Bayelsa Polls: Observers Rate Election Worst Than Average

The just concluded governorship election in Bayelsa State where Seriaki Dickson of the Peoples Democratic Party was declared winner has been rated below average.

A Coalition of the Independent National Electoral Commission accredited observer groups said the December 5, 2015 and January 9, 2016 supplementary poll failed to meet international standards.
This was contained in a 10-point communiqué issued on Friday by the coalition at a press conference at the NUJ Press Centre, Yenagoa.
The Leader of the `coalition and Director-General, Centre for Credible Leadership and Citizens Awareness, Gabriel Nwambu, who read the communiqué, faulted the violence that marred the election.
Nwambu said, “The INEC ensured timely arrival of voting materials in the upland areas with some noted delays in most of the riverine (area) which was precipitated by hijacking of electoral materials, including hostage-taking of electoral officials in the December 5 and 6, 2015 election.
“The developments violate the fundamental principles of democratic rule in line with global best practices of transparent, free, fair and credible process of election.
“This election was characterised by massive snatching of ballot boxes as well as pre-election violence and election-related violence, especially in Nembe-Bassambiri Ward 1, Unit 022, Ward 6, Units 004, 005, 013 and Ward 9, Units 002 and 015.
“Materials for Constituency 2, Southern Ijaw, was snatched by thugs and taken to unknown destination.
“In Ukubie and Azuzuama communities of Southern Ijaw, no electoral materials were seen. The people were disenfranchised.
“In Brass Local Government Area, materials meant for Cape Formosa Area made up of Egweama, Beletiama and Liama were snatched to unknown destination.
“Minibie in Akassa area of Brass was not left out in the ballot box snatching.
“Voters in Units 2,4,13 and 15 were also deprived of voting due to massive violence and ballot box snatching. Materials for Nembe wards 6 and 9 were also hijacked.”
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