Bayelsa election: Dickson clinches Southern Ijaw, second term

Governor Seriake Dickson acknowledges cheers from the crowd shortly after voting. Photo: Idowu Ogunleye

Seriake Dickson, Bayelsa gov

Governor Seriake Dickson: wins Southern Ijaw and second term
Governor Seriake Dickson: wins Southern Ijaw and second term

Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa has clinched a second term in office, winning the rescheduled election in Southern Ijaw Local council by a wide margin.

Dickson who had led his APC opponent, Timipre Sylva by over 36,000 votes in the other seven local councils got 23081 votes in SILG, while Timipre Sylva got just 10216 votes.

Prof Zana Akpogu,INEC Returning Officer announced that Dickson polled 134,998 while Sylva got 86,852.votes

In his first reaction, Dickson thanked the electorate for their gallantry in ensuring his re-election for another four years, but said there would be no celebration because of the number of lives that have been lost.

The governor in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, released to journalists on Sunday night in Yenagoa, however vowed that he would do everything possible to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

He promised to work tirelessly to justify the mandate given to him “as we tried to do in the first four years to almost universal acknowledgement and approbation.”

While extending a hand of fellowship his political opponents, Dickson said since election has been won and lost, the needs of Bayelsans, the challenge of improving their material condition remains and is even more urgent.

The text of the Governor’s statement reads thus…

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“My good people of Bayelsa State,

“I am extremely humbled tonight on the valiant efforts you made to revalidate the mandate you gave me four years ago. With all manner of forces arrayed against us not least the utter desperation of our political opponents, community after community led by women and youth stood gallantly to defend the sanctity of their vote and to resist the efforts of hoodlums who style themselves as “militants” to undermine the democratic process.

“To the extent that the people ensured that they spoke loud and clear and that their choice clearly emerged provides some reassurance that our democracy is coming of age.”

He regretted however the elections were conducted at the price of several lives lost and mayhem visited on many communities by mindless brigands clearly suborned by those who do not respect the democratic process and have equally scant regard for the sanctity of lives and property. Unfortunately, we can’t celebrate because people have died.

“I want to assure you that we will do everything possible to identify the culprits and bring them to justice. I want to express my heartfelt condolences and sympathy to the families of the innocent victims of the violence. The government will be undertaking a full accounting of what happened.

“The mandate you have given us having been clearly demonstrated, I want to assure you that my administration will work tirelessly to justify this mandate as we tried to do in the first four years to almost universal acknowledgement and approbation. The present economic climate in the country may be very harsh with the precipitous slide in oil revenues but I want to assure you that we will courageously tackle the challenges of economic and social development with renewed vigour.

“Here I will like to extend a hand of fellowship to our political opponents. The election has been won and lost but the needs of our people, the challenge of improving their material condition remains and is even more urgent. That should now be the focus of all our attention and efforts.

“God bless the valiant people of Bayelsa.”the Governor concluded.