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Bayelsa: INEC, Police, APC counter Dickson, insist ‘nobody died during guber poll’

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the police, the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and other stakeholders have insisted that nobody died during the November 16 governorship election in Bayelsa State.

In separate interviews, they debunked insinuations by the state Governor, Seriake Dickson that 22 people were killed with 10 of them beheaded during the governorship poll, which the APC Candidate, Chief David Lyon, won by landslide.

Speaking on the allegations of the governor, the INEC Head of Department, Voter Education and Publicity, Mr. Wilfred Ifogha, said for the first time in the history of Bayelsa elections, no soul was lost during the just-concluded governorship poll in the state.

He said foreign and domestic observers were on ground to monitor the election adding that none of their reports indicated that people died during the election.

Ifogha said all the INEC ad-hoc employees deployed to conduct the election returned safely without injuries insisting that the poll was a watershed in the history of Bayelsa.

He said: “Observers were there both foreign and local. Other groups were there and there was nothing like even loss of a soul. I don’t know where all these are coming from.

“As far as INEC is concerned, there was no report of such whatsoever. Our ad-hoc employees came back safely. People came out and voted peacefully, there was no report of death for the first time in Bayelsa. No soul was lost. No casualty in Bayelsa”.

Speaking on Dickson’s outburst, the Bayelsa State police command, said nobody died during the poll.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Butswat Asinim, said the Bayelsa poll was adjudged the most peaceful election in the history of the state.

He said: “Nobody died during the governorship election in Bayelsa. In fact, it was adjudged the most peaceful poll in the history of the state. There was no casualty at all”.

Also, the APC cautioned the governor about his public statement concerning the election and asked him to accept defeat and stop lying to justify his failures at the poll.

The Vice-Chairman, Media and Publicity, APC Campaign Council, Mr. Julius Bokoru, said the governor was hallucinating about a violent plot he hatched during the poll that failed to materialise following the vigilance of security operatives.

Bokoru said the governor had wanted people to die so he could discredit the poll but unknown to him that God had prepared security agencies to avert his planned violence.

He said: “Dickson’s statements about over 20 people killed during the last governorship election are as laughable and abstract as his governorship is. Or, perhaps, 20 people dying in an election was his idea.

“It was his plan for the election and that macabre orgy of violence that, until this year’s elections, became the hallmark of politics in the Dickson years is what was planned this year that didn’t work. Thanks to God and the security agencies and, of course, restraint and maturity from the APC family.

“Unfortunately for Dickson, nobody died during the last elections. In fact it was adjudged to be the most peaceful guber elections ever conducted in the state, the whole nation knows that

“Dickson should tell us the names of the over 20 people he imagines were killed, who are their family members? What communities are they from? What were the security reports? 20 people are not 20 chickens. Dickson should learn to value human lives”.

Also a prominent indigene of Nembe, the local government area, where the governor alleged most people died urged Dickson to accept defeat and move on and avoid the temptation of misleading members of the public.

The indigene, Wilfred Ogbotobo, who is also a chief in Nembe Kingdom, urged the governor to forget the concluded poll and concentrate on perfecting his handover note.

H said: “I advise Governor Henry Seriake Dickson to rather be worried about tidying up his stewardship and handover notes than spewing wild allegations he could not substantiate with solid facts.

“As far as we know, the entire Nembe local government area was peaceful during and after the election. The entire world witnessed their evil plans and actions that led to their disastrous campaign in Nembe City.

“If APC members in Nembe City had retaliated during that provocative misadventure, it would have been a bloodbath. So, in all his careless talk about killings, if he has evidence he should equally accompany it with the totality of circumstances surrounding the killings.

“If twenty-two Nembe sons and daughters were killed during the election, I believe the families concerned wouldn’t wait for a discredited politician like Dickson, from a small place like Toru-Orrua, to be their mouthpiece. They would prefer someone the world could believe.

“So, he should be cautioned that, repeating this lie with the hope that the public would believe it as truth, would not work for him this time around. Bayelsans rejected his candidates. They have proved that he is a big failure. He destroyed the Yenagoa Water Reticulation Project. He destroyed the brotherhood and unity of the Ijaw Ethnic Nationality.

“Hence, he should accept the outcome of the election as a pointer to his unprecedented incompetence, and popular disenchantment. You can’t be a winner all the time, especially when you failed to do the right thing in your party, and not only disregarded but insulted the very political forces that elevated him to such undreamt of heights.

“Nobody should listen to him. He is a failure and disappointment all in one. His obsession is to paint the APC black and disparage Chief Timipre Sylva in the conscience of the public”.

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