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Apprehension In Bayelsa Over Alleged Plan To Cancel Southern Ijaw Votes

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There is apprehension in the camp of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over an alleged plan to cancel the votes from Southern Ijaw for Saturday’s governorship election in the state, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.
Southern Ijaw, the stronghold of the APC, has the second largest votes, after Yenagoa, which is the state capital.

PDP could have an easy ride to victory, if the entire votes in Southern Ijaw is cancelled.

A source at the Bayelsa INEC told a reporter, Sunday afternoon, that Cyril Omorogbe, the INEC resident electoral commissioner in Delta State who supervised the election in Southern Ijaw, is pushing for the votes cancellation over allegations of rigging.

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Mr Omorogbe is, however, being opposed by other INEC officials who participated in the conduct of the election in the area, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.

None of the officials were willing to speak on record. The final collation of results at the INEC headquarters was yet to start at the time of this report.

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The Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, on Saturday accused the APC of rigging the election in Southern Ijaw.

“As we are speaking, in this day and age, gun-wielding militia men, with the aide of security forces, have overrun hapless electoral officials,” Mr Dickson told reporters at his polling unit in Toru-Orua, Sagbama.

“Most of the electoral officials in Southern Ijaw, as we speak, are kidnapped and held hostage,” he said.

A reporter could not immediately reach INEC officials for their comment on the development.

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Bayelsa has eight local government areas. There were 923,182 registered voters for the election but only 889,308 people collected their permanent voter’s card, according to INEC. Less than that number would have likely voted in the election.

Forty-five political parties contested the Saturday’s election, though the battle was a straight one between the Duoye Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and David Lyon of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

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