APC refuses to sign election sheet in Bayelsa saying Inec colluded with PDP to rig

NIGERIA'S ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has rejected the final results of the Bayelsa State governorship election released today by the Independent National Electoral Commission (Inec) with incumbent Governor Douye Diri being declared the winner.


On Saturday, Bayelsans went to the polls to elect a new governor, as happened in Imo and Kogi states. Yesterday, Inec declared two states for the APC as incumbent Governor Hope Uzodinma was announced as the winner in Imo State and Ahmed Usman-Ododo was declared governor-elect in Kogi State.


Today, Inec finished counting in Bayelsa State and announced Governor Diri as the winner with 175,196  votes to defeat his closest rival, former governor and petroleum minister Timipre Sylva of the APC, who garnered 110,108 votes. However, Dennis Otiotio, the APC chairman in Bayelsa State refused to sign toe results sheet, saying they could not accept the figures declared by Inec.


According to Mr Otiotio, the APC would have won the governorship election if the over 84,000 votes scored by the party in the field were not voided by the commission. He alleged that the electoral umpire connived with the ruling PDP to cancel votes polled by the opposition APC.


Mr Otiotio said: “Over 84,000 votes scored by the APC in Nembe and Southern Ijaw were cancelled, so we will not be signing this result. In Nembe over 29,000 votes that the APC scored were cancelled, while in Southern Ijaw, over 54,000 votes that the APC scored were cancelled.


“If you add the total cancelled votes that the APC scored which were about 84, 806 votes, if you add it to what the party scored at the collation centre, the APC clearly won the election. But it is clear that Inec has colluded, connived with the PDP to cancel results here in this office, not on the field.


“It is unprecedented, it has never happened anywhere and we are totally rejecting this result. Well, the Electoral Act allows Inec to review the results within seven days, and we have written the necessary petition which we have delivered, believing that in good conscience, they will look at our petition and deal with it accordingly.”


Professor Faruq Kuta, the election's returning officer,  who is also the vice chancellor of the Federal University Of Technology, Minna, has announced Governor Diri as the winner of the poll at the collation centre earlier today. Mr Sylva trailed in second place, while the Labour Party only garnered 905 votes.