B y Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
Deputy National spokesman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Yekini Nabena, yesterday refuted reports that he was apprehended with arms and ammunition by soldiers in Odi, Bayelsa State, during Saturday’s general elections.
Nabena spoke in Yenagoa, the state capital even as the Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Prof. Nelson Brambaifa, told journalists that he neither ordered nor personally destroyed ballot materials in Agbere, Sagbama Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.
Their rebuttals came against the backdrop of allegations by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, that while Nabena was initially arrested and ordered to be released after making calls to Abuja, the NDDC boss started destroying materials when he noticed he was losing election in his polling unit.
In an interview with journalists in Yenagoa, Nabena accused the state government of mobilising the soldiers against him because of a statement he released earlier in the day, but added that he was allowed to proceed to his village to vote when nothing was found on him.
“If I was arrested with arms, it should be easy for them to show the arms publicly that I was found with. These are all tricks being used by the government so that they can continue with their evil, but this time, the vote of Bayelsans must count no matter the threat.
“I am not from Odi, I am from Sagbama, I went to my community to vote. I only drove through Odi and there is a military checkpoint there. Let them prove that I was caught with arms.
“It was a false alarm. By the way, we are the opposition here, so the governor has all the powers. The truth is that I was never arrested” he said.
On his part, Chief Press Secretary to the NDDC boss, Ebiakpo Barle, while refuting the allegation, noted that it wasn’t logical that Brambaifa would destroy voting materials in his own area.
“Politics aside, professor is like a father to everyone in that area. He cannot stoop so low as to order or personally disrupt the electoral process there.
“ And in any case, it is illogical for the professor to destroy election materials in an area where he is well-known and very popular when it is obvious that the electorate are for him”