Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson has accused the military authorities, particularly the general officer commanding 6th Division of the Nigerian Army of subverting the will of the people in the electoral process in the state.
Governor Dickson who made the accusation during a media chat in Yenagoa, decried unlawful orders issued by the GOC to officers and men who provided cover for APC leaders and thugs to carry out electoral fraud in some parts of the state.
A statement by the special adviser, media relations, Fidelis Soriwei, stated that the governor condemned the killings and hijacking of electoral materials in areas such as Bassambiri, Oluasiri, Opu Nembe, Agbere, Oweikorogha, Apoi, Azuzuama and Korokorosei.
He said that APC leader, Chief Timipre Sylva and an oil surveillance contractor, Kodjo, have taken electoral officer’s hostage at Darius Hotel, Bassambiri, describing the acts as terrorism,
He therefore called on the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) to reject results from the affected areas to promote the integrity of the commission and the electoral process.
Governor Dickson however commended the people of Ekeremor and Twon Brass who for the first time took the bold step to vote in the election.
He attributed the development to his administration’s relentless advocacy for the respect for fundamental human rights and the creation of the conducive atmosphere for political participation in the state.
The governor lamented that the Nigerian army, a major respected public institution could lower its reputation to take directives from politicians to do their biddings contrary to their code of conduct guiding its operations.
The governor who expressed sadness over the shooting of government house photographer, Reginald Dei and gruesome murder of PDP members, including the ward chairman in Oweikorogha Community, Mr. Seidougha Taribi, sympathized with their families over the incident.
He said his administration would set up a commission of inquiry to investigate the political killings and other offences committed during the 2019 general elections.
The governor assured that appropriate actions would be taken against those found culpable, pointing out that, the outcome of the inquiry would be made available to all appropriate quarters including foreign missions.
His words: “It is unfortunate that the GOC has turned this division to be the most politicized in the country. Illegitimate orders were issued where a general and officers were seen escorting politicians and supervising elections in Bayelsa. That is how the military particularly the Nigerian Army has reduced its integrity.
“You all know how I respect and support security agencies in this state who carry out their duties professionally and I will continue to do so.
“At Agbere, a community that has never known electoral crisis, they went with about 50 soldiers in company of the acting managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Prof. Nelson Brambaifa, to scatter ballot papers which made women to protest the violation of their rights.
They have turned our state into a garrison of sorts.
“The President Muhammadu Buhari that they are working for, how many guns has he bought for thugs to be shooting their own people in Katsina. In the same vein, in Atiku’s Adamawa, do we see APC leaders bringing security personnel to terrorize and kill their own people because of election?”
“I have all the evidence of the illegalities the general and his men were perpetrating against legitimate voters who were only asking to exercise their franchise freely and peacefully.
“They provided cover to APC leaders. Every APC leader has hordes of security officials during the election, when we don’t even have enough police officers to man polling units.
“From all available intelligence, our state is under attack. APC thugs led by Timipre Sylva and a certain Kodjo brandished weapons, shot and terrorized our people in Bassambiri and carted away election materials meant for 7 wards.”
What Sykva and Kodjo did in Bassambiri was pure terrorism.