Ex-President Jonathan receives the APC delegation led by Minister of State Chief Timipre Sylva and Governor of Jigawa state, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar. All Pix from Gabriel Akinadewo photos
By Ayo Kehinde
President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in the Nov. 16 election in Bayelsa, David Lyon, on his victory.
Buhari’s congratulatory message, contained in a statement by his Special Adviser, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Monday, also commended APC supporters in particular and Nigerians in general in the State who exercised their civic without fear or intimidation.
He however condemned the loss of lives in Bayelsa and condoled the bereaved.
He said: ‘‘Violence during elections vitiates our commitment to demonstrate to the world and upcoming generation that we are a people capable of electing leaders in a peaceful and orderly manner,’’ and condemned the pockets of unrest, ”mostly sponsored by desperate politicians, were recorded during the poll.”
Buhari urged the governor-elect to devote his time to improving the lives of the people in Bayelsa, while ensuring the security of lives and property of all citizens.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had on Monday morning declared Mr David Lyon of the APC winner of the governorship election in Bayelsa after polling 352,552 votes to defeat his closest rival, Duoye Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who scored 143,172 votes.
INEC’s Returning Officer, Prof. Faraday Orumwense, Vice Chancellor, University of Benin, who announced the result, said that the total vote cast in the election was 505,884 votes, total valid votes 499,551, while the total rejected votes stood at 6,333.
Orumwnese said APC won the election in six Local Government Areas, while PDP won in two.
He declared Lyon winner and duly elected governor having polled the highest number of votes in the contest.
Patience Jonathan in a warm embrace with Senator Ita Enang as Jonathan receives the delegation as Minister of state for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva and Governor-elect, David Lyon watche.
From the results declared by INEC in Southern Ijaw local government area, APC polled 124,803 votes, while PDP scored 898 votes.
In Ekeremor Local Government Area, APC polled 21, 489 votes and PDP scored 18, 344 votes.
In Sagbama, PDP polled 60,339 votes and APC got 7,831 votes.
In Brass, APC scored 23, 831 votes, while PDP polled 10,410 votes.
The results showed that APC polled 83,041 votes in Nembe anf PDP polled 874 votes.
In Kolokuma-Opokuma Local Government Area, APC got 8,934 votes, while PDP polled 15,360 votes.
In Yenagos LGA; APC polled 24,608 votes while PDP polled 19,184
Meanwhile leaders of the APC, led by Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, Governor of Jigawa State, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar and Senator Ita Enang, paid ex-President Goodluck Jonathan a courtesy visit in his Otueko country home, where they were well- received by the former President, his wife and associates. In tow was Governor -elect, David Lyon
The APC leaders visit to Jonathan confirmed the earlier reports that the former president was unhappy with Governor Seriake Dickson over his imposition of Diri as governorship candidate of the PDP. Some delegates who spoke to Thisage said the governor, “directed us to vote for Diri, his candidate and we had to toe the line.” Many of the delegates had preferred Ex-Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Mr Timi Alaibe, but he was schemed out.
While Jonathan, as usual, took the slight in his stride his wife, Patience, popularly called “Mama Peace’, openly canvassed against Diri’s ‘selection’. The pictures in the reception at Jonathan’s home speak volume
‘Mama Peace poses with women in the delegation to the Jonathan’s country home in Otueke
Other factors that tilted the people towards the APC were the lack of internal democracy in the ruling PDP, the alleged dictatorial bent of Governor Dickson and his refusal to consult widely in the choice of governorship candidate of the party in the November 16 polls.
Besides, civil servants in the state complained that the government put a hold on promotion since 2016 while payment of salaries was even delayed. Party men also spoke of Dickson’s dictatorial carriage in the appointments of commissioners and other government functionaries, among other issues.
Explaining their visit, Sylva, said Jonathan deserved to be respected and honoured by all Bayelsa people, irrespective of their party leanings.
“Being a former president of the country and a past governor of the State, Jonathan remains an asset to the state and his inputs will always be needed to advance the course of governance in the Bayelsa.
“As such it was important for us to introduce the governor-elect to him and seek his support and guidance in building a better Bayelsa,” he said.
Responding, Jonathan tasked Lyon to put the welfare and interest of the Bayelsa people above every other issue.
“As a former president of Nigeria, I am a father to all Bayelsans, hence my doors are open to all citizens irrespective of their political affiliations.
“I urge you to make the welfare of Bayelsa people a top priority and carry all of them along irrespective of the party they voted for.
“Elections are over now, so I want you to see yourself as the governor of all and not only to the sections that voted for you. This is the way to move Bayelsa forward,” he stated.