Finally, the tension soaked supplementary election in Bayelsa state was settled late Sunday evening as the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, declared incumbent governor and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Seriake Dickson as winner.
The election, which was seen as a straight fight between former President Goodluck Jonathan and Dickson on one hand, against a former governor of the state, Timipre Sylva, and the All Progressives Congress (APC), has left huge celebrations across the state.
The INEC in results announced by the Returning Officer, Prof. Zana Akpagu, Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, said Dickson scored 134, 998 votes, against Sylva’s 86, 852.
The PDP won in Kolokuma/Opokuma, Yenagoa, Sagbama, Ogbia, Nembe and Ekeremo, and Southern Ijaw local government areas, while the APC was able to secure only Brass, the local government of its governorship candidate.
The rescheduled poll in Southern Ijaw and 102 other polling units across the six local governments was characterised by violence leading to four policemen, two soldiers and six militants as well as a PDP agent feared dead, while many others sustained various degrees of injuries. Beside the deaths, alleged ballot snatching and manual voting were reported in some of the areas supplementary elections were held.
At the main election on December 5, 10 persons were reported dead bringing the number of those killed in the two legged poll to 24.
Heading to the weekend election, Dickson held slightly over 30, 000 votes over Sylva who was banking on sweeping Southen Ijaw and win the poll.
The supplementary results from six local government areas showed that Dickson scored 6,493 votes as against 4,042 votes polled by Sylva.
The PDP Governors Forum in a statement signed by its coordinator, Osaro Onaiwu, said it is “a triumph of the peoples will against brute force. We commend the good and great people of Baylesa for standing resolute, firm and immoveable against the desperate attempt by the APC-led regime to hijack the mandate of the people of Bayelsa state.
“It is unfortunate that a party that came into office through a free and fair process offered by an incumbent have neglected to imbibe democratic tenets by engaging in thuggery and outright violence as if the state is a trophy of war.
“The Bayelsa election is a wakeup call to all Nigerians to reject any extra constitutional means by which the APC intends to cling to power.
“We call on our members in Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Edo states to brace up in the coming days and show that the PDP is indeed the custodian of democracy as it has done for the past 16 years.”
Also, Pince Uche Secondous, Acting National Chairman of the PDP, in a statement said, “As a party we have always advocated for a peaceful, transparent and fair election. The PDP is dedicated to producing credible and performing candidates as its flag bearers in various elections and to this end the people of Bayelsa have justified our confidence in Governor Seriake Dickson and overwhelmingly approved his developmental strides in the state. We thank you Bayelsans and we promise to do more.”