The Labour Party (LP) Candidate Alleges Voter Inducement by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)

The Labour Party (LP) candidate in yesterday’s governorship election in Bayelsa State, Udengs Eradiri, has decried the high level of vote buying, stating that the exercise was compromised.

The Labour Party (LP) candidate in yesterday’s governorship election in Bayelsa State, Udengs Eradiri, has decried the high level of vote buying, stating that the exercise was compromised.

Eradiri stated this shortly after casting his vote alongside his wife at his Polling Unit in Agudama Ekpetiama Ward 10, Unit 5, Yenagoa Local Council of the state.

He accused the incumbent Governor, Douye Diri, who is the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the election of using state resources to buy votes.

His words: “The optics shows that the process is going on smoothly aside from those things that are happening behind the scene where money is being exchanged for votes and people are writing down names to be collecting N12,000 and so on and it is happening everywhere and you know some of us have decided that we will not express ourselves violently.

“The state resources are being shared everywhere; money that ordinarily should have been used to equip schools and boost the economy of this state is thrown around to buy votes. So far, so good, we have done the voting but behind the scene state resources are being used to buy votes.

“I am talking about the party of the day, the governor’s party, the PDP. They are busy buying votes and snapping ballot papers and using it to go behind the scene and get money. There is somebody holding some money in the other party; they have been reported to the police. As I said, a lot of compromise is going on in this election everywhere.

“There is always peace in my community during elections because of our peaceful disposition and that disposition is what I have displayed today. The only thing I will not do is to buy votes.”

MEANWHILE, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), a pro-democracy think-tank, has highlighted factors that undermined the 2023 governorship elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi states.

The group, in a statement, on Saturday, said its Election Analysis Centre (CDD-EAC) was observing the off-cycle elections in the states through the over 150 fact-checkers and observers deployed to monitor the exercise in the three states. He said they were working with a team of data clerks, reviewers and analysts in its situation room in Abuja.

The statement signed by Adele Jinadu, Chair, CDD EAC, explained how delays in voting and deployment challenges, election irregularities, election violence, disinformation, BVAS functionality and how vote-buying and trading characterised the governorship elections generally across the states.

“Several observers in Bayelsa have reported the late arrival of INEC staff and security personnel. In PU 24 WARD 4 (Yenagoa) voting started as late as 11:37 a.m. In Oporoma, the headquarters of the Southern Ijaw LGA, INEC officials only arrived at 12:15 p.m., while in Ogbia LGA Ward 10 Unit 3, voting only commenced at 12:40 pm,” it said.

The statement added that in Bayelsa Central, it said vote-trading was reported in PU 16, Ward 6 in Yenagoa LGA, PU 22, Ward 13 in Southern ljaw LGA with reports of voter inducements ranging from 5,000 – 22,000 Naira including other items such as wrappers.

“In PU 30 and 31, Ward 13, along with money, rice was also shared to buy votes and we are concerned that there were allusions that it might be linked to the delayed flood and subsidy palliatives that state governments only started distributing two days ago.”

“This follows a troubling development in Ward 11 and 12, Nembe LGA in Bayelsa, where election materials were allegedly secretly hijacked to a different location and where agents were reportedly thumbprinting for APC,” it said.

The CDD noted that its observers reported the presence of military officers in the area where the suspected culprits were arrested and taken to a different location, with gunboats deployed in the area.

“While we are mindful of the need to confirm this with security agencies, we are also concerned about how such information has been widely reported and, if true, how this does not inspire confidence in the electoral process.”

In Yenagoa LGA, it said observers reported that one person was shot at Famgbe community and, in PU 24 Ward, voting ended abruptly when thugs destroyed election materials at about 11:45 am.

“We note that in these area polling units, there was little to no presence of security officials.

“Similar instances were reported in Brass PU 7 Ward 7, observers reported that there were no security agents as late as 10:19 am, despite voting having started. Similarly, in PU 9 Ward 4, security officials only arrived at 11:10 am.”.…CONTINUE.FULL.READING>>>

About the author

Baba Voss

A Prolific Writer, Vast In Series of Publications Basically on Politics, Entertainment, Sport, Life Style, Fashion, Business, Technology, Health, History etc.

Leave a Comment