Gov’ship elections: PDP kicks as APC wins Bayelsa, leads in Kogi

The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa, Chief David Lyon, has won in six out the eight local government areas of the state in the Saturday’s governorship election, ending the 20 years dominance of the People Democratic Party in the state.

This is just as the governorship candidate of the APC in Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, who is seeking for second term, is also coasting to victory.

In Bayelsa, Lyon polled 352,552 votes to defeat his main challenger, Senator Douye Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who garnered 143,232 votes.

Out of the eight local government areas of the state, the APC candidate won six while that of the PDP went home with two. The results announced at the collation centre showed that Lyon of the APC won in Southern Ijaw with 124,803, Ogbia, 58,016, Yenagoa, 24,607, Brass, 23,831, Nembe, 83,041 and Ekeremor, 21,489.

PDP’s Diri won in Kolokuma/Opokuma 15,360 and in Sagbama with 60,399 votes.

The state Returning Officer and Vice Chancellor, University of Benin, Prof. Faraday Orumwense, said at around 11pm, that the final announcement of the result would be made before 1am today. In Kogi, results from 19 out of the 21 local government areas of the state have been declared with Bello leading his main challenger, Engr. Musa Wada of the PDP with wide margin of 205,942 votes. Collation of results was adjourned till today to allow for the arrival of results from Lokoja and Ibaji local government areas ahead of the declaration of the winner.

The Returning Officer for the election and Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Prof. Ibrahim Umar, said winner will be announced after the collation of results from all the local government areas of the state.

The Shock in Bayelsa
With the Lyon, the APC has secured two states in the South South geo-political zone which was hitherto seen as a no go area for the ruling party at the centre. The APC had previously won in Edo. There were some skirmishes ahead of the election, heightening fear that there would be violence.

Democracy under siege – Diri
Meanwhile, Senator Diri while commenting on the outcome of the election alleged that that democracy was under siege in Bayelsa State. Diri, who spoke at a press conference attended by the governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed and PDP National Vice Chairman for the South South, Elder Emmanuel Ogidi, said based on the results from polling units and wards, PDP was heading to victory especially in Ogbia Local Government Area until men of the Nigerian Army allegedly chased away their agents and supporters and changed the results. He, therefore, called on INEC to reject the results declared in areas where materials were hijacked, especially in Southern Ijaw, Nembe and Brass. He said:

“The Army connived with the opposition party to hijack the electoral process and change the already known results. In Ogbia, they have taken over everywhere, arresting our supporters. The local government chairman Mr Ebiyon Turner has just been arrested and taken to unknown place. “About 46 soldiers were at the collation centre at Ogbia intimidating and arresting our agents and stakeholders.

Democracy is being arrested; democracy is under trial in Bayelsa. We call on European Union, United Nations and other international bodies to come to our aid to help democracy survive in Nigeria,” Diri said. However, the chairman of United Party of Nigeria (UPN) who doubled as its agent, Mr Samuel Adaga, expressed satisfaction with the result declared so far.

He commended INEC for cancelling results in units that recorded violence in some parts of the state. Our correspondent reports that there was heavy security presence at the INEC office during the collation of the results, even as the declaration of the winner was greeted by jubilation in Yenagoa as residents trooped out to celebrate the outcome of the poll.

Kogi
As at the time of filing this report, results from 19 out of 21 local government areas of the state indicated that Governor Bello polled 374,083 votes while Wada of the PDP scored 168,141 votes. The breakdown of the results showed that Bello won in 10 local government areas while Wada won in nine. The local government areas won by Bello included Ajaokuta, Adavi, Okene, Ogori Magongo, Olamaboro, Okehi, Mopa Muro, Kabba Bunu, Kogi-Kotonkarfe and Ijumu. Wada won in Omala, Idah, Igalamela/Odolu, Yagba East, Yagba West, Ankpa, Dekina, Ofu and Bassa local government areas.

PDP, SDP kick
Speaking ahead of declaration of winner, candidates of the PDP, Engr. Musa Wada and that of the SDP, Natasha Akpoti had rejected the results being declared by INEC. Wada described the election as “murder of democracy” and vowed that he would approach the election petition tribunal to recover his “stolen mandate.”

He said the results being released by the electoral umpire was not a reflection of the wishes of the people who willingly voted for the PDP and its candidate in the election. Wada who was flanked by his running mate, Sam Aro, at a press conference yesterday in Lokoja, decried the alleged militarisation of the election.

He also accused security agents for allegedly working in collusion with the APC to harass and intimidate voters who came to exercise their civic responsibility. Natasha Akpoti in a petition addressed to the Chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, called for cancellation of the exercise on the grounds that the election was marred by violence and irregularities.

Adeyemi leads in Kogi West
Smart Adeyemi of the APC is also leading in the Kogi West senatorial rerun election held on Saturday. The results of six out of the seven local government areas so far declared by the INEC at the local government areas indicated that Adeyemi was leading Senator Dino Melaye of the PDP with over 13,000 votes.

The results declared showed that Adeyemi won in four out of the six local government areas so far declared, while Melaye won in two. The breakdown of the results showed that Adeyemi got 11,425 votes in Ijumu LGA as against 7,587 scored by Melaye.

Other results showed that Adeyemi got 15,037 in Kabba Bunu; 6,633 in Yagba East; 4,874 in Mopa Muro; 7,868 in Yagba West and 14,168 Kogi Local government areas. Melaye on the other hand polled 8,974 in Kabba Bunu; 7,745 in Yagba East; 3,704 in Mopa Muro; 8,860 in Yagba West and 9,784 votes in Kogi-Kotonkarfe LGAs. The results of Lokoja local government area was being awaited as at the time of filing this report.

Nigeria sliding back to dictatorship – PDP

In its reaction, the PDP had said that the conduct and outcome of the governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa had destroyed the hope Nigerians had in democratic practice.

The PDP in a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said Nigerians and the entire world watched “in horror as the APC-led government trampled our democracy under foot with an utmost impunity that can only be obtainable in Hitler’s Germany and Samuel Doe’s Liberia, where the lives and rights of citizens meant nothing to suppressive power mongers.”

According to the statement, “Citizens agonized as APC-controlled security forces aided armed hoodlums to invade polling centres, shoot and kill innocent citizens, cart away ballot boxes, stuffed them with already thumb printed ballot papers in favour of APC, after which results are allocated to the APC and handed over to a compromised INEC to announce against the will of the people.

“It is distressing that under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration, votes no longer count; power and governance no longer derive from the people but from violence, manipulations and the barrel of the gun. Nigerians now ask: are we still in a democracy? “With the outcome of the Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections, Nigerians and the world have lost hope in our institutions of democracy and security system as presently constituted,” the statement said.

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