Posted by Igoniko Oduma | 18 November 2019 | 1,194 times
Senator Douye Diri, the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate in the Bayelsa State governorship election has accused the Nigerian Army of conniving with the All Progressives Congress (APC) to rig the polls in parts of the state.
Addressing the press on Sunday in Yenagoa, Senator Diri said members of the PDP were terrorised and arrested by soldiers on the orders of the General Officer Commanding the 6th Division of the Nigerian Army, General Sarham Jamil.
The PDP candidate briefed the press alongside the National Chairman of the PDP Campaign Council and Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed and National Vice Chairman of the Party, Elder Emmanuel Ogidi.
He noted that what is playing out in Bayelsa confirms the earlier red flag the PDP had raised days to the election about plots by the APC to use Gen Sarham, who had since been transferred to the Nigerian Defence Academy to defy his posting to supervise the state election.
According to the PDP candidate, critical stakeholders of the party were harassed and prevented from accessing the collation centre in Ogbia, which is former President Goodluck Jonathan’s Local Government Area.
Senator Diri said the Chairman of the Council, Ebiyon Turner and a serving member of the state House of Assembly representing Ogbia Constituency Two, Gibson Munalayefa were all arrested and detained by the Army operatives up till the time of the briefing.
In Southern Ijaw, he noted that PDP members who were travelling to their communities for the election including Dr. Michael Amaegberi were also apprehended by soldiers at Ogboinbiri while their APC counterparts were allowed to go scot-free.
Senator Diri who commended the Independent National Electoral Commission and the media for their show of professionalism in the conduct and coverage of the election, however, urged them to maintain the tempo for the sake of democracy.
He called on the international community and lovers of democracy to prevail on the Nigerian Army to respect the rule of law and for democracy to thrive in Bayelsa and Nigeria in general.
His words, “The collation centre in Ogbia is under siege by the Nigerian Army and as we all know, this is against the laws of our land. It is anathema because the Army has no business in determining who goes into a collation centre.
“Information available to us indicates that the General Officer Commanding, GOC, 6th Division has ordered officers and men from 6 Battalion, 343 Artillery, 5 and 29 Battalions were carrying out certain security functions to withdraw from the venue in Ogbia because they have failed to rig the election in Ogbia for the APC. It is totally unacceptable. For there to be peace, there has to be justice.
“In Nembe Local Government Area, materials forwards, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12 and 13 never got to their destinations. Electoral laws are clear on the hijacking of electoral materials and so we call on INEC to invoke the relevant laws so that the doctored results will not be accepted.
“We have very credible information that the Nigerian Army has been conniving with our opponent, the All Progressives Congress (APC) to hijack the process and manipulate the already known results.”
In their separate remarks, the Governor of Bauchi, Senator Bala Mohammed and PDP National Vice Chairman, South-South, Elder Emmanuel Ogidi also commended the INEC for their efforts so far.
Senator Mohammed urged Bayelsans to disregard the propaganda making the rounds, noting that, the PDP is leading in the results being announced.
On his part, Elder Emmanuel Ogidi, condemned the level of violence perpetrated by the APC before and during the election, stressing it is unfortunate that APC wants to take over the control of the state by force. (Independent)
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