World

Bayelsa election a coup, says Dickson

Mike Odiegwu, Yenagoa

 

Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has described the Saturday’s governorship election in the state as a military coup.

Addressing a world press conference in Yenagoa on Tuesday Dickson also tendered video evidence to support his claims that the poll was rigged in the state.

He said the election was a charade and a carefully orchestrated plan to forcefully take over Bayelsa state towards entrenching a one-party system.

He alleged that there was connivance of security agents particularly the Nigerian Army with the APC thugs to hijack electoral materials in most local government areas.

Dickson said soldiers were deployed to Ogbia local government area and other parts of the state led by a certain Lieutenant Col from the 6th Division of the Nigerian Army to cart away electoral materials thereby undermining the process in favour of the APC.

The governor called on the APC-led Federal Government to take drastic action in safeguarding the country’s democratic principles and protecting the fundamental rights of Nigerians in every election.

The governor who urged Bayelsans to be calm said that the reprehensible acts against democracy would be addressed through democratic procedures.

He said: “This was not the first time that we are having elections. People were killed, some ripped open and thrown into the river and up till now no arrest. We all know that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva and a notorious militant, Sam Kodjo, all plotted and carried out these heinous act, which actually was an assassination attempt because I was billed to visit Nembe that day for the PDP campaign.

“As democrats, we believe in using democratic procedures in challenging what happened in Ogbia. In Ogbia, there was no collation done. In most of the areas, at the conclusion of voting, the soldiers came and rounded up everybody and forcibly took them to Ogbia town and asked all PDP leaders to leave to enable them replace pre-written results. And so the results announced for Ogbia, like those for Southern Ijaw and Nembe were not real.

“What has happened in Bayelsa is one of the most brazen acts of distortion and rape of our democracy.

“What took place was not a democratic election. It was a military coup. It was the height of conspiracy by the federal government and security agencies to subvert the democratic rights of our people for the sole purpose of foisting the APC on the people.

“It has never been like this before. In 2015, it wasn’t as bad as this. In this case, not only was the Army directed to take over our place, but to collude with the APC thugs to unleash terror on our people.”

Dickson also dismissed the notion that it was disagreement between him and former President Goodluck Jonathan that led to the defeat of the PDP at the poll.

He emphasised that Jonathan remained a leader of the entire country whose image and reputation was too weighty to be dragged in the mud by the opposition party.

He stressed that no politician had stood by Jonathan more than himself and that in the build-up to the elections, he had visited Jonathan about 16 times to meet with him on the way forward for the PDP.

He said: “My reaction is that President Jonathan remains a leader of our country. He is at liberty to receive members of any political party but in the context of all that is going on, I know that the insinuations are not misplaced.

“APC came to Bayelsa to take his States and people by force. With the comments they are making about him, Oshiomhole coming to Bayelsa to praise Jonathan. What they were doing is laying the foundation to perpetrate fraud and violence

“No politician has stood by Jonathan more than me. They simply used his name and image to legitimize an illegitimacy. I can see the strategic content. They used Jonathan to expand the notion of disagreement and after the rigging to go to him like Pontius Pilate to wash off their hands and put it at his doorsteps to say he sanctioned it. But let’s accord him the right to meet with other dignitaries”.


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