By Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday sharply disagreed over whether elections took place in Bassambiri, Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
There had been tension arising from reports of shootings and killing of a young man in Nembe during the presidential and National Assembly elections in the area, where the Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral John Jonah (rtd), hails from.
Speaking on the matter, the state Governor, Seriake Dickson, insisted that in Bassambiri, PDP leaders and followers were pushed out by force and are now in IDP camps in Ogbolomabiri, Yenagoa and other communities.
“This is because the APC knows that they are not on ground in this state so they want to win by force,” he said, contending that there can be no results where elections did not hold.
But during a visit to the troubled riverine community, some leaders in the area, who spoke with our correspondent, said elections were peaceful there.
The youth leader in Bassambiri, Theo Iruo, noted that nobody was chased out of the community, insisting that it was possible that those who killed the young man a day before the presidential polls were on the run.
Iruo explained that as a youth leader, who is apolitical, having been duly elected by members of both parties in the community, he could not take side with any of the contending sides.
He said: Everybody voted for their preferred candidates. There was no report of violence. Most of the things you hear in Yenagoa are mere rumours.
“As a community man, I represent everybody. Anybody who left the community is scared of their deeds. You recall the killing of Kenneth Adebo because they are afraid the law would catch up with them.”
Also in an interview, a chief in the community, Daniel Fawarinengigha, and another local chief, Agent Belele, noted that security was on ground to stem any violence.
They added that contrary to reports that there was violence during the polls, everybody, irrespective of their political leanings, exercised their franchise without fear of molestation.
“We all voted for our candidates. We are not fighting anybody and nobody is fighting us. But what I can say is that those running away are afraid of their shadows. Nobody is dragging them, but if they are running, so be it,” Belele said.
Meanwhile, PDP’s Ben Ololo has been returned as member-elect to the House of Assembly for Nembe constituency 1 with 14, 941 votes to defeat his closest rival, Derri Omieidekuma, while the APC candidate in Nembe 2, Edward Irigha, emerged victorious with 8, 167 votes.