The Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, has said that despite imperfections resulting from human error, the recently held governorship election in the state was free, fair, and transparent.
With a total of 175,196 votes, Diri defeated his closest opponent, Timipre Sylva of the All Progressives Congress, who scored 115,262 votes, according to the Returning Officer for the state’s governorship election, Prof Farouk Kuta, who announced the results in Yenagoa.
The governor disclosed this while featuring on Channels Television’s political programme, ‘Politics Today’ on Tuesday.
He said, “The Bayelsa State governorship election might be adjudicated free, fair, and transparent, but it could not be a flawless one since it is a human endeavour. There are challenges; the terrain of our state is totally different from that of Kogi and Imo. In terms of resource streaming it is also difficult.
“When there was outcry on the delay in the releasing of results, those of us from the state we understand it was not that easy for elections to be conducted and results will stream in the way they could have, like in Imo and Kogi
“We also had challenges such as the boat accident but the elections had to be conducted the following day, A Few of those challenges led to the delay.”
The governor said while the electoral umpire had performed well, state politicians who invented various electoral vices were responsible for problems with the election.
He maintained, “Rather than accusing the electoral umpire, the politicians in Bayelsa should be accused. In Nembe during the pre-election, people were chased out, and my party supporters were chased out, including the Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice.
“Everywhere you had proper elections, you will see the votes that are trickling in their very few numbers but in Nembe where BVAS were bypassed and there was no election you see voodoo figures of 40, 000 votes. The issue is not with the electoral umpire but with the character and the integrity of the kind of people I saw as my opponents in this election.”
While dismissing reports of violence in the state, he pointed out that “is not the whole of Bayelsa, there are some red flags local government areas in the state, like the Nembe that we talked about, Southern Ijaw and occasionally some part of Ikeremou LGA.
“Every Bayelsan can tell you that part of my scorecard and the administration’s scorecard is the peace and security that we enjoyed in the state.”
He pledged to extend his hands of friendship to all those who contested with him in the election except violent people..
“I will extend my hands of friendship to all those who contested with me, my maxim is that where they bring darkness we show them light, where they show hatred we give and show them love. I will not reach out to murderers and very violent people,” he said.