Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has commended the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for canceling last Sunday’s governorship election in Southern Ijaw local government area just as he hailed the people of the state for their resilience, which ensured results from the area were not taken into account.
The governorship election in Bayelsa State was declared inconclusive on Monday by the INEC over the inability to conduct free, fair and credible polls in the area following abduction of electoral staff, hijacking of sensitive election materials and violent clashes between armed youths.
Dickson, who commended INEC and Bayelsans while addressing journalists at Government House, Yenagoa, said had the electoral commission taken his advice, it would have saved the nation scarce resources, which were used in conducting the canceled election.
He pointed out that the INEC’s decision to hold the election on Sunday was ill-advised, especially when the security situation and peculiar nature of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area (LGA) is taken into consideration.
Dickson, who is the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate in the governorship election, expressed regret over the killings and abduction of INEC ad hoc staff and corps members in the area, assuring the people of the government’s commitment to ensuring that they are re-united with their families.
He said, “I want to use this opportunity to commend INEC at last for taking the right decision. Let me say that, it is regrettable that, if INEC and the relevant authorities had taken my advice, as chief security officer of the state, the incident would have been avoided.
“They didn’t listen to the honest advice that I gave to them, otherwise, the decision to hold that election on Sunday was ill-advised. Regrettably, a lot of people have suffered inconvenience, and a lot of public resources have been expended.
“As we speak, we are in the process of working with community leaders and other partners to identify and retrieve youth corps members, who were put in danger for no fault of theirs.
“I like to use this opportunity to also commend them, these young wonderful Nigerians, who came here to serve their fatherland. I want to assure them and all stakeholders, who will participate in the rescheduled election and other activities that Bayelsa will continue to be home to them.
“The government of Bayelsa appreciates their sacrifice and will continue to partner with them to make our nation a better place”, he said.