Nathan Tamarapreye, Yenagoa
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Bayelsa government and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have accused each other of manipulating the State Assembly polls held on Saturday.
The state government in a statement by Chief Ayina Duba described the views expressed by Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum as a futile attempt to deflect attention from alleged manipulation of the results of Saturday’s House of Assembly election in his constituency.
“The government notes that like a leopard that never changes its spots, the minister actually returned to his familiar and infamous terrain of election manipulation and rigging once the results do not favour him and his party.
“Sylva needed to explain what he was doing at an INEC collation centre at Okpoama when he was not a party agent.
“If the people of the constituency freely voted for APC, as Sylva claimed, why were known APC thugs openly intimidating voters that they suspected were PDP members or its supporters at Okpoama and Ewoama communities?” Duba stated.
The government said that Sylva’s claim that the Diri administration was inept and lacked acceptance already had a response from Bayelsa people who voted overwhelmingly for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the presidential, National Assembly and House of Assembly elections in the state.
The government maintained that the elections, which were a referendum on the performance of the Diri administration, proved that Bayelsa State was indeed 100% PDP.
It said the APC and Sylva were only sulking over their terrible defeat and rejection by Bayelsans.
The government equally cautioned Sylva not to unduly heat up the state as he was not above the laws guiding the peaceful conduct of elections.
It said the Diri administration would ensure that the peace in the state was sustained and that politicians exhibiting violent conduct during elections would not go scot-free.
Meanwhile, Sylva had noted that the Brass const. II elections fair, credible.
Sylva’s position was contained in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media and Public Affairs, Mr Julius Bokoru
He dismissed the allegation from the Bayelsa State government that Sylva is negatively influencing the Brass Constituency II House of Assembly elections as yet another needless lie that should be totally disregarded by all.
“It is a known fact that the electioneering process at Brass Constituency II has been stable, safe, free and fair and a true reflection of the genuine consent of the good people of the constituency who are proud of their representative and the Honourable Minister’s good works there and decided to vote en masse for the APC.
“Every keen observer can attest that the people went about freely voting for candidates of their choice, according to their conscience and their hearts.
“It is therefore sad and quite appalling that instead of working to improve the quality of life of Bayelsa people and remedying its ineptitude that has fuelled lack of acceptance by the people, it has unfortunately deployed the tactics it inherited from the Dickson days: impulsive lying, violence and a steady desire to attract plastic sympathy,” Sylva stated,” Sylva said.
He challenged the government that if there is evidence supporting their claims, they should present such to the public and relevant authorities.
“We unequivocally reject and repudiate the statement from a non-existing group by a non-existing Charles Otabor, as it is untrue and demonic and utterly unworthy of public attention and should be considered another gimmick from a faltering illegitimate government,” Sylva stated.
Bayelsa did not hold governorship elections as the tenure of the incumbent will lapse on Feb 14, 2024, while the governorship poll will hold in November 2023.