EUNICE NNACHI captures the reaction of residents of Bayelsa State, home of President Goodluck Jonathan over his loss in last Saturday’s presidential polls.
There was a palpable tension on Tuesday over the victory of the All Progressives Congress, APC, against the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. This came as most commercial banks in the state capital, Yenagoa, equally shut down their operations at about 2:00 p.m., following alleged security alert occasioned by the general elections.
This was following a rumour making the rounds that militants were about to attack non-indigenes. The rumour equally caused an exodus of non-indigenes resident in the state. Nigerian Pilot Sunday gathered that, majority of those leaving the state are northerners and some Yoruba people.
It would be recalled that some ex-militants had threatened that they would declare war on the nation if President Goodluck Jonathan loses the election.
When contacted on the development, Bayelsa State police command spokesman, Asinim Butswat, in a phone interview, admitted that a lot of Nigerians, especially those from the North had fled the state for fear of an attack. But, “we do not encourage anybody to leave. The police are on high alert to deal with any outbreak of violence following the outcome of the elections,” he assured.
It was reliably gathered that the closure of commercial banks was a safety move to protect the financial institutions against the outbreak of violence following the unfavorable presidential election results.
At most of the banks visited, customers were prevented from entering the premises to use the ATMs, even as another source at one of the commercial banks in a phone conversation said it was a precautionary measure and, “we have since closed. But we will open for business in the morning.”
A customer of in the bank lamented the closure of her bank, “I am very angry and disappointed with my bank, because they did not inform me about their closure and it is very important that I make this transaction today.
To add to the tension being experienced in the state, APC, Bayelsa State chapter, rejected the declared results of the last Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections in the state. The party alleged on Monday that the results were filled with widespread irregularities.
According to the APC, the presidential and National Assembly elections were heavily compromised and characterised by intimidation of voters and arrests of APC members and agents in most parts of the state.
APC, in a statement by its Chairman, Chief Tiwei Oruminighe, accused the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, of colluding with the PDP to rig the elections.
He said, “There is a collusion between security forces and PDP to compromise the electoral process; late arrival of electoral materials, and deliberate refusal to use the card readers.
“In almost all the eight local government councils, with the possible exception of Ogbia, electoral materials arrived at the earliest 3:00 pm on voting day.
“When the officials and materials arrived, they abandoned the card readers, even where there was no proof they were bad. The INEC officials claimed to have received the following SMS from their
headquarters, “My dear EOs, Pls you have been enjoined to use Manual Register for accreditation of voters. Be wise!”
Once this message was circulated, it set the stage for PDP to manipulate the process with the collusion of INEC and the security agents.
Mr. Emmanuel Orianzi, who contested for the Southern Ijaw Federal Constituency stated this while reacting to the result of the presidential election cum the Southern Ijaw Federal Constituency results in Yenagoa recently.
According to him, the victory of APC was for the entire country because it has come to the point where a change in leadership was inevitable and the people acknowledged that it was necessary and this informed the PDP’s loss at the polls.
He said, “what was responsible was that Christians all over Nigeria prayed that the presumed war should be averted because Nigeria is God’s own nation.”
He further explained that he and his supporters always prayed for a peaceful election and commended President Jonathan for not only accepting defeat but congratulated Gen Buhari.
Mr. Orianzi added that he demonstrated good sportsmanship and has showed President Jonathan as a credible and peaceful gentleman who kept to his word that his ambition was not worth the blood of anybody.
On what it portends for Nigeria’s democracy, he said it is a changing point for Nigeria’s democracy, which has come to stay.
Commenting on the Southern Ijaw Federal Constituency polls which he contested and lost, he alleged that there were a lot of irregularities and manipulations and has therefore petitioned INEC to cancel the election and conduct a fresh one.
