Bayelsa State Governor Douye Diri on Saturday cast his vote after which he raised concerns of alleged disenfranchisement in the Nembe Basambiri community.
He spoke shortly after casting his ballot at the Polling Unit 004 in his hometown, Kalaowe Owei, Kolokuma/Opokuma area of Bayelsa.
Sixteen political parties are participating in this off-cycle election, including the incumbent Mr Diri who seeks a second and final term in office.
Shortly after casting his vote, he commended the electoral body saying, “I think this is an improvement on all the elections that we have participated in. Very seamless, very fast and if it continues like this, I want to believe that INEC is improving not only their facilities but the training of personnel that are handling the process.
“It is too early to call, we are still putting our ears to the ground as to what is happening in other polling units.”
Despite praising INEC’s activities thus far, Mr Diri said members of his party, PDP, are being excluded from taking part in the elections in the Nembe area of the state.
“We have concerns about Nembe Basambiri where our party members, most of whom have been excluded, have been stopped from going into Nembe,” he said.
“And so that’s a very serious concern.
“Our party has written an official letter to the chairman of INEC and INEC has to take drastic action to ensure that our people are allowed to go in there to vote.”
INEC spokesperson in the state, Wilfred Ifoga, told PREMIUM TIMES that they were yet to receive such a report from their field officers.
“The best I can say for now is that we have not yet received any report from our officers.
“We have field officers and they have not given us any report that this is what is happening,” he said.
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