The governorship candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr Udengs Eradiri, has formally rejected the results of the Bayelsa governorship election which returned the incumbent governor, Senator Douye Diri as governor- election.
The returning officer, Prof Faruk Adamu had on Monday declared Diri the winner of the election after polling 175,198 votes to defeat other candidates.
Eradiri in a press conference addressed in Yenagoa said the election was held against the cardinal principles, laid-down procedures and ground rules that guides democratic elections.
According to him the election was marred by massive and mind-blowing vote-buying in the full glare of security agencies and INEC officials who have been compromised to look the other way.
He said polling units were practically turned into a market square where votes were auctioned, haggled over, bargained for and purchased.
Eradiri stated that he considers vote-buying not only as a crime against humanity but also a demonstration of lack of performance and unpopularity.
He pointed out that he contested the governorship election to change the narrative of governance in Bayelsa state.
“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 ccluelessness on the part of the buyer.
“I am not surprised that this government resorted to vote-buying because I have always emphasised its incompetence. I am only shocked at the level it took the malfeasance to
“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 wept when I saw the condition of our people, the naked squalor they live amidst plenty as 1campaigned 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. Without any mobilisation, they all trooped out to identify with me. I know they were intimidated when they saw the kind of money they had never seen before at their polling units.
Eradiri who noted that he has no regrets contesting the election commended those who voted for him describing them as the heroes of the election.
“I have no regrets. I am happy I ran for this election because it afforded me the opportunity to go round all the creeks, hamlets, communities to see the suffering of our people and the endemic poverty ravaging them. It allowed me to further appreciate the beauty, untapped potential and wealth of my state. It gave me many ideas of what should be done to elevate Bayelsa and emancipate our people from the shackles of poverty.
“I thank the people of Bayelsa for their support and commend those who defied the intimidation and rejected inducements to vote for me. They are the real heroes of this election and their votes are the authentic and valid vote cast.’’