#NigeriaDecided2019: INEC Was Desperate, Bayelsa PDP Insists
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of attempting to subvert the will of the people in the presidential and National Assembly elections held in the state.
Presidential elections had held on February 23 across Nigeria, but not without violence in a place like Bayelsa, a situation that has resulted in the deployment of military men and several patrol vans along Mbiama-Yenagoa Road.
It was a startling sight for residents when they woke up on Monday, February 25th after the election and still found that militarisation of the election had continued.
Scared business owners and petty traders whose shops were located close to where these patrol vans were stationed, did not bother to open for business.
Some roads were deserted and that, confused some residents more.
While they tried to find out what happened, armoured tanks with soldiers, standing guard and ready to shoot, paraded the major roads.
The blaring sound of sirens were heard from afar, and everywhere was increasingly becoming more tensed.
Some parents told their children whom had prepared for school to sit at home while they took time to observe the situation.
At Mgbi Junction, an armoured tank barricaded the road which led to the State Diagnostic Centre.
Gradually, traffic began to build up as the Fire Service junction was also barricaded.
Drivers had to convert a single lane, for their use irrespective of the direction one was heading.
By 12:07 p.m., ljaw youths, dressed in black attire, assembled at the Peace Park located opposite the Government House in Yenagoa, the state capital.
While some sat away from the scorching sun, others stood in clusters discussing in low tones.
By exactly 2:09 p.m., some top government officials led by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Kemela Okara, arrived at the venue.
By then, heavily armed security agents had barricaded the right-hand side of the road from Fire Service junction, down to the multi door court.
Carrying placards with inscriptions: ‘There was no election in Nembe Bassambiri’, ‘lNEC reject the result’, ‘we did not vote', sorrowful but peaceful protesters marched from the venue through Environmental Sanitation office, to the independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at Swali.
"Governor Dickson informed us through our community leaders, that we should come out and protest against non-election and the violence that took place at Nembe Bassambiri,” one of the protesters told Bounce News.
When the crowd arrived at INEC office, two armoured tanks, eight police vans and over 20 armed officers were standby to maintain peace and order.
In his address, state Chairman of the People's Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Cleopas Moses, said it was shocking for INEC to accept results in an election where Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) were not used.
"It was a show of desperation for INEC to declare fake results despite the crisis that rocked Southern Ijaw community," he said.
Indicting security agents in the in state, he said they were pained that the commission, could ignore the destruction of lives and property by security forces protecting the interest of APC.
"The protest was to register our displeasure over the broad day rigging of the election and the premature death of our members," he concluded.
Mr Okara urged INEC to properly address the issues raised by PDP to avoid the break-down of law and order.
INEC State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Monday Udoh, however, sympathised with PDP over the loss of lives and property in the election and assured them that the commission would look into the issues raised.
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