leader of all Ijaw people with a pan-Ijaw mandate irrespective of political party affiliation. Chief Lyon must learn from the experience of the outgoing government in Bayelsa State that so much polarised the Ijaw nation, including our struggle platforms: Ijaw National Congress (INC) and Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) worldwide.”
Also, Alamieyeseigha’s family spoke on why they rejected PDP, and voted for APC and David Lyon on Saturday. The family of the late former Bayelsa State Governor, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, on Wednesday, said it worked assiduously with other stakeholders to end the reign of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) because the incumbent state governor, Dickson, disappointed the people of the state.
Speaking under the auspices of Alamcoism Movement (AM), the family said Dickson insulted the late Alamieyeseigha and disrespected Ijaw elders in most of his dealings and utterances. Speaking in Yenagoa, the Director-General, Alamcoism Movement, Ziworitin Alamieyeseigha, who said the movement started in 1999, lamented that PDP abandoned the template of development and empowerment laid down by the late governor.
“The PDP government disappointed Alamieyeseigha’s family,” the spokesman said. “The Alamcoism endorsed Seriake Dickson but at the end of the day what did he do? He disappointed the family, insulted Alamcoism. So, we decided that since he failed to respect elders, we should teach him a lesson.”Alamieyeseigha, who was flanked by principal members of the movement such as the student representative, Oyeindoubra Amantari, and Director of Planning, Strategy, Abosi Felagha, warned Lyon against breaking his social contract with the people. He advised Lyon to learn from the past governments, desist from listening to rumours and to focus on human capital development to address the endemic poverty in Bayelsa.
Alamieyeseigha further appealed to the Governor-elect to pay attention to the infrastructural development of the state, especially the construction of a seaport in Bayelsa. He also called on Dickson and PDP to shelve the idea of going to court to challenge the victory of Lyon, saying instead of wasting the state’s money on litigation, they should channel the resources to infrastructural development.
Also speaking, Ebilade, the second son of late Alamieyeseigha, commended the people for rejecting all the offers made to them by PDP and opted to vote Lyon as the right candidate.He said: “I told PDP that their money can’t counter the Alamcoism. We are around the eight local government areas and they saw the result in the eight local government areas. We won six local government areas but in Sagbama, Dickson’s local government area, there was no election.
“In my mother’s village at Ogoibiri, there was no material. It was hijacked by the Sagbama PDP government. So, Douye Diri only won one local government area and even in that council, we divided the votes. People should know that Bayelsans are behind David Lyon and even the court will do nothing when everybody is on the same page. The court is not bigger than Bayelsa State. The whole state has decided and has chosen a candidate.
“We want to advise all PDP people to reserve that money that they want to use for case and come and build one industry to employ more citizens, because we need more development in this state. They should forget about that court.“It is our strong belief that the Ijaw nation can rise again with the incoming governor of Bayelsa State, providing the right leadership. Let the Ijaw Nation rise again!”
Also speaking on the election and the victory of the APC, a founding member of the party in the state, Richard Kpodoh, commended the military and the police for the roles they played in the election, saying they prevented skirmishes that could have led to loss of lives at the poll.He, however, said the state governor, Dickson, and the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Diri, were criticising the election because security agencies and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) frustrated all their plans to compromise the electoral process. Kpodoh, who spoke in Yenagoa on Wednesday, said for the first time in the history of elections in the state, nobody died at the poll, insisting that the police and the military deserve commendations.
He called on other candidates that participated in the election to congratulate the APC, adding that the people of Bayelsa trooped out to their polling units to vote out PDP and the administration of Dickson. Kpodoh chided Diri following his claims that he won the election, adding that all the plans by Dickson to make Diri Bayelsa governor through the backdoor failed at the poll.
“I’m saying today that PDP has failed,” Pkodi said. “Both the structures and the human beings inside have failed and the people gave them their verdict on Saturday. They should swallow the bitter pill and move on.”But YIAGA AFRICA, a civil society organisation (CSO), said there were indications that the results of Bayelsa State’s gubernatorial election were manipulated. In a statement on Monday, YIAGA, which had earlier announced that it could verify if results declared by INEC reflect the votes cast, said there were inconsistencies in the Bayelsa election.
“INEC has now released results for the Bayelsa governorship election without holding elections in all polling units,” the statement said. “INEC announced 352,552 votes or 71 per cent for APC and 143,172 or 29 per cent votes for PDP.“These results are not consistent with the PVT estimates of between 62 per cent and 46 per cent for APC and 52 per cent and 37 per cent for PDP. This suggests that the results were manipulated during the collation process. If the tabulation process had been conducted properly then INEC’s official results would fall within the PVT estimates.
“YIAGA Africa Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) YIAGA AFRICA WTV adopts the Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) methodology for election day observation at the polling units. The PVT is a proven and advanced observation methodology that employs well-established statistical principles and utilizes sophisticated information technologies.
“As stated in YIAGA Africa preliminary statement, the PVT is not able to independently verify, regardless of the outcome, who won the Bayelsa gubernatorial election because elections did not occur in 61 of 250, or approximately 24 per cent of sampled polling units. This reduces the PVT sample and therefore YIAGA Africa cannot verify the outcome of the result.“However, the PVT is still able to determine if the collation process was conducted properly and expose manipulation during the collation process. If the official results as announced fall outside of the PVT estimated range, then the results have been manipulated during the collation process.”
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