COLLATION of the 2023 governorship election results in Bayelsa has been adjourned for one hour.
The returning officer for the election, Farouk Kuta, adjourned the collation after resuming for less than an hour at the collation centre in the state’s capital, Yenagoa on Monday, November 13.
Kuta, who represented the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), had adjourned the collation about five times since the conclusion of the voting process on Saturday, November 11.
Farouk said the latest adjournment was due to the unavailability of the Southern Ijaw local government area (LGA) result, which is the last being expected out of eight LGAs.
“We have just finished collating Brass local government. The information available is that Southern Ijaw is still not ready. So we will plead that we return to this hall in the next one hour,” he said.
Party agents clash
Before the adjournment, party agents clashed following the collation of the Brass LGA results.
Agent of the Accord party, identified as Victor, said there was a riot in the Brass LGA that claimed the life of a party agent and blamed it on the utterance of the deputy governorship candidate of the APC, Joshua MacIver.
MacIver recently came under fire for making inciting statements during campaigns in the Twon Brass area of the state, urging his supporters to attack opposition supporters.
“On the 11th, don’t joke with anybody. If anybody misbehaves in Twon Brass, chase them away into the sea so they can die. Did you hear? Chase him so he can die. After all, he won’t be the first person to die.
“This time around, when we take it (governorship), we are taking it for final,” he said in Pidgin, a corrupted form of the English Language.
The reference to MacIver’s statement led to an altercation between the APC and Accord party agents, degenerating into a physical fight that security officials stopped.
Seven out of the eight Local Government Areas (LGAs) have had their results collated with the incumbent governor, Douye Diri, who is seeking a second and final term, maintaining a lead.
Diri has won five out of the six LGA results collated, including Kolokuma/Opokuma, Ogbia, Yenegoa, Sagbama, and Ekeremor. He has 150,512 votes.
Meanwhile, Diri’s closest opponent and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Timipre Silva, won his second LGA so far, polling 91,934.
The ICIR reported that Diri won the election in his polling unit with a landslide, clearing 218 out of 219 votes cast. He also cleared all the votes in nearby polling units, taking all the 150 votes cast in polling unit 003, Ibaba Wari primary school, Sampur community, Kolokuma/Opokuma LGA.
Diri also won the polling unit of the Labour Party candidate in the election, Udengs Eradiri.
Although there are nearly 60,000 votes between Diri and Silva, the APC candidate holds more sway in the remaining LGA yet to be collated.