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Bayelsa Election: Electoral officials in Southern Ijaw kidnapped, Dickson laments

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Maryam Hassan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/ibrahim.ramalana, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has lamented that violence has marred the election in some parts of the state. According to him, many electoral officials in Southern Ijaw and some other parts of the state have been kidnapped.

Speaking after he cast his vote at his Polling Unit 5, Ward 2, Sagbama, the governor accused security agencies of conniving with the All Progressives Congress, APC, to rig the state governorship election.

He said, “As we are speaking, in this day and age, gun-wielding militiamen, with the aid of security forces, have overrun hapless electoral officials.

”Most of the electoral officials in Southern Ijaw, as we speak, are kidnapped and held hostage.”The governor said it is very sad that no election was held in Southern Ijaw.

He accused the opposition party of being desperate to seize power in Bayelsa, stating that if the people are allowed to freely vote, then they will vote for the ruling Peoples Democratic Party.

“This election, allow the people to vote. Anywhere the people of Bayelsa have an opportunity to vote, they will vote for our party. They will vote for the candidate of our party. The APC knows that and that is why the desperation is so high,” Mr Dickson said.

Speaking on the way forward, he asked the Independent National Electoral Commission to cancel elections in all areas where electoral materials were hijacked by suspected political thugs.

He also called on the president to act and ensure that security operatives work in the best interest of the Bayelsa people.

“Way forward, I call on the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, even though he has decided to look the other way since 2015.

”The President has to wake to do something. This is not a democracy. The observers are here and they know what is going on.

”I call on the President to call the security forces to order. I call on the IG of Police to do his duty to protect the people of Bayelsa State,” the governor said.He warned that if the security situation is not put to check, then the people might be forced to defend themselves.

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