The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Movement in the governorship election in Bayelsa State, Siloko Siasia, has alleged irregularities in the exercise, saying there were cases of thumb-printing of ballot papers in some areas of the state.
Stating that although the process had been peaceful except in a few places, Mr. Siasia, however, said thumb-printing of ballot papers contravened the Electoral Act and should be checked immediately by the security agencies.
He said, “We are experiencing a peaceful electoral process at the moment. At the moment I just exercised my constitutional franchise and I believe that the commitment that was given to us by INEC and security agencies in the sense of having a fair, free and credible electoral process we are experiencing at the moment.
“But there are little challenges here and there and there are little information that we have also received that there are some electoral irregularities here and there, people have started thumb printing in their various houses.
“I am also using this opportunity to call on the security agencies to do something about it immediately. I don’t believe that with the level of commitment we got from the INEC chairman and also from the Inspector General of Police… there is security personnel in my polling unit and the security personnel is not even armed. I am in my polling unit as I speak. That is the situation in my polling unit as I speak.
Mr. Siasia urged the voters to be peaceful and not resort to violence that could derail the process in the effort to elect a new governor that would develop the state.
“My message to our people vote and that they should not fight and this is a time for us to choose a leader that will bring the much needed development to our people that have been neglected by successive governments,” he said.
“My message is that every community and every polling unit should be peaceful. INEC which is a reputable institution and also the Nigerian Police Force are also trying their best to ensure that the election is peaceful.
“We have also recorded some levels of deaths here with the information I am receiving. But from my own community today everywhere is peaceful. People have conducted themselves in respected and peaceful manner.
“The information I have received is that there are some elements from different parties trying to thwart the effort that these institutions should ensure that we get that level of commitment for free and fair election where they are currently thumb-printing of the ballot paper in some houses within the town.
“So I am using this opportunity to call on the security agencies to do their own investigation and bring such persons to book because I believe they contravene the Electoral Act. We must ensure that such kinds of people are taught the lessons of their lives.”
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