After Governor Douye Diri from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was announced the winner of the November 11 governorship elections, Udengs Eradiri, the Labour Party (LP) candidate, has contested the results. He mentioned that he and his team are analyzing the outcomes and planning their next steps.
Eradiri secured a total of 905 votes, placing third by a significant margin. During a press conference held at his campaign headquarters in Yenagoa, the state capital, Eradiri criticized the election, stating it disregarded fundamental democratic principles and procedures crucial for a fair, credible, and peaceful gubernatorial election.
Accompanied by his running mate, Commodore Benjamin Nathus (retd), as well as other campaign council members and party officials, Eradiri urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate all electoral officers involved in the election. He expressed regret, labeling the November 11 Bayelsa election as the most financially influenced poll in the nation’s history.
He said: “The election on Saturday, November 11, was marred by massive and mind-blowing vote-buying. We were shocked that the state government converted all the polling units to market squares and business centres where votes were auctioned, haggled over, bargained for and purchased.
“The state government emptied our vault and carelessly deployed billions of our commonwealth to induced and compromise voters.
“Our state resources, which unconfirmed sources put at over N80bn were used to intimidate our traumatized people, who have been impoverished by this government. The government of Douye Diri deliberately weaponised poverty and forced the people to sell their consciences for money at the poll.
“I consider vote-buying a crime against humanity cannot engage in vote-buying because it is a demonstration of lack of performance, unpopularity, incompetence, leadership failure and cluelessness on the part of the buyer. How can you bribe people to serve them?
“I am surprised that this government resorted to vote-buying because I have always
emphasized on his incompetence. I am only shocked at the level it took the malfeasance to. This government bought each vote as much as N70,000 in some places. The state government has added another record to its bag of incompetent achievements making the November 11 Bayelsa election the most monetized poll in the history of the country.”
Eradiri stated that his participation in the election aimed to challenge the leadership’s incompetence in the state. He emphasized having no regrets and expressed contentment in running for the election. He highlighted that it provided him with the chance to travel through all the creeks, hamlets, and communities, enabling him to witness firsthand the suffering and widespread poverty affecting the people.
“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.
“I wonder why INEC cannot enforce its rules to ensure credible elections in the country. There was intimidation and harassment of voters, violence, bypass of BVAS among other irregularities, which have vitiated whatever results they announced at the collation centre.
“I call on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to probe all electoral officers that participated in the election. Most of them are the reasons for the rampart voter inducement in our country’s election. The commission should investigate the massive monetary inducements that occurred in the Bayelsa election,” Eradiri added.
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