BAYELSA, Nigeria – Vote counting begins at Ward 2, PU 005 Toru-Orua community, Sagbama LGA.
Bayelsa Decides: What APC’s Lyon said after casting his vote
The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Bayelsa State, Chief David Lyon, has described the ongoing election in the state as peaceful.
He also commended the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for the conduct so far, advising the people to remain peaceful throughout the exercise.
After casting his vote at Olugbobiri Ward 4, Unit 1, in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, Lyon warned against disruption of the poll.
According to him, “Today’s process is very peaceful. I have seen what INEC has been doing all this while. It is going very peacefully and that’s why we are advising everyone to go peacefully and vote.
“Go with your card to your units, vote and leave the place, not to come and create problem, but guide your vote, that’s what we are telling everybody.”
He added that he was sure of victory.
Bayelsa Decides: Journalists escape death in boat mishap
A boat conveying journalists across flooded parts of Sampou community on Nun River in Kolokuma Opokuma Local Government Area of Bayelsa State capsized and threw the four occupants into the water.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the boat was carrying four journalists covering the governorship elections, including its correspondent.
The journalists were returning from the polling station when the incident happened and left the victims submerged but the timely intervention of sympathisers rescued the journalists whose mobile phones, cameras and recorders were drenched.
A stretch of about 200 metres along the road, leading to polling unit 4, Ward 6, where the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Sen. Douye Diri voted was flooded, compelling the journalists to resort to local canoes to cross.
The flood had delayed the setup of polling stations across the flooded community to about 10.16 a.m, two hours behind schedule.
The flood submerged many parts of Amasoma, Yenagoa and parts of Sagbama, a development that displaced polling stations.
Diri who voted at about 10.35 a.m. observed that the elections were peaceful in his area but regretted that he got reports of electoral fraud, violence in Nembe, Opolo and Enewari and other parts of the state.
Goodluck Jonathan voted, says ‘ I’m disappointed’
Former President, Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Patience, voted at unit 39, Ward 13 at the Otazi Playground, Otuoke in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
DAILY POST had reported that Goodluck Jonathan, had expressed disappointment over the late arrival of election materials to his polling unit.
Jonathan, who was expected to cast his vote this morning, met only journalists on ground, when he arrived his polling unit about 8:30a.m.
However, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that Jonathan voted at 11.30 a.m., while his wife voted at 11.35 a.m.
Speaking on the voting process, Jonathan said, “We must conduct ourselves if we want to real bring people to rule us either as president or governors.
“Nigerians are always blaming people in authorities and the leaders, so here they must blame themselves.
“Look at even this voting, I was around earlier, but the materials had yet to arrive in the polling unit.
“I have led election monitoring teams to other African countries, we use to go 30 minutes before the time and in our reports, we indicate the exact time when the vote starts.
“So, for election to start after that time it is an indictment to the electoral body that manages election, there is no reason here election should not start by 8:00 a.m.
“So, even the youth should stop blaming old people, you blame yourselves and do things properly.
“I am really disappointed on what I observe today compare to other African countries I monitor elections.”
Bayelsa Decides: APC collaborating with security agents to hijack voting materials – Dickson alleges
Gov. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has voted at Polling Unit 005, Ward 2, Toru-Orua community, Sagbama Local Government Area of the State, alleging that the All Progressives Congress was working with security agents to hijack voting materials.
He said after voting, that security agencies had aided the APC to move voting materials meant for Nembe and Southern Ijaw local government areas to unknown destinations.
“There is a well-organised election crime ongoing in our state; they have established unofficial collation centres in some places.
“Their whole intention is to subvert the will of the people and jeopardise the efforts of well-meaning Bayelsa people to develop the state,’’ he said.
He, however, commended the people of Toru-Orua for their turn-out during the election, saying, “Your passion for positive change is commendable.’’
But some community people who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) expressed satisfaction at the level of calm and order in the conduct of the poll.
They said that the presence of security personnel in the community had reduced the tension among the voting public.
Chief Abite Alawei, a community leader said that he was confident that the process would be concluded without violence.
“We have not witnessed any breach of law and order in the community since the process began, our people have conducted themselves orderly.
“As you can see, voting is also ongoing, and the process is orderly, we pray it continues this way till the end,’’ he said.
Mr Amaye Soldier, a teacher, also told NAN that he was satisfied with the conduct of the polling officials in the unit.
“We are watching the process, so far, we are comfortable with the conduct of the election officials, they have shown fairness and purpose,’’ he said.
