…Arrest 8 suspects in connection with violent protest in Yenagoa
…Diri sworn-in as new gov, pledges to work for peace, prosperity of Bayelsa
The people of Bayelsa State have been advised to stay indoors from the hours of 8pm to 6am from Friday to Sunday with respect to the violent protest that followed the Supreme Court judgement declaring the PDP candidate, Senator Douye Diri, as winner of November 16, 2019 governorship election.
This was declared on Friday by the Commissioner of Police in the state, Uche John Anozie, during a press briefing at the Government House in Yenagoa, adding that a total of eight suspects were arrested in connection with the violent protest.
He said: “Following the outcome of the Supreme Court judgement with respect to the Bayelsa State governorship election, which was made public on 13th of February, 2020, angry protesters stormed the streets of Yenagoa, security personnel were mobilised to various locations within the metropolis and the protesters were invariably contended.
“The police command is hereby imposing dusk to dawn curfew for three days, from today Friday, 14th February, 2020 to Sunday, 16th February, 2020, from the hours of 8pm to 6am. Members of the public are hereby advised to stay indoors as security agencies will be out to arrest and prosecute anyone who violates the curfew.
“They are further advised to remain calm as the command is posed to ensure the safety of lives and properties in the state. It is therefore expected that this admonition will be heeded by all and sundry without fail as any violation will not be tolerated by the police and any other security agencies in the state.”
In compliance with the judgment of the Supreme Court on Thursday, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday issued certificate of return to the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Douye Diri.
Briefing newsmen after a meeting of the leadership of the Commission, its chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said the Commission had received the Certified True Copy (CTC) of the judgement of the apex court which disqualified the Deputy Governorship candidate and vitiated the joint ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) earlier declared winner in the election.
Reciting the verdict of the court, he said the court also ordered the Commission to “declare as winner of the Govemorship election in Bayelsa State the candidate with the highest number of lawful votes cast with the requisite constitutional (or geographical spread)”.
“In compliance with the orders of the Supreme Court, the Commission met this (Friday) morning and reviewed the result of the election in which 45 political parties contested.
“Without the votes scored by the All Progressives Congress (APC), whose candidates were deemed not to have participated in the election, the total number of lawful and valid votes cast in the election now stand at 146,999.
“Out of this figure, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) scored the highest number of lawful votes with 143,172. Similarly, the Party has scored more than 25% of the lawful votes cast in all the eight (8) Local Government Areas of the State.
“Furthermore, the total number of registered voters in places where election was not held or cancelled as a result of sundry violations is 90,822. The candidate of the Accord party has the next highest score with 1,339 votes.
The margin of lead between the candidates of the PDP and the Accord party is 141,833 votes. With this outcome, the election is conclusive at first ballot.
“Consequently, Senator Douye Diri and Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo of the PDP are hereby declared winners and returned elected as Governor and Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State respectively.
“In accordance with the requirement of Section 75 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) the Certificates of Return to the Governor and Deputy Governor-elect has been presented to them immediately as ordered by the Supreme Court”.
Speaking, the governor-elect, Sen. Diri, appreciated the judiciary as the last hope of common man.
He prayed that God will heal the land of Bayelsa and Nigeria at large.
“God has seen us through widened road and it has taught us a lesson”, he said.
At the PDP Presidential Campaign Office in Abuja, Diri promised to uphold the party legacy, principles and ideals in governing Bayelsa State.
He said he will accommodate all Bayelsans irrespective of party differences.
National Chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, admonished Diri that it is the time for all to come together especially the people of Bayelsa state.
“It is not in the falling, but it is in the rising according to Mandela. This is the time to establish the truth and reconciliation committee for the benefit and genuine reconciliation of all Bayelsans.
“There will be no victor, ther will also be no vanquished. So we urge the new governor-elect and deputy governor-elect to quickly go to work, embrace everyone regardless of their linings or parties because this is what PDP represents.
“We believe in the rule of law and our matters are very clear. If it on point of law, no argument, no protest, if it is not point of law, we will ask question.
“We don’t just make protests or argue or issue statements on ordinary ground. If we have ground, we will ask and on this matter in Bayelsa State, it was on point of law and the rule of law has taken place.
“God has given you power not man. So go and be good ambassadors of the nation and your state and the party.
“There shall not be no rancour. Call all the elders, all the youths of Bayelsa together to work. It is not the party, party is important, it is the platform, but the service you are going to render to the people of Bayelsa should be uppermost in your mind and that is how to build a nation.
“We believe that our nation is in disarray, our nation is in distress but with the caliber of yourself, the governor-elect and the deputy governor-elect, we will begin to heal the wound, we will begin to rebuild this nation and bring everyone together”, said the party chairman.
He said the PDP stands for the unity of the country, adding that the PDP stands for all-inclusiveness, and stands for the future of the young generation of the country.
Meanwhile, Sen. Douye Diri of the Peoples Democracy Party (PDP), on Friday, took oath of office as Governor of Bayelsa State.
Chief Judge of the state, Justice Kate Abiri, administered the oath of office for the Bayelsa governor, and his Deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo.
The swearing-in ceremony which took place at the Government House, Yenagoa, was a huge celebration among party supporters.
In an inauguration address, Diri declared that he would always work to achieve peace, love and prosperity for the people.
He described the swearing in day, as “a day made by God and marvelous in the eye of the people of Bayelsa”.
“I have been sworn in today as your new governor, my advice is that we have to be magnanimous in victory.
“We have to forget the bitterness and acrimony, because if we kill ourselves, who are we going to lead? Of course, we are not going to lead animals.
“I, therefore, bring to you message of love, hope and prosperity for Bayelsa.
“Let us eschew all the bitterness and acrimony and learn to love ourselves irrespective of political parties,” Diri stated.
However, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has faulted the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue certificate of return to and declare the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Sen. Douye Diri, as elected governor of Bayelsa State.
Addressing a press conference at the party’s headquarters in Abuja on Friday, he said INEC failed to recognise that its responsibility does not include legal interpretation.
He said INEC chose to appropriate the judicial powers of the court to interpret laws that is neither competent to do nor has the mandate to do so.
According to the former governor of Edo State, the party is ready to explore every legal options in seeking redress over the Supreme Court declaration.
He said: “INEC fails to recognise that its responsibility does not include legal interpretation and the Supreme Court did not ask INEC to go and begin to assume the judicial powers.
“All what INEC needs to do is simple arithmetic, who has the next highest votes? Does such person have a required vote spread? If the answer is no, INEC can do no more. Now INEC has decided to assume that the case of Bayelsa is exactly the same case as that of Zamfara.
“We recognise that having purported to have sworn in or issued certificate to PDP candidate, we still believe that there are viable legal widows that we will be explore. We affirm our confidence in the judiciary even with pains in our hearts.
“The Supreme Court for good reason gave a conditional order that INEC should swear in the second candidate with the highest number of vote and the required constitutional spread.
“I believe that the fact the Supreme Court insisted on constitutional spread is a recognition of the fact that the constitution does not want a situation in which anyone, governor or president presides over the affairs of a state without at least enjoy two third support of electorate of that state.
“Clearly, the votes scored by PDP and their candidate in that election was only meant requirement in five local governments and you need six local governments to meet the requirement of two third. PDP candidate did not satisfy this requirement.”