It’s insulting to say election held in Bayelsa –Dickson

The Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, on Monday, said it was an insult to the integrity of public institutions and to the people of the state to say a governorship election held in the state on November 16.

Dickson told journalists in Abuja that, apart from the conspiracy of security agents that marred the exercise, the violence unleashed on the people of the state left scores either killed or injured.

“The reality in Bayelsa is that there was no election. It is an insult to the integrity of institutions and our people to refer to what happened on November 16 as an election,” the governor said.

He alleged that those who perpetrated the “fraud” arrived the state with already prepared result sheets of the Independent National Electoral Commission and were given security cover to and from the locations where they were camped.

Dickson claimed that electoral officers only known to leaders of the All Progressives Congress were “carefully selected” for the state.

The governor also decried the violence, which he said was unleashed on supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party in Nembe, a few days to the election.

He said the people were attacked because “they were warned not to come to the community to campaign, claiming the place belongs to the APC.”

Dickson, who expressed fear that the casualty figure was higher than that, said he had set up a committee to ascertain the figure.

The governor added, “From records from hospitals, we can for now account for 93 people who were injured during the attack on the PDP supporters in Nembe and are currently receiving treatments in hospitals.

“At least 12 people died from that attack on the PDP supporters.”

In some of the communities, Dickson alleged that INEC moved electoral materials to deserted places where he said militants took over and wrote results.

“The story is the same in Southern Ijaw. Some SPOs have already approached us that they are ready to tell the story of how they were not allowed to do their jobs,” he added.

He said he would continue to talk on the need for the neutrality and professionalism of the military.

Dickson also underscored that, as of the day of the election, the APC did not have a validly nominated candidate for the election.

He said the cumulative effect of two Federal High Court judgments on the matter was that the party did not take part in the exercise.

Despite the outcome of the exercise, Dickson declared, “My head is not bowed. I am not cowed. I will continue to contribute to deepening Nigeria’s democracy.”

The governor said he succeeded in repositioning the state, citing the infant and maternal mortality rate, which he said was the lowest in the South-South region, “due mainly to our administration’s intervention in the health sector.”

According to Dickson, apart from hospitals, all wards in the state can boast primary health care centres put in place by his administration.

Written  by Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja, published on Punch Newspapers