APC accuses Gov. Dickson of using thugs to undermine elections in Bayelsa
The All Progressives Congress (APC), Bayelsa State Chapter, has alleged the use of thugs and other criminal elements by Governor Seriake Dickson and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state to undermine Saturday’s House of Assembly elections.
APC State Publicity Secretary, Mr. Doifie Buokoribo, said in a statement on Saturday in Okpoama-Brass that armed thugs loyal to the governor and his party were on the loose in a number of communities throughout the polls, rigging for the PDP and intimidating APC members.
The statement reads, “Just on Thursday, we alerted the Bayelsa public to an evil plot by Governor Seriake Dickson to unleash mayhem during Saturday’s governorship and House of Assembly elections on purpose to intimidate the opposition and impose his candidates in various constituencies of the state.
“We also warned about his signature tactic of trying to cover up his nefarious acts with smear campaign and fake news against our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC). Dickson, as usual, did not disappoint.
“On Saturday, thugs sponsored by Dickson and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state went on the rampage in several constituencies of the state, carting away electoral materials, thumb-printing for the PDP, and deploying sundry acts of intimidation against APC members and others opposed the governor and his party.
“A few of the instances would suffice. Bayelsa State PDP Chairman, Mr. Moses Cliopas, and other PDP leaders, accompanied by armed thugs hijacked all the electoral materials for Saturday’s election in Wards 16 and 17 of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area.
“It took the intervention of the armed and security forces for the materials to be recovered, and some arrests were made.
“In Odioma, Brass Local Government Area, the PDP candidate, Barrister Esau Andrew, led thugs to cart away all the electoral materials. Our members were chased out of the community and PDP had a field day with the thumb printing of ballot papers.
“Odioma is Dickson’s surrogate community. In Brass Constituency 2, Dickson imposed the PDP candidate, Andrew, and he is desperate to ensure his candidates wins. Dickson also used to be a lawyer for this community.
“In Ogbolomabiri-Nembe, the hometown of the deputy governor, his younger brother, Gabriel Jonah, used thugs to threaten and chase APC agents out of the community.
“In Sagbama, where Dickson comes from, our members were in hiding for the most part of Saturday for fear of being harmed by the governor and his armed thugs.
“Quite in his usual style, Dickson went to town on Saturday on a campaign of falsehood, alleging malpractices by our party and pretending to be the victim. While voting was still going on is several areas, he was out and about with his usual fake news to try to divert attention from his immoral ways.
“APC wishes to restate that elections are not fought on the basis of smear campaign or intimidation, but on the strength of support freely given by the people. This is our strength, it is what APC boasts. Dickson is, certainly, in terrible deficit of such support, and he is doing everything to make up for his lack of quality followership. But he will surely be disappointed.”