Two groups, the Ijaw Leaders Forum and the Advocacy for Good Governance, have condemned the conduct of the just-concluded governorship election in Bayelsa State, saying it fell short of required standards.
They said this in Yenagoa on Thursday, while reacting to the conduct of the poll.
Leader of the ILF, Timi Ogoriba, in a statement signed by eight other members of the forum said the election was “fraudulently conducted with deployment of heavy security to favour the All Progressives Congress.”
Ogoriba said, “There was a brazen display of coerciveness and use of brute force by the security agents on the electorate. It is also common knowledge that the security forces arrested those perceived to be working for the Peoples Democratic party and quarantined them at several locations till after the election.”
The Ijaw leaders challenged the nation’s judiciary to rise to the occasion and redress the anomalies when entertaining cases arising from the poll.
Similarly, the state Chairmam of AGG, Bunu Tonye-Jacob, told journalists in Yenagoa that the governorship election was marred by irregularities, which he said could put the nation’s democracy under serious threat.
Tonye-Jacob said, “What happened in some places during the election was a rape of our democracy. And this will further put to test whether or not our democracy can survive.
“We are calling on the international community and all lovers of democracy to come to our aid as our democracy is in serious threat because in some places, (there were) a lot of irregularities.”
Meanwhile, a Coalition of Civil Society Election Observers Group has called for the cancellation of the November 16 governorship election in Bayelsa, saying it did not represent the aspirations of genuine voters in the state.
The observers, who made their position known in an interim report, however, stated that the election witnessed improved commitment by INEC towards logistics deployment and commencement of the poll.
The Chairman of the CCSEOG, Mr Olufemi Lawson, who presented the interim report at a press conference in Lagos, said there were widespread cases of electoral violence and vote-buying facilitated by security operatives in collaboration with thugs..
He said, “It is a shame that the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, described policemen that disrupted the governorship poll in parts of Bayelsa and Kogi states as fake.”