NAN reports that Gov. Dickson’s residence did not witness the usual beehive of activities that characterise a governor’s country home during elections.
Some local community people say the attention and loyalty of political followers had shifted to candidates of the major political parties contesting the election.
Bayelsa Decides : Materials hijacked, destroyed in Southern Ijaw, Ekeremor
There are reports that election materials have been allegedly hijacked and destroyed by unknown men suspected to be political thugs in some parts of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state, while materials were said to have been destroyed by hoodlums at the RAC in Ekeremor Town.
According to reliable sources, the materials belonging to Koluama 1&2 communities in constituency 4 of SILGA were destroyed after several hours of arguments by agents of the two top political parties.
Though the candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Hon. David Lyon, who is from Olugbobiri community in SILGA, voted peacefully in his ward, some of the voters were seen patiently waiting for commencement by officials of INEC.
Some communities are yet to see INEC officials or voting materials as at 12:30 pm. When DAILY POST visited some of the RAC, electoral official, Ad hoc staffs and security agents were seen scattered around.
Meanwhile in Ewoama ward 3, a member representing Brass constituency 2, Hon. Timi Omubo Agala, commended INEC for the early sorting and ddevelopment which led to early commencement of voting.
He said the early slow start of voting might be due to some of the voters coming in from neighbouring communities but as it progresses the turnout will be more.
Agala, said the area is the stronghold of the APC and there was no doubt for victory, adding that apart from the politics of party they are all brothers and will remain together even after the elections.
According to the former Special Adviser to Bayelsa state governor on talent development and gender, Hon. Helen Bob, said she was there to perform her civil responsibility because she understands the importance of leadership.
She commended the early turnout of voters to their polling units, and their peaceful disposition, adding that she believes the tempo will be maintained till the end of the exercise.
Bayelsa Decides: What PDP candidate, Senator Diri, said after voting
Senator Douye Diri, Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP’s) candidate for
the Bayelsa governorship election, on Saturday, described the electoral
process as “smooth and peaceful”.
Diri said this while speaking with newsmen shortly after casting his vote at Polling Unit 4, in Sampou, Kokuma-Opokuma Local Government Area of the state.
He said that observations and feedbacks from some members of the public indicated that the process had been smooth and peaceful in some areas “although we have received calls concerning anomalies in some parts of the state.
“We urge the security agencies to be vigilant.”
He said that it was the duty of security agencies to apprehend anybody found to have engaged in acts capable of truncating the process.
Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), a polling official, Joy Presa said that the delay in the arrival of voting materials was because of the flooding that occurred in the area.
NAN reports that eligible voters could only access the community through boats as the road leading to the community had been submerged.
Bayelsa Decides : Police, army, DSS, others tighten security at INEC headquarters
There is tight security at the state headquarters of the Independent
National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Bayelsa as the state
governorship election commences.
NAN also reports that security operatives from the Nigeria Police Force, Department of State Services, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Nigeria Army and Fire Service were seen at the INEC office in Yenagoa.
Police and army personnel in their vehicles were also seen at strategic positions on the major road leading to the INEC state office on Swali road and within the city centre keeping a watchful eye on events on election day.
The security personnel were in position in order to provide security and ensure the public’s compliance with the vehicular movement restriction order issued.
NAN reports that as of 9:00 a.m., voting was yet to begin at the Fankuku Primary Health Centre polling unit 19 in Epie III Ward, Yenegoa Local Government Area.
NAN, however, observed that two buses conveying INEC ad hoc staff and voting materials were seen driving into the voting centre at 9.20 am.
As polling units 019, 017, and 018 were being set up, the Presiding Officer for polling unit 018, Miss Chioma Okoli, apologised to the registered voters for the delay, saying that it was due to transportation challenges.
Okoli said that only voters with Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) would be allowed to vote as the card readers would only recognise PVCs issued by INEC.
She urged the voters to fold their ballot papers and cast their ballot to avoid a situation where their votes would be voided.
Okoli assured that preferential treatment would be given to the elderly, nursing mothers, expectant mothers, and persons living with disabilities.
NAN also reports that voting was yet to commence at polling units 16, 015, 014, 013, and 012 at the same polling centre although voters were already waiting on the voting queues for accreditation and voting.
Bayelsa Decides: Early voting commences in Brass, Nembe LGAs [Photos]
Eligible voters in Brass, Nembe, and some parts of Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State in the ongoing gubernatorial election were seen in the early hours of Saturday morning queuing up to cast their votes.
