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Violence In Bayelsa Election Unacceptable, Furious Saraki Says

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Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, on Sunday night lamented the reports of violence and deaths trailing the rescheduled governorship election in Southern Ijaw Local Government area of Bayelsa State.

The Independent National Electoral Commission on Sunday declared Seriake Dickson of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as winner of the Bayelsa State Governorship election.

He defeated a host of candidates, including Timipre Sylva of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who came second. Zana Akpagu, the INEC returning officer said Dickson polled 134,998 votes while his closest challenger, Sylva, received 86,852 votes.

It was the end of an election laced with violence that gave a window of opportunity to former President Goodluck Jonathan to breathe.

Although he was not contesting, many had argued that a defeat in his home state of Bayelsa would bring to an end a tumultuous political career for Jonathan.

The elections in Ijaw South on Saturday were the last chapter of a governorship poll that could not be completed some weeks ago.

Saraki in a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu in Abuja said it was unacceptable that an election meant to produce a governor for the state was turned into a theatre of warfare with attendant loss of  lives and destruction of property.

He called on the security agencies already mobilised to the state to quickly restore peace, while urging them to ensure that the perpetrators of violence are identified, arrested and prosecuted to serve as deterrent to others.

“The sheer level of violence that has been reported following the conduct of the rescheduled elections in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area is absolutely unacceptable. To descend to the use of force in a democratic process will no doubt negate and put a question mark on the outcome of the elections.

“I call on the security agencies to quickly end the bloodbath and also ensure that those responsible for the violence are arrested and prosecuted irrespective of the political affiliation,” Saraki stated.

The governor of Ekiti State hailed the re-election of Dickson and branded Bayelsans as “worthy heroes of democracy” who resisted violence and imposition from President Muhammadu Buhari’s Progressives Congress.

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