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Bayelsa poll: APC, PDP trade blame over violence, voters intimidation

The All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State have accused each other of intimidating voters in some parts of…

The All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State have accused each other of intimidating voters in some parts of the state in the Saturday governorship election.

The APC governorship candidate, Chief Timipre Sylva, after casting his vote at Polling Unit 4, Dukuraku Central Open Space, Okpoama, Ward 4 in Brass Local Government Area, accused security agents, especially the army of conniving with PDP to rig out his party.

Sylva, who voted alongside his wife, Alaingi, however expressed confidence that his party would coast to victory at the end of the day.

He said: “I’m very confident that things are going to go well for the APC at the end of the day, but we have some issues in the ward, units 3, 5 and 9. The registers were not uploaded, so we escalated it to INEC, and of course they said it was a mistake on their side, the problem is being rectified and they promised in those particular units that they will extend the voting time.

“So far in my unit, things are going on well, and around the state, we are also following up, there have been a lot of violence PDP is doing, they are trying to molest our supporters, in some cases. We are believing that we are running election not against the PDP but security, but we are containing the situation, so that at the end of the day, we will come out victorious.

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“We are told in Yenagoa, there has been a lot of violence, a lot of police actions. In fact this morning, I woke with a story of one of my APC members shot. By afternoon, we have a situation where army especially, has taken over some areas, in Biseni Community.

“They said it’s army that acts there with PDP to snatch ballot boxes and so on. I don’t know the extent it’s going on but frankly speaking, security agencies in Bayelsa are playing on the part of the PDP.

“It’s unfortunate, especially the army, playing on the side of the PDP. We expect at the end of the day, people will contain them and we will come out victorious.

“For INEC, there is a lot of improvement. This is a human system, we expect there will be lapses but I was very shocked how those registers were not uploaded in my ward, but we believe there is still room for improvement.”

Meanwhile Governor Diri, while casting his vote earlier, alleged that PDP members were chased out of Nembe-Basambiri, accusing Sylva of perpetrating the violent attack on the PDP members.

He said: “Special attention has to be given to Nembe-Bassambiri because every thing points to the fact that PDP members were chased out of the community.

“You know that we have been raising the issue of the violent character of the APC candidate, Timipre Sylva. Over the years, every election he was involved in experienced violence.

“In Bassambiri, the name and character behind the crisis in the community is Timipre Sylva. l do not want to have an overview of the APC. So we have to reduce it to the character of the person. Sylva has been a violent person in every election.

“If you recall, Chief Edwin Clark wrote an open letter on him and asked him why he has refused to change his forceful and violent way of winning elections. However, like l keep telling everyone, God is on the throne and that is why we are standing against him in his violent ways.”

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