The dust has not yet settled concerning the just past elections in Bayelsa state. The elections declared “inconclusive” by the nation’s electoral body, is scheduled to be concluded on a yet-to-be-known date. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), had cancelled the governorship election in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state which is one of the eight LGAs in the state because of the widespread violence, ballot box snatching, abduction of electoral officials and other electoral malpractices that hampered the electoral process in that area.
And because INEC has refused to come out with a date for the conclusion of the polls, the leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force (NDPVF), Alhaji Mujahid Asari-Dokubo, has accused the Federal Government of trying to rig the elections and impose a candidate on the state and went ahead to warn that any such move will throw the entire nation into chaos.
The election, which took place on December 5, saw the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, who is also the incumbent governor, Chief Seriake Dickson flex his political muscle against the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Timipre Sylva, who previously served as governor of the state under the platform of the PDP (2007 – 2012).
In a statement he released in Yenagoa on Thursday, December 7th, Asari stated that any action “against the will of the people” will lead to a “return to the creeks to resume agitation with consequences on strategic oil installations.”
“If by next week the Federal Government does not hands off from the Bayelsa polls by allowing the people to freely choose their leader but still interfering through the observed various guises and deception, then we would have no option than to return to the creeks to press for our rights as patriotic citizens being unduly oppressed and dehumanized all in the name of politics.
“We have said it before that President Buhari is executing an anti-Ijaw agenda and his aim is to steal our God-given resources to rebuild the north destroyed by Boko Haram. That is why he is hell-bent on manipulating the electoral process in Bayelsa State and hand it over to the APC.
“They are exploiting Sylva’s greed and desperation for power and therefore using him to carry out their evil agenda. But we want them to know that this country will go up in flames if they try it. Boko Haram will be a child’s play if President Buhari and his APC think they can upturn the people’s mandate. It would be a grave injustice which can never stand. We are Ijaw people and we have never been conquered.”
He also mentioned that the ex-militants have regrouped under a new aegis known as the Reformed Ex-Agitators of the Niger Delta (REND), which will press to ensure that justice is served to Bayelsans in the outcome of the election.
He claimed that the election has already been won by the PDP as the results so far collated and announced by INEC have shown. The PDP’s candidate, Governor Seriake Dickson, had won 6 of the 7 local governments with a margin of 33,154 votes and has thus fulfilled constitutional requirement of 2/3 spread and popular votes.
Asari therefore called on the FG to ensure that the final outcome of the polls reflects the true wish of the people of Bayelsa as he and his new organization would be watching from a safe distance. He reiterated that if the government still interferes in the electoral process, REND would launch “a full-scale agitation to save our people from modern-day slavery of intimidation, oppression and dictators.”