Following the declaration of Governor Douye Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party as winner of the November 11, governorship elections, the candidate of the Labour Party, Udengs Eradiri, has rejected the results, noting that he and his team are studying the results and brainstorming on the next line of action.
The LP candidate scored a total of 905 votes to come a distant third, while Diri polled a total of 175,196 votes to defeat his closest rival, Timipre Sylva of the All Progressives Congress who scored 115,262 votes.
Eradiri, in a press conference held at his campaign secretariat in Yenagoa, the state capital on Tuesday, said the election was held against the cardinal principles, laid-down procedures and ground rules that democratic elections to offices especially that of the governor of a state must be free, fair, credible and peaceful.
The LP candidate who was flanked by his running mate, Commodore Benjamin Nathus, retd, and other campaign council and party officials, called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to probe all electoral officers that participated in the election, claiming that the November 11 Bayelsa election was the most monetized poll in the history of the country.
He said: “The election on Saturday, November 11, was marred by massive and mind-blowing vote-buying. We were shocked that the state government converted all the polling units to market squares and business centres where votes were auctioned, haggled over, bargained for and purchased.
“The state government emptied our vault and carelessly deployed billions of our commonwealth to induced and compromise voters.
“Our state resources, which unconfirmed sources put at over N80bn were used to intimidate our traumatized people, who have been impoverished by this government. The government of Douye Diri deliberately weaponised poverty and forced the people to sell their consciences for money at the poll.
“I consider vote-buying a crime against humanity cannot engage in vote-buying because it is a demonstration of lack of performance, unpopularity, incompetence, leadership failure and cluelessness on the part of the buyer. How can you bribe people to serve them?
“I am surprised that this government resorted to vote-buying because I have always
emphasized on his incompetence. I am only shocked at the level it took the malfeasance to. This government bought each vote as much as N70,000 in some places. The state government has added another record to its bag of incompetent achievements making the November 11 Bayelsa election the most monetized poll in the history of the country.”
According to Eradiri, he contested the election to prove a point that the leadership incompetence in the state can be challenged, adding that he has no regrets but happy that ran for the election as it afforded him the opportunity to go round all the creeks, hamlets, communities to see the suffering of the people and the endemic poverty ravaging them.
“I have no regrets. I am happy I ran for this election because it afforded me the opportunity to go round all the creeks, hamlets, communities to see the suffering of our people and the endemic poverty ravaging them. It allowed me to further appreciate the beauty, untapped potential and wealth of my state. It gave me many ideas of what should be done to elevate Bayelsa and emancipate our people from the shackles of poverty.
“I thank the people of Bayelsa for their support and commend those, who defied the intimidation and rejected inducements to vote for me. They are the real heroes of this election and their votes are the authentic and valid vote cast.
“I wonder why INEC cannot enforce its rules to ensure credible elections in the country. There was intimidation and harassment of voters, violence, bypass of BVAS among other irregularities, which have vitiated whatever results they announced at the collation centre.
“I call on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to probe all electoral officers that participated in the election. Most of them are the reasons for the rampart voter inducement in our country’s election. The commission should investigate the massive monetary inducements that occurred in the Bayelsa election,” Eradiri added.