Did the Army collude with the All Progressives Congress (APC) to breach the elections into the Bayelsa House of Assembly?
Gov Seriake Dickson thinks he has the answer:
Governor Henry Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Nigerian Army of colluding in perpetrating election violence in the state in the state House of Assembly election.
Speaking after casting his ballot on Saturday at his Oruware voting unit at Toru-Orua, his country home, Dickson said he received reports that voters were “held hostage at Okpoama and Ewoama.”
He stated that the state has “major challenges arising from the militarisation and clear failure on the part of agencies to do their jobs as it should be” saying that over a thousand voters could not cast their votes and forced out of their communities.
The governor alleged that the “security forces couldn’t muster the courage” to tackle violent elements in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area who were stopping voters from going to their communities on Friday for voting.
According to him, the military, rather than confronting them, “were turned back by force, and you ask me whether we have a nation within a nation” while noting that some enclaves have been created in the state by the military in connivance with APC leaders and coordinated by his predecessor.
Hear him: “In Bayelsa State, enclaves have been created by the federal security agencies in connivance with APC leaders, coordinated by Timipre Sylva all with a view to making Bayelsa ungovernable.”
The governor also told newsmen that Bassambiri in Nembe Local Government Area that suffered electoral violence two weeks ago was visited by similar fate while at Anyama in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, soldiers were aiding thof election materials.
Dickson also accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of not being professional, courageous, competent and respectful of their own guidelines that no card reader, no result.
The “And the Resident Electoral Commissioner and his team in our state have not demonstrated the courage and professionalism, and the competence and respect for their own guidelines. Not my rules, their own rules. The ground rules were, no card reader, no result.
“But in Bayelsa, working in collusion with the security forces, they want to plant APC in Bayelsa by force – by fire by force. People who have no support, they give them military, militarise our places to intimidate.”
Earlier, the REC, Monday Udoh, told newsmen that he had heard of hijack of election materials, but awaiting the report of the Electoral Officer (EO) stressing that the man on ground was the EO.
The state House of Assembly poll was marred by reports of alleged diversion of election materials, intimidation by military and card reader issues in some parts of the state while other parts of the state witnessed peaceful polls.