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N200m Bribery Allegation: Ploy to Blackmail INEC, Says Ijaw Youths


BALTIMORE, MD (AFRICAN EXAMINER) –  The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has described as “vague, unsubstantiated and malicious”, the allegation that Bayelsa State Governor, Henry Seriake Dickson, had compromised the Bayelsa State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Baritor Kpagir with N200 million to rig the December 5 governorship election.

The allegation was made by one Ted Francis, an intimate friend of the Bayelsa State governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Timipre Sylva.

Francis had in an affidavit deposed to at a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt alleged that governor Dickson, gave N200 million bribe to the REC.

But the IYC in a statement issued on Tuesday by the Chairman of its Central Zone, Bobolaiyefa Owopelei, demanded that governor Dickson should sue the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Francis for defamation of character to clear his name.

The group averred that democracy can only flourish if federal institutions like INEC continue to play the neutral role that the commission has so far played in Bayelsa State and wondered why the APC and its candidate were bent on rubbishing the commission.

“No amount of propaganda and blackmail by APC will make them win the governorship polls because Bayelsans and the Ijaw nation have endorsed governor Dickson as their governor and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as their party”, IYC stated.

The organisation also dismissed the allegation as a figment of the imagination of the enemies of democracy and the Ijaw nation.

The IYC also described the allegation as “a naked falsehood by APC to blackmail and discredit the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), having failed in their bid to compromise the REC.”

While describing Kpagir as a man of integrity, the group said APC was bent on destroying the REC for refusing to be bribed.

“The Bayelsa APC and its agents are serial liars. The latest allegation leveled against the governor is consistent with the antics of the APC which would stop at nothing to use the name of President Muhammadu Buhari to redeploy INEC officials in the state and replace them with those that will compromise the electoral process on January 9 in the rescheduled election in Southern Ijaw LGA”, Owopelei stated.

He wondered why governor Dickson who has always had a head start over Sylva would compromise a REC “who has no power to influence the outcome of the election.”

The umbrella organization for the Ijaw youths reasoned that only the people on whose shoulders sovereignty rests could decide who the next governor is and not the REC.

According to the IYC, since the governor has won six LGAs out of the seven where the elections held, the election has already been won by PDP and Dickson adding that the outcome of the elections in Southern Ijaw LGA will not alter the victory, but will only consolidate it.

Owopelei who called on governor Dickson not to be distracted, described Dickson as a man of integrity who cannot condescend to the level of bribing anybody.

The IYC warned the APC and Sylva to desist from dragging the name of federal agencies in the mud.


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