Low turnout, scattershot violence as Bayelsa votes … Collation now on

by Chi Ibe

Elections have largely wrapped up across Bayelsa today as the state votes in the gubernatorial elections in which the president and former governor of the state, Goodluck Jonathan, has taken special interest.

Voting commenced on time in many polling units in the state in spite of the late arrival and distribution of voting materials – and this was largely because voter apathy across the state helped with early accredition.

At the conclusion of voting, before which President Jonathan promised “the best candidate would emerge”, he commended the process. “This process has been successful,” he said. He voted in his hometown Otuoke around 1pm in company of his wife and mother.

Largely, the elections were successful except for isolated violence reported at Trofani, in Sagbama Iga. Uncomfirmed reports claim it was a clash between Peoples Democratic Party and Action Congress of Nigeria stalwarts. Ibrahim Baba, the Assistant Inspector General of Police condemned the unrest and his men quickly brough the situation under control.

According to agency reports, “On the low turnout, Jonathan said that elections differ from time to time and that people should not expect the turnout in a presidential election to be the same that of a governorship election.

“Meanwhile, the PDP candidate in the election Chief Seriake Dickson, voted at 12.15 p.m. in his home town Toru-Orua in the Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa.

“He expressed satisfaction with the performance of INEC in the election and the turnout of voters in his constituency, adding that he was very optimistic of winning the election.

“The Action Congress of Nigeria candidate in the election, Mr Kemela Okara, also cast his vote at 1.03 p.m. in his Opotobo Polling unit in Bumoudi in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa.”

Collation of results is now ongoing at the Nigerian Union of Journalists press centre, Azikoro Road, Yenagoa. ACN agents have cried foul over alleged irregularities, but the collation is un-interrupted.

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