Governor of Bayelsa State, Henry Seriake Dickson, has revealed how the All Progressives Congress(APC) allegedly colluded with security officials and the Indepenent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to rig the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) out of victory in the November 16, governorship election in the state.
Dickson who spoke exclusively to DAILY ASSET in Abuja claimed that elections did not take place in most of the Council Wards in the state, rather what was declared by INEC was the prodcut of a grand plot to rig the polls.
He alleged that results of the elections were predetermined since APC had result sheets even before voting commenced, saying figures were entered into the result sheets to favour the APC ahead of collation of the votes cast.
“Collation officers were brought in from University of Benin, most of them coming to Bayelsa for the first time during the elections and were assigned to APC points men.
“They were given result sheets and heavily guarded by police and military officers. There was no election,” he said in a review of the polls, which produced APC’s David Lyon as winner.
Dickson described the poll as “a misnomer and an insult on the integrity of the people of Bayelsa.”
He said given the track record of his administration’s performance, his experience as a politician who has won many elections or led the campaign for election of other candidates, coupled with the massive political structures he has built over the years, it was impossible for his party to lose the election under normal circumstances.
The Governor who anchored the PDP campaign as leader of the party in the state further alleged that as part of the rigging strategy against his party, key Local Government Areas like Yenagoa, Nembe and Southern Ijaw were earmarked for rigging by the APC, while different strategies were applied in each LGA to procure votes for the party.
In Southern Ijaw for instance, the Governor claimed that military officers gave active support to political thugs who seized electoral officials in seven Council Wards and wrote the results without voting taking place in the Polling units.
“What happened in Yenagoa was that they arrested PDP supporters, shot guns and prevented people from voting. Some women even protested because they were stopped from voting. They wrote results in four Council Wards,” he alleged.
Dickson disclosed that in the case of Nembe, violence was used against the people to perpetrate electoral fraud saying the Local Government Area has been under siege before, during and after the election.
He said in Ogbia, the home Local Government of former President, Goodluck Jonathan,” , “soldiers came after voting, drove everybody away and took all INEC officials away” adding the result sheets were seized and figures entered to give the APC over 50,000 votes, a figure that was not possible even when Jonathan was a presidential candidate in the 2015 elections.
“What took place in Nembe was a massacre. The offence of the people was that they were PDP members attending a PDP rally,” he said.
The Governor alleged that 91 people were injured when the security officials attacked the PDP rally in Nembe, a few days before the election, while 12 were presumed death since the bodies could not be found.
“We have reports that some people were killed, their bodies mutilated and thrown into the sea,” he stressed explaining that the attackers were determined to leave no trace of their heinous activities.
The Governor who described himself as a man of peace and principle said he restrained himself from embarking on any counter measures to checkmate the APC rigging machine as that would have led to more bloodshed.
“I restrained myself. I didn’t want to meet tit for tat in the interest of the peace of Bayelsa and welfare of our people,” he stated adding that in the face of provocations, he advised all PDP supporters not to take laws into their hands but to simply ensure they voted for the party’s candidate at their various polling units.
Dickson assured however, that his party(PDP) and the governorship candidate, Senator Duoye Diri would seek redress in court.
“We are democrats and therefore, we must exhaust the constitutional avenues provided to seek redress in court,” the Governor said.