A former Federal Commissioner for Information who is also an Ijaw Leader, Chief Edwin Clark, on Wednesday described the Bayelsa State governorship election as not only a disgrace but a brazen and open show of shame.
He said the conduct of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Governor Seriake Dickson, and that of his major contender, Chief Timipre Sylva of the All Progressives Congress, showed that they were not true democrats.
Clark, who spoke at a press conference at his residence in Abuja, explained that political violence in the state was due to desperation and greed.
He said that in some areas, guns and other weapons became the voting tools rather than the Permanent Voter Cards.
Clark said he expected the election to have been peaceful as the two contenders, Silva and Dickson, had each served as governor of the state for four years and yet “lives were lost”.
He said, “These two contestants have both served the people as governor of the state. The people already know their individual capabilities. They should have allowed the electorate to peacefully decide who they wanted.
Clark said he felt compelled to talk – even though he had resigned from partisan politics – because the election was a disaster.
He said it was difficult to exonerate the two contenders of blame.
He, however, appealed to Sylva to accept the result of the election in the interest of Bayelsa people, saying that subjecting the people to another election portends grave danger.
Clark, who is also the Chairman, Board of Trustees, Ijaw National Congress, said it was time for the Ijaw nation to look inward.
He said, “If a son of Ijaw land can prevent nationwide bloodshed by conceding defeat, why can’t we replicate this same feat at home and display uncommon courage?
“I have heard Sylva’s statement that he will go to the tribunal to prove that the elections were not properly conducted due to an alleged conspiracy between the Independent National Electoral Commission and the PDP.”
While saying that this was the proper action to be taken by an aggrieved candidate in any election, he nevertheless appealed to the former governor to allow peace to reign by jettisoning the idea.
Clark said, “But I am appealing to him that in the interest of the ljaw nation and to prevent the danger of subjecting the people of Bayelsa to another gruesome ordeal, he should please accept the results of the election and allow peace to reign.