The All Progressives Congress (APC) has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to reverse alleged plans to collate governorship election results from Nembe, and Southern Ijaw Local Government Areas in Yenagoa the Bayelsa State capital.
INEC on Saturday, November 11, held off-cycle governorship elections in Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi States. While that of Imo has been concluded with Governor Hope Uzodinma of the APC declared winner, collation is still ongoing in Bayelsa and Kogi.
Bayelsa’s incumbent governor, Douye Diri, is being challenged by the APC’s Timipre Sylva, a former Minister of State For Petroleum Resources and an ex-governor of the state.
So far, results from three LGAs in Bayelsa ( Kolokuma, Ogbia, and Yenegoa) have been collated at the state collation centre on Sunday morning, with Governor Douye Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leading.
Sixteen political parties sponsored candidates for the election in Bayelsa.
In a statement released on Sunday morning signed by the APC National Publicity Secretary, Felix Morka, the party it strongly opposed the decision to move the collation of results in Nembe and Southern Ijaw LGAs to the state capital, arguing that it should be done in the respective LGAs in line with the law.
The party claimed that the two LGAs were part of its strongholds in the state and that there was a sinister motive behind moving the collation to the state capital.
The statement reads: “The All Progressives Congress (APC) strongly condemns what has emerged as a stark and disturbing pattern of moving collation of votes in the Party’s Local Government strongholds to Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital. We now have confirmed reports that the collation of votes in Nembe and Southern IJAW Local Government Areas have been moved to Yenagoa.
“In direct contrast, votes in Peoples Democratic Party’s strongholds are being diligently collated on location in the Local Government Areas.
“What exactly is the reason for this selective evacuation of votes from APC strongholds for collation in Yenagoa? This is unacceptable and highly suspect. While we hesitate to accuse INEC of colluding with the PDP to subvert the legitimate votes of the people in APC strongholds in favour of the PDP, we strongly object to this disturbing development that will cast a long shadow over the credibility of the Bayelsa guber polls.
“INEC is under a duty to act in accordance with the law that stipulates that votes shall be collated in the respective local government areas before state collation at the state capital.
“We urge INEC to reverse itself on this unlawful move and collate all results in the respective Local Government Areas as stipulated by law.”
Meanwhile, the INEC State Returning Officer for the election, Prof Faruq Kuta, who is the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, has adjourned to 3 pm for the continuation of results collation for the remaining five LGAs.