Fourteen political parties, which participated in last Saturday’s governorship election in Bayelsa State have strongly condemned what they called electoral fraud, and the role played by military personnel in the election.
The parties made the condemnation after rising from an emergency meeting in Yenagoa, on Wednesday.
The political parties are Social Democratic Party, African Democratic Congress, Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, Kowa Party, Independent Democrats, Progressive Peoples Alliance and Peoples Party of Nigeria.
Others are Democratic Peoples Party, Democratic Peoples Congress, African Peoples Alliance, New Nigeria Peoples Party, Mega Progressive Peoples Party, United Peoples Party and Peoples Democratic Congress.
Spokesman for the political parties and candidate for Independent Democrats, Mr. Prince Elemah, read the communiqué to journalists.
He said having collated the reports from the different polling units, officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, local and international observers, they took exception to the situation where materials were distributed late in the afternoon, accreditation in the evening and voting at night in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa.
Elemah said, “that we condemn and vehemently oppose the use of thugs, militants, military personnel and other means to intimidate, oppress, hijack and steal INEC electoral materials for the purpose of the election.
“We totally condemn in strong terms electoral frauds that characterized the exercise in SILGA, where INEC personnel and materials were hijacked by hoodlums through the instrumentality of the security operatives to harass, intimidate and dehumanize electorate, our agents and party members.”
He said the 14 parties had vowed to resist any attempt by any political party, group and/or agency to manipulate, hijack and/or intimidate the electorate, party agents and INEC from exercising their mandate or carrying out their legitimate functions during the re-scheduled election in Southern Ijaw.
He dissociated the parties from any candidate or political party threatening the leadership of INEC in the course of carrying out their lawful duty.
He commended Bayelsans for their peaceful disposition despite the security challenges during the elections.
He also restated the commitment to the peace accord signed by the political parties and their candidates to maintain the peace before, during and after the election.
He added, “the governorship election in Bayelsa was generally peaceful and conducted in accordance with the rules and regulation as stipulated by INEC and the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
“That the election in Sagbama, Ekeremor, Ogbia, Kolokuma-Opokuma, Yenagoa and Nembe were relatively peaceful, fair and credible.
“That the initial skirmishes reported in Nembe and Ekeremor were brought under control after the intervention of the security agencies to allow for the conduct of the exercise.
“That the massive and monumental frauds, rigging, outright stealing of electoral materials and open attempt to overrun the INEC office by militants, thugs and agents of a particular party in Oporoma and Amassoma were reported.
“We are aware that some military personnel colluded with militants and criminal elements loyal to a particular party to snatch electoral materials, thereby compromising the entire electoral process.
“We are also aware that some youth corps members were held hostage in some areas and forced to make entries in favour of a particular political party.”

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