Bayelsa Guber Battle: Sylva rejects cancellation of Southern Ijaw poll; court case looms

Posted by News Express | 8 December 2015 | 2,574 times

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The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva, yesterday rejected the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to cancel the election in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area.

Sylva told reporters that the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Baritor Kpagir, had no powers to cancel an election that had been concluded and which result was being awaited.

He said the APC would head for the court to challenge the decision, which he described as a rape of democracy, with the hope that the votes would be counted and awarded to the parties.

He wondered why the REC chose to isolate Southern Ijaw for cancellation, leaving other local governments, such as Nembe, Ekeremor, Sagbama, parts of Yenagoa and Ogbia where the APC had raised the alarm that the election was marred by violence

For instance, he said militants took over Ekeremor on the eve of the election, shooting repeatedly at the home of the Minister of State for Agriculture, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, but the election still went on and the results collated and announced because it favoured the PDP.

He said the election in Ekeremor was not cancelled because the PDP won, adding that if the APC had won, it would have been nullified.

“In Sagbama, there were no electoral materials. PDP thugs snatched the materials, wrote the results and it was accepted because it favoured the PDP.

“The same thing applied im some parts of Nembe, Yenagoa and Ogbia. We raised the alarm, reported the matter but our complaints were set aside because the PDP won. This whole election was set up for the PDP to win. I wonder why the APC was allowed to contest,” Sylva said.

He accused the REC of working for the PDP and alleged that some financial inducement led to the decision of the REC and his team to cancel it.

He said: “The election of Southern Ijaw was held on the 6th. The results were coming on the 7th after the election had been concluded. The REC did not cancel it when it was being conducted.

He added: “APC will not take this cancellation. The REC has no power to cancel an election that has taken place. It is only a returning officer that has power to cancel an election.”

•Text courtesy of The Nation. Photo shows Timipre Sylva.

Source: News Express

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