- Inaugurates commission of inquiry to probe violence
Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
The Bayelsa State Governor, Mr. Seriake Dickson, has protested against the result of last Saturday’s National Assembly election, where the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won only two Senate and three Federal House of Representatives seats.
This is coming as the governor yesterday constituted a six-member Judicial Commission of Inquiry to identify the perpetrators and sponsors of the violence during last Saturday’s elections.
With the results released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), PDP lost two House of Representatives and one senatorial seats to the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) in a state that was hitherto PDP, except for one State House of Assembly seat.
However, the state government has rejected votes it said were allotted to the APC in Nembe Bassambiri and Southern Ijaw Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.
But the results published by the electoral umpire showed that Mr. Douye Diri of PDP and Dickson’s ally, won the Bayelsa Central senatorial district election.
INEC’s Returning Officer for the district, Prof. Teddy Adias who made the announcement, said that Diri polled 83, 978 votes to defeat Mr. Festus Daumiebi of APC, who got 70, 998 votes.
Diri currently represents Yenagoa/Kolokuma/Opokuma at the Federal House of Representatives.
In the Bayelsa West senatorial district election, Mr. Lawrence Ewrudjakpo of the PDP and erstwhile works commissioner in the state, defeated Capt. Mathew Karimo of the APC.
Karimo scored 20,219 as against Ewhrudjakpo’s 49,912.
For Bayelsa East, Mr Biobarakuma Degi-Eremenyo of APC emerged senator-elect, beating Mr. Blessing Ipigansi, who left Dickson’s cabinet to contest for the seat to be vacated soon by Mr. Ben Murray-Bruce. He polled 43,303 votes to defeat the PDP candidate who scored 32,363.
For the House of Representatives, Mr. Preye Oseke of APC emerged winner to represent the people of Southern-Ijaw Federal Constituency, trouncing the current Speaker of the Bayelsa House of Assembly.
Oseke polled 56, 804 votes to beat the Speaker, Mr. Konbowei Benson, who got 34, 105 votes in the polls.
Prof. Steve Azaiki, a former Secretary to the State Government is now member-elect of the Yenagoa/Kolokuma/Opokuma Federal Constituency.
He was elected with 51,639 votes against Blackson Osomkime of APC’s 16,943.
Mr. Fred Agbedi of the PDP was elected member of the Federal House of Representatives for Sagbama/Ekeremor Federal Constituency with 48,076 votes to beat Daunemigha Famous who polled 19,159 votes.
In Ogbia where former President Goodluck Jonathan comes from, Obua Azibapu Fred of PDP scored 12,048 to beat Rex-Ogbuku Jude of ADC, his closest rival with 9,805.
The commission had earlier declared Mr. Isreal Sunny-Goli of the APC as the winner of Brass/Nembe Federal Constituency election, garnering 41,150 votes to defeat Ebikake Enenimiete of the PDP with 19,279.
Meanwhile, Dickson has maintained that what happened in Nembe and Southern Ijaw was a blatant violation of the rights of the people to elect their leaders and representatives.
He stressed that the electoral officers who were held hostage had written to INEC to say that they were made to sign the documents under duress.
Dickson called on the INEC to cancel all the figures from an election that never held and distance itself from the ‘fake’ results.
The governor has also constituted a six-member Judicial Commission of Inquiry to identify the perpetrators and sponsors of the last Saturday elections’ violence.
While swearing in the members at the Government House in Yenagoa, Dickson said the commission was set up in line with provisions of section 2 (1) of the Commission of Inquiry Laws of Bayelsa State.
A statement by Dickson’s Special Adviser on Public Affairs, Daniel Alabrah, said the governor described the crisis that marred the election as unfortunate even as he expressed his determination to bring the perpetrators to book.
The panel, which is headed by Justice Ineikade Eradiri, is also to determine the number and identity of persons that were injured or killed during the said elections.
He charged the members to determine the roles played by security agencies and their officers and men that were involved in the violence and identify the institutions and persons that could have prevented the crisis.
The governor said the commission is expected to make recommendations it deems necessary as well as submit its report within 14 days of its first sitting.
“I know that people are aggrieved because impostors that our people never gave their mandate have been announced as if they were elected.
“I use this opportunity to call for peace. Do not take the laws into your hands because two wrongs do not make a right.
“Let me assure you all that the God of justice shall arise and this darkness, evil and temptation will not last for too long. The charade in Nembe-Bassambiri and Constituency 4 in Southern Ijaw will not stand.
“The very provocative invasion of our peaceful people by the military is condemnable. I condemn the militarisation and forged results in the purported election.
“I urge the youths not to take the law into their hand. This Illegality will not stand.
“Let me make it clear that the commission will not go into the election but will only concern itself with the issues leading to the breakdown of law and order,” he said.
Dr. Richard Ogbe is the secretary while other members are Mrs. Felicia Olisah, a retired Deputy Commissioner of Police; Church-ere Komonibo, a retired Chief Superintendent of Police, and Archbishop Jacob Akpiri while Prof. Festus Emiri is to serve as counsel to the commission.