Tension in Bayelsa state over Supreme Court sack of David Lyon election victory


…No one’ll be sworn in – Oshiomhole

Our Correspondents

There has been an uneasy calm and confusion in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state as Supreme Court nullified the victory of Chief David Lyon of All Progressives Congress (APC) as the Governor-elect for the state.

Before the judgement filtered the air on Thursday, the APC faithful in the state were in the high spirits preparing for Friday’s inauguration of the new government.

Chief David Lyon had earlier in the day visited the proposed venue for his inauguration at Sampson Siasia stadium, where he rehearsed for the aborted swearing in on Friday.

As at Thursday, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) flags in front of the government house were replaced with APC flags in preparation for the swearing in.

Security personnel and APC faithful who thronged the venue in preparation for the inauguration had all left the venue after the court judgement.

At the Bayelsa government house, it was a big celebration by PDP members, who thronged the outgoing Governor Dickson’s residence in celebration of the court judgement.

Though, both the APC and PDP leadership in the state are yet to make any statement about the Supreme Court judgement, but Special Adviser to Dickson on Public Affairs, Mr Daniel Alabrah described the judgement of the Supreme Court of Nigeria which upturn the victory of APC candidate, Chief David Lyon in favour of PDP candidate, Senator Douye Diri as the hand work of God.

Speaking shortly after receiving the news of the judgement, Alabrah said that the PDP faithful in the state were hopeful before the judgement, because they knew God had not finished with the party and it’s candidate, Senator Douye Diri.

He said: “The Supreme Court judgement on the Bayelsa state governorship election is the hand work of God, nobody saw it coming, even though we were hopeful, we did not rest in our oars, our prayers was that what God can do, let him do it, but if it was within our own powers as men, we knew that there was nothing we could do, so, I believe that God did this at his own time, in such a way that he alone can take the glory.

“When you look at it, every other court has ruled, every other case has been decided, except this one that even people said nothing can come out of it, we saw people who were already defecting, because they felt that it was all over for PDP and Senator Douye Diri and importantly for Governor Dickson.

“So as it stance now, the first thing to be done is for INEC to issue certificate of return to Senator Douye Diri, after that, the swearing in can take place,” he said.

The outgoing Governor of Bayelsa state, Hon. Seriake Dickson, has urged the leaders and members of All Progressives Congress (APC) to take the Thursday judgement of the Supreme Court which nullified the election of the party’s candidate, Chief David Lyon in good faith and remain peaceful.

Dickson during a media chat at the government house in Yenagoa on Thursday warned against anybody from taking law into his/her hand.

He also called on political parties to be calm and embrace peace, even as the new governor will be sworn in on Friday.

Supreme Court had on Thursday ruled that Lyon’s Deputy, Senator Degi Ereminyo submitted forged documents to INEC during the election, which therefore disqualified the joint ticket and nomination of the APC candidate.

The court also ordered INEC to withdraw the certificate of return issued to them and reissue same to the party that took second with the require constitutional spread during the election.

He said: “I commend the Supreme Court on the judgement and call for calm among party faithful. Let us have peace and stability. Everyone should take it in good faith.

“We should not do anything to cause breakdown of law. We must continue to run an inclusive system.

“The Supreme Court ruling today has brought victory to all of us and we give all glory to God. I hail the Supreme Court as an instrument to deliver the judgement.

“I, therefore call for reconciliation among us as well as other parties in the state.

“As I will be stepping down on Friday, February 14, I am grateful to God and to the people of Bayelsa.

“I known all Bayelsa people supported me l, despite difficulties but I believe we have achieved tremendously in the past eight years. I urge then to continue to work for our dear state,” he said.

Meanwhile, a PDP chieftain in the state,Hon. Julius Gabice has said although he wasn’t happy with the imposition of the governorship candidate on the party by the outgoing governor Dickson which led to the emergence of David Lyon of APC, the ruling of the supreme Court is welcome development and urged Bayelsans to accept the judgement in good faith.

Also speaking, a public affairs analyst, Elder Kenigua said it was the impunity of the outgoing governor that made Bayelsans to vote for a change as the people felt that Douye Diri as Dickson’s candidate will be a stooge to him. He urged all parties involved to sheath their swords and work together in the interest of the state.

In his opinion, Barr. Nabai Alfred Inemugha who is the IPAC in the state  said the supreme Court who is an unbiased umpire that does justice to matters brought before it cannot err in its judgement. He rather blamed INEC and political parties for not doing a thorough job by screening their candidates before presenting them for elective positions.

However, the National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole has said the Supreme Court’s judgment annulling the party’s victory in Bayelsa State lacks the fruit of justice.

Oshiomhole said this at a media briefing in Abuja, on Thursday, signaling the party’s intention to challenge the judgment in court.

He explained that by the judgment, no one will be sworn in as governor in Bayelsa on Friday because aside from the candidate of the APC, David Lyon, no other candidate has the constitutional spread to be sworn in as governor.

He said, “Our lawyers are already studying the judgment to take the necessary legal action”.


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