Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has applauded the conduct of the Local Government election, amidst reports of malpractice, irregularities and voters apathy which greeted the poll held on Saturday.
BIGPEN Online understands that the governor commendation is coming despite the protest from about 42 political Parties under the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) that had earlier labelled the entire process as a charade.
Recalls that the main opposition party, the APC in the state had earlier withdrew from the exercise, alleging that Governor Dickson had already manipulated the entire electoral process to favour the ruling party, PDP.
But in an interview with newsmen shortly after casting his vote at Oruere-wari polling unit 05, ward 2 in Toru Orua, Sagbama local government area of the state, Governor Dickson adjudged the election as free, fair and credible.
Special Adviser on Media Relations, Fidelis Soriwei, quoted the governor as saying that, contrary to concerns raised about the council election in the state, preliminary security reports across the entire state indicated that the exercise went peaceful and hitch-free.
Also speaking, the Bayelsa Speaker, Rt.Hon. Tonye Isenah, who voted at Unit 1, ward 3 of Odi community, said the turn out was impressive and voting peaceful.
The State Commissioner for Information, Daniel Iworiso-Martins who earlier voted in his polling unit (Unit 1 Ward 11) in Opume, Ogbia LGA of the State and his Youth Development counterpart, Udengs Eradiri’ also applauded the process.
Reports however say the council election conducted by the Bayelsa State Independent Electoral Commission (BYSIEC) saw many Bayelsans lamenting over the irregularities and ‘shoddy’ job done by BYSIEC.
“While many people failed to turn up for the exercise, most of the polling booths and units had no material.
“There was no sight of electoral materials or BYSIEC personnel in most of the places visited across three local government areas, Yenagoa, Kolokuma/Opokuma and Sagbama.
“Apart from the issues of poor turn out and non availability of electoral materials, the protest from about 42 political Parties under the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) also added to the charade called election in the state”, a journalist who didn’t want his name mentioned said.
It was learnt that voters did not show any enthusiasm towards participating in the election in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa capital, Nembe, Brass, Kolokuma\Opokuma and Sagbama area of the state.
Some leaders of the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) numbering fourty-two who met over the outcome, described the local government election as a sham.
The Bayelsa State Independent Electoral Commission (BYSIEC) had fixed the local government poll in the state after series of court orders and litigations by the some opposition parties.