According to him as the APC flag bearer, the PDP candidate used his party’s machinery to cause ballot box snatching, alleging that the homes of PDP chieftains such as chief DSP Alamieyeseigha in Ward 10 in Amassoma Community and Hon. Koruakegha Dorgu in Ward 9 were turned to voting units.
He complained that there were no availability of
result sheets, disbursement of money by PDP members and intimidation of APC polling agents by the Army and other security agencies video clips of which he has in his possession to be tendered as exhibits at the electoral tribunal.
While reacting to the victory of the APC presidential aspirant, Mr. Gabriel Ebiowei, a university lecturer said that the change of power came at the right time and showed that Nigeria had come a long way in democratic development. “Congratulations to the victorious party and we hope to see a better government in the years ahead,” he said.
Mr. Ikio Kemela said, “For Mr. President to accept defeat and congratulate his opponent means that he loves Nigeria and has the good of the common man in his heart.”
For Mrs. Pamela, “Nigeria’s democracy was on the right track and expressed hope that APC would sustain the tempo. “As for me, I am not disappointed because I know that one-day power must change hand and it has happened in my own time. Jonathan is a hero for sacrificing his interest for the peace of the nation.
For Mr. Christopher, “I am not happy with the outcome of the results because there were a lot of irregularities, for instance, we saw under aged children voting in the northern part of Nigeria.
“In states like, Bauchi, Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, it was shown all over Nigeria on stations like AIT, NTA Channels, but Jega the INEC chairman did nothing about it, rather he sent an investigative team to Rivers state when the APC petitioned that there was no elections.
“Another thing is the gang up of some geo-political zones against the president, this is the height of betrayal, my dear I will never accept the result.”
Speaking on the outcome of the polls, Miss Glory said, “I actually participated in the election and it was so painful that the president lost, he was seriously betrayed. Then I thank God the President has taken it in good faith by congratulating Gen.Buhari, which no Nigerian had done in the
history of Nigeria. President Goodluck is a hero, I thank God for everything.”
According to one Mr. Jacob, in his view he said, “From the results displayed the APC has won but there is a clause. Gen. Buhari has some court cases, I mean the eligibility case, the judiciary should hasten up with the judgment, then the certificate issues and the rest. I do not have any special love or likeness for any candidate. I am a Nigerian, so the law should take its course. “Please don’t ask me whether I’m happy or not.”
Mr. Jones Edi said, “I have never been so disappointed like this, I am sick as we are talking right now. I can’t reason straight, please let’s talk later.”
But reacting, the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC Worldwide at a national expanded executive council and consultative meeting comprising of founders and former leaders of IYC National and Zonal executive council and key stakeholders held at Izon House, Bayelsa State, “resolved to call for a National Congress of all Ijaw Youths on April 5, 2015 at Tuomo Community in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State where all the Ijaw youths of the Niger Delta region would meet to review the outcome of the Presidential elections, and take a position and determine the next direction of our struggle for self-determination and resource control as enshrined in the historic Kaiama Declaration.”
They called on all Ijaw youths to be alert and ready to heed the call to the service of the Ijaw nation at this crucial time of our history and struggle for survival in the Nigerian state in the face of the grand conspiracy between the North and a section of the South West to continue to suppress and exploit the resource of the Ijaw nation.
“We recall that when President Jonathan, an Ijaw and from the South/South won an internationally acclaimed free, fair and credible election in 2011, General Buhari and his people never at any time congratulated or supported President Jonathan.
“Instead, they killed hundreds of innocent Nigerians and fought President Jonathan from the day he became the Acting President of Nigeria in 2010 until the North conspired with a section of the South-West to take over the Presidency from President Jonathan and the minorities of the South-South in an election fraught with irregularities.
“It is also significant to note that none of the northern socio-cultural groups such as the Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF and others congratulated or supported the administration of President Jonathan. Northerners created Boko Haram and blamed it on President Jonathan deliberately to incite the northern populace against
President Jonathan and make him unpopular in the 2015 election to take back power in a grand conspiracy with a section of the South-West.”