#BayelsaDecides2023: Protest rocks INEC office in Bayelsa over ‘manipulation of results’

Protesters laid siege to the Bayelsa office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sunday over the alleged manipulation of governorship election results from Nembe Bassambiri.


Among the protesters were Bayelsa-based civil society organisations, women groups, youth groups, state and national assembly members and other concerned citizens.


The protesters accused the umpire of attempts to distort the votes of Saturday’s election.


They blocked the busy Swali Road location of INEC at 9 am on Sunday to prevent the commission from accepting the results from Nembe Bassambiri which they said were concocted.

Speaking to journalists during the protest, Dambo Biriyai, state attorney general and commissioner for justice, said the election did not hold in Nembe Bassambiri.


He called on Obo Effanga, INEC resident electoral commissioner in the state, and May Agbamuche-Mbu, south south commissioner for INEC, to do what is right by rejecting the alleged fake results.


Biriyai added that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members who visited Bassambiri, were prevented entry by the combined team of SWAT police and All Progressives Congress (APC) thugs.

“If what we are here for is allowed to go on, it would be a massive rape of democracy. We are here because we were disenfranchised in Nembe Bassambiri. And no voting took place there,” Biriyai said.


“Precisely on the 10th of November to vote for our candidate, about 60 buses left Yenagoa to Nembe Bassambiri with escort. When we got there, the SWAT team was blocking the entrance with other APC youths.


“They said we should come down. When one of our boys, Barrister Dilli came down, they manhandled him and he escaped by the whiskers.


“Thereafter, they started blocking them up to the extent that they threw tear gas at us. They said we cannot come in.


 “So most of us were scared, so they had to leave. There were no votes. No election in Nembe Bassambiri constituency 2 and 3.


“And we now found out that results started coming on social media. Results that were uploaded in the BVAS. And you see that these results are the kind of results that are so outrageous.


“We don’t know where they are coming from. So we are here to appeal to INEC.


“They manipulated everything. INEC should cancel Nembe Bassambiri’s results because there were no elections there.”


Biriyai said the protest was not to discourage the commission but for INEC to do what is right, which is to have a free and fair election in the country. 

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