Most units were already flooded with voters as at 8:30am as accreditation and voting commenced simultaneously, in line with the stipulated time by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in many parts of Brass and Nembe Local Government Areas of the State.
According to an election observers field report, in some parts of Yenagoa, Ogbia, Ekeremor and Kolokuma-Opokuma Local Government Areas, accreditation and voting commenced a little behind schedule of about 9:00 am.
In Brass and Nembe LGAs, DAILY POST learnt that the atmosphere is calm and peaceful, with the presence of security personnel, as electorates crowded their various polling units to exercise their franchise in the ongoing guber polls.
At Ogbolomabiri, Nembe, INEC ad-hoc staff arrived the Registration Area Centers (RAC) centre at Nembe National Grammar School, about 7:00 am where materials were sorted and arranged for easy distribution to the various units.
In Ward1 Unit 1, Ward 2, Unit 1 and Ward 2, Unit 8 all in Ogbolomabiri, materials and INEC ad-hoc staff arrived about 7.45am to set up the Units as prospective voters waited patiently.
In unit 07( Town- hall/Town – hall), Okpoama ward 4, which is also the ward collation centre, with about 702 registered voters, though scanty, the voters were orderly because of the security agents at work.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan, has expressed disappointment over the late arrival of election materials to his Polling Unit 39, Ward 13, in Otuoke, Ogbia Local Government Area (LGA) of Bayelsa.
Jonathan, who was expecting to cast his vote, stepped out of his house at 8:30 a.m., but met only journalists as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials were yet to arrive at the venue.
“Are you an electoral officer, where are they?” The former president asked a journalist at the venue.
“Well this is where I will vote, but since they are not here yet, let me go back inside.
“You see now, youths of nowadays, you need to do more,” he stated.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that at the time of filing this report at 10:30 a.m, no official has arrived at the polling unit with materials for the exercise.
Security personnel have mounted checkpoints in major junctions in Yenagoa, the capital of Bayelsa, as the state votes to elect its governor, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
Checks around the city showed heavy security presence at Imgbi, Opolo, Akenfa, Igbogene Okarki and gateway junctions.
Also heavily manned is the Tombia Roundabout, a location within the town that hosts major transport companies and motor parks.
NAN reports that although these junctions were barricaded, security agents on duty were not seen harassing road users.
Some residents who spoke to NAN said that the presence of security agents had rekindled hopes that voters would be safe to exercise their franchise.
One of them, Mr Henry Onari, a civil servant, commended the security personnel for their civility and peaceful conduct.
“I have not seen them harassing anybody, they are merely searching vehicles not marked for election duty, this is a good development,’’ Onari said.
Another resident,Mr Leader Ndutimi, described the security checks at the junctions as a step in the right direction.
“It is an election day, we don’t expect free movement, thoroughness is expected of the security agencies, and that is what we are seeing,’’ Ndutimi said.
Miss Nengi Tomprenbofa, a nurse, said the screening of vehicles and other road users by security agents was commendable.
“These checkpoints are in order, you can see that people are already beginning to regain confidence, I am happy with the situation,’’ Tomprenbofa said
Fear, security scare, as Bayelsans elect new governor
With few hours to the governorship election in Bayelsa State, fear, tension and anxiety have enveloped the state as residents are afraid of the unknown.
This is as a result of reports of violence and killings recorded in some parts of the state.
In Yenagoa, the state capital, reports show that some suspected political thugs dressed in military uniforms are allegedly distributing guns to young men for them to foment trouble during Saturday’s election.
Places such as Nembe, Azuzuma, and Ogbia are currently witnessing violent activities by political thugs who are allegedly attacking residents. Some of the community members have reportedly fled to the forest.
Other places where there is apprehension includes Opuama in Southern Ijaw local government area, where eight-speed boats filled with armed men were reportedly sighted floating, thereby preventing people from entering the town.
Military personnel have also been deployed to different parts of the state. Communities such as Peretorugbe in Ekeremor local government area were surrounded Friday night by heavy military presence as the Nigerian Army now conduct stop and search on everyone coming in and going out of the community, to prevent breakdown of law and order.
Electorates in Bayelsa State will on Saturday, go to the poll, to choose their next governor for the next four years.
The battle of who emerges governor of the State is clearly between Senator Douye Diri, of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who has the backing of the incumbent governor, Seriake Dickson and the All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship candidate, David Lyon.
There have been records of violence and killings with continued clashes between the two leading political parties heading to the Saturday’s polls.
Follow this thread for updates of results and incidents from different polling units in the State.