THE Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, has described as “vague, unsubstantiated and malicious,” the allegation that Governor Henry Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, had compromised Baritor Kpagir, resident electoral commissioner of Bayelsa State, with N200 million to rig the December 5, 2015 governorship election in the state.
The allegation was said to have been made by one Ted Francis, an intimate friend of Timipre Sylva, governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the election. Francis had in an affidavit deposed to at a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt alleged that Governor Dickson, gave N200 million bribe to the REC.
But the IYC in a statement issued on Tuesday, December 29, 2015 by Bobolaiyefa Owopelei, chairman of its central zone, demanded that governor Dickson should sue the APC and Francis for defamation of character to clear his name.
The group averred that democracy could only flourish if federal institutions like the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, continued to play its neutral role in Bayelsa State and wondered why the APC and its candidate were bent on rubbishing the commission.
“No amount of propaganda and blackmail by the APC will make them win the governorship polls because Bayelsans and the Ijaw nation have endorsed governor Dickson as their governor and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as their party,” the IYC stated.
The organisation also dismissed the allegation as a figment of the imagination of the enemies of democracy and the Ijaw nation.
While describing Kpagir as a man of integrity, the group alleged that the APC was bent on destroying the REC for refusing to be bribed.
“The Bayelsa APC and its agents are serial liars. The latest allegation leveled against the governor is consistent with the antics of the APC which would stop at nothing to use the name of President Muhammadu Buhari to redeploy INEC officials in the state and replace them with those that will compromise the electoral process on January 9 in the rescheduled election in Southern Ijaw LGA”, Owopelei said in the statement.
According to the IYC, since the governor has won six LGAs out of the seven where the elections held, the election has already been won by the PDP and Dickson adding that the outcome of the elections in Southern Ijaw LGA would not alter the victory, but only consolidate it.
Owopelei, who called on Dickson not to be distracted, argued that the governor was too decent to condescend to the level of bribing anybody.
The IYC warned the APC and Sylva to desist from dragging the name of federal agencies in the mud.
— Jan 4, 2016 @ 15:20 GMT