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Showdown in Bayelsa

09 January 2016, 07:00Lekan Oladeinde, News24 Nigeria

Yenagoa - The people of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State will on Saturday decide who the next governor of the state will be.

This comes following the inconclusive December 5 governorship election between incumbent governor, Seriake Dickson, who is the candidate of the People Democratic Party (PDP) and a former governor of the state, Timipre Sylva of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The election could not produce a winner after violence prevented the people of the council from voting on December 5.

The area was turned into a battle ground by political thugs, a development that led to the cancellation of the exercise by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Before the election was declared inconclusive, Dickson was leading in six of the seven local government areas of the state declared by INEC.

Also read: Dickson visits Buhari over Bayelsa election

The governor polled 105 748 votes, while Sylva won in only one and had 72 594 votes, a margin of 30 154 votes.

Interestingly, the local government has over 120 000 registered voters, the second highest after Yenagoa with 135 025 registered voters.

There are fears that the election might not attract large turnout due to the pervading atmosphere of tension following accusations and counter-accusations from the camps of the two leading candidates.

There are allegations of stockpiling of arms in the area to be unleashed on election day to scare away the electorates with a view of rigging the poll.

There are reports that some residents of the area are already relocating to other councils to avoid be cut in the circle of violence that may occur during the exercise.

Dickson, who said his political ambition does not worth the blood of anybody, regretted the do-or-die politics of the APC in the state.

Sylva, on the other hand, accused Dickson of being the brain behind all the violence recorded during the December 5 governorship election in the state.

Also read: INEC deploys three National Commissioners for Bayelsa supplementary poll

INEC seems to be putting measures in place to ensure a smooth contest. 

The commission on Thursday announced that it is deploying three of its National Commissioners to supervise the supplementary governorship election.

- News 24


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