The All Progressives Congress (APC) has berated the electoral umpire, INEC, for its decision to declare the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Douye Diri, as governor of Bayelsa State.
Abiding by a Supreme Court directive, INEC on Friday declared Mr Diri governor-elect after it nullified the votes cast for the APC candidate, David Lyon, in the November 16 election in the state.
Mr Lyon was sacked on Thursday by the apex court on the grounds that his deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, presented a false certificate to the electoral body, INEC, in the build-up to the election.
In a press briefing on Friday at the party secretariat in Abuja, the APC chairman faulted INEC for issuing a certificate of return to Mr Diri.
“INEC expressly disobeyed the Supreme Court order which insisted on (votes) spread.
“Democracy is a game of numbers, it would not have been the intention of the Supreme Court that the man who did not have the spread be sworn-in as a governor. That is why the Supreme Court made that provision.
“We will employ every peaceful legal means to upturn this illegal decision of INEC,” Mr Oshiomhole said, suggesting the party could approach the Supreme Court again.
The party chairman also cautioned PDP and Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers against celebrating their victory through Supreme Court as “the PDP has crossed one river and they still have many rivers to cross.”
In his argument, Mr Oshiomhole said the certificates presented by
Mr Degi-Eremienyo to INEC when he contested for the Senate was the same he presented as a deputy governorship candidate.
“The qualifications for being a governor is the same qualification of being a senator. It is the same documents that they used for his election as a senator that he provided to INEC. There is no evidence that he subtracted or added.
“So, if he was eligible to be a senator in the eyes of the law and suddenly become illegible to be a deputy governor,” he said.
Mr Oshiomhole also claimed in his address that the just concluded governorship election in Bayelsa State was won by APC for the first time without ‘firing a single shot.’
However, PREMIUM TIMES and other election observers witnessed several cases of violence and manipulations during the election.
Reaction to Wike’s comment
Following the Supreme Court’s Thursday judgement, Mr Oshiomhole said that nobody should be sworn-in as the governor of Bayelsa on Friday. Among the criticisms that trailed the APC chairman’s reaction was from the Rivers governor, Nyesom Wike.
“The federal government should warn Oshiomhole to stop making remarks that will destabilise Nigeria.
“What he is doing in Edo State is not proper and he should not bring it to the rest of the Niger Delta,” Mr Wike warned Oshiomhole.
“Between me and my very dear friend (Nyesom Wike), who has the history of electoral violence?” The APC national chairman said in reaction on Friday.
“I have ran as a governor twice and to my credit I launched one man one vote. I fought the PDP godfather and I defeated them, without firing a gunshot. We emphasized the power of the ballot, peaceful ballot.
“Do you know how many lives were wasted, do you read your newspaper? Police officers were beheaded, where? Soldiers were beheaded, where? Rivers! Who was declared winner of such election violence, was it not Wike?
“When a tortoise continues to challenge the antelope for a race, know that something is wrong.
“He wants to use me to regain his dubious membership of the PDP,” he alleged.