Some aggrieved youth leaders from Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State yesterday called for the cancellation of the election in the area due to alleged irregularities during the election and the inconsistencies in the result announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the governorship election in the area.
They lamented that in spite of the series of official complaints by genuine voters and the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the local government, officials of the commission choose to look the other way.
The State Youth Leader of the APC, Edison Sorgwe and a chieftain of the party, Alaowei Opukeme-Jonah, who spoke on behalf of the aggrieved voters of the area, said the result announced by the INEC’s collation officer for the PDP, APC and other political parties are inconsistent with the number of rejected votes and cancelled votes.
The aggrieved indigenes of the council insisted that since the INEC cited cases of ballot snatching, irregularities and violence as the excuse for cancellation of the governorship election in Southern Ijaw Local Government area, the election in Yenagoa should also be cancelled due to the cases of electoral offences recorded in some units.
This, according to them, include cases of ballot snatching and violence in which eight members of the party are undergoing treatment in various hospitals in the state due to injuries sustained in the attacks from political thugs.
On the alleged bias of the electoral officers and security agents deployed to Yenagoa and other local Government council areas of the state, Comrade Sorgwe and Opukeme said the party in Yenagoa is preparing an official petition against identified security officers and staff of INEC over cases of abuse of office and collection of gratification to compromise the election.
They wondered why the election in Southern Ijaw council should be singled out for cancellation over alleged electoral violence and snatching of ballot boxes when violence was also recorded in Ekeremor, Sagbama and parts of Yenagoa council area.
Condemning the cancellation of Southern Ijaw election they said, “We have lost confidence in the ability of the Resident Electoral Commissioner to conduct election in the state.”
They demanded that the commission in its review of the conduct of the election should cancel the elections in Sagbama, Yenagoa, Ekeremor and Nembe due to verifiable cases of fraud and violence by the ruling party.