The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced that it has indefinitely suspended the declaration proceedings in the Bayelsa State gubernatorial race. It was also reported that INEC cancelled the entire election in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area (LGA) due to violence, the abduction of election officials, and ballot snatching.
SaharaReporters previously reported that the gubernatorial candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Seriake Dickson, was leading over his All Progressives Congress (APC) opponent Timipre Sylva.
SaharaReporters has also reported that the APC Party leadership in Bayelsa State have been conniving with the Nigerian military and security forces in the State to rig the election, particularly in the Southern Ijaw LGA. Responding to the allegations of the APC and military conspiracy, the PDP spokesman Olisa Metuh said “hordes of harassments by the military and other security forces working for the APC” have undermined the credibility of the election.
Mr. Metuh added “we condemn in the strongest possible term, the wanton confiscation and transfer of voting materials by security operatives directly to APC agents for outright allocation of votes. ”
INEC cancelled the election in Southern Ijaw LGA shortly after thugs stormed the collation center in Yenagoa, the capital of Bayelsa State, with Toyota Hilux trucks carrying ballot boxes and intimidating people in the collation center.
The election cancellation came after the Nigerian police banned any form of procession, rally, or protest in the State fearing an escalation of tension.
A rescheduled date for election has not been announced at the time of publication.