The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State has demanded a total cancellation of last Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly Elections in the state following widespread irregularities.
The party described the elections as heavily compromised, saying they were characterised by intimidation of voters and arrests of APC members and agents; INEC collusion with PDP to massively rig the elections, as well as armed and security forces collusion with PDP to compromise the electoral process; late arrival of electoral materials, and deliberate refusal to use the card readers.
A statement by the party signed by the Bayelsa State Chairman, Tiwei Orunimighe, said in almost all the eight local government councils, with the possible exception of Ogbia, electoral materials arrived at the earliest 3:00 pm on voting day.
The statement said when the officials and materials arrived, they abandoned the card readers, even where there was no proof they were bad.
The INEC officials claimed to have received the following SMS from their headquarters: “My dear EOs, Pls you have been enjoined to use Manual Register for accreditation of voters. Be wise!” Once this message was circulated, it set the stage for PDP to manipulate the process with the collusion of INEC and the security agents, the APC claimed.
“Specifically, our party agents were intimidated and voters scared away by gunshots fired by the armed and security forces.
“In Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area, Hon. Tariprebo Moses Aketi, APC candidate for KOLGA Constituency 1, and Campaign Manager, Imomoemi Odiowei, were arrested.
“In Nembe Local Government Area, Mini and Ikensi Wards, soldiers using two new gunboats chased out APC agents, seized all the electoral materials and took them to the residence of a former Speaker of the Bayelsa Sate House of Assembly, Hon. Ayebaesin Edeoghotu.
“In the same local government, results of four units in Oluasiri Ward 13 were hijacked by men in police uniform. In Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, Ward 17, electoral materials were taken to the houses of PDP chieftains and collated after agents of others political parties were chased away by security agents. In Brass Local Government Area, our party men saw one PDP agent openly thumb-printing over 100 ballot papers for his party,” the statement said.
The APC said based on the irregularities, whatever results emanate from last Saturday’s polls in Bayelsa State cannot be said to represent the will of the people of the state.
The APC called on INEC to cancel the Presidential and National Assembly polls in Bayelsa State, and reschedule same for a new date.