The candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the just concluded governirship election in Bayelsa State, Engr. Udengs Eradiri, has rejected the results announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday, saying the Saturday poll was marred by irregularities and massive vote buying.
INEC had declared the incumbent governor of the state and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Douye Diri, as winner, having scored 175,196 votes. Eradiri, who scored 905 votes came third.
Speaking to newsmen on Tuesday in Yenagoa, the state capital, Eradiri said the election was not free, fair, credible and peaceful.
He lamented that the state resources were used to intimidate the traumatized people during the election.
He said: “The election of Saturday, November 11, was marred by massive and mind-blowing vote buying. I consider vote buying a crime against humanity. I cannot engage in vote buying because it is a demonstration of lack of performance, unpopularity, incompetence, leadership failure and cluelessness on the part of the buyer. How can you bribe people to serve them?
“I contested this election to prove a point that this incompetence in Bayelsa can be challenged. I contested this election to solve the problems of lack of potable water, dearth of infrastructures, ravaging poverty and rot in the educational sector.
“I contested this election to take our girls and boys out of the streets, to reverse the poor economic indices that have made our rich-Bayelsa the second poorest state in multidimensional poverty. I contested because I have the capacity, the experience, ideas and the courage to deliver good governance to our people.
“I wept when I saw the condition of our people, the naked squalor they live in amidst plenty as I campaign round the communities and held town hall meetings to solicit their votes. I was touched by the spontaneous show of love they gave me at their homes and villages.
“The process adopted at the polling units encouraged buying and selling of votes. It made it difficult for voters to even collect their money and still vote their conscience.
“I call on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to probe all electoral officers that participated in the election, most of them are the reasons for rampant voters inducement in our country’s election. The commission should investigate the massive monetary inducement that occurred in the Bayelsa election.
“I want to assure our people that I won’t give up, I will continue to challenge this system until Bayelsa is rescued from poverty, underdevelopment, darkness and other leadership ills.”