November 11 Election
In the aftermath of the Bayelsa gubernatorial election held on November 11, a significant stir has emerged, challenging the declared victory of Governor Douye Diri from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Udengs Eradiri, the candidate of the Labour Party (LP), staunchly rejects the results, shedding light on a myriad of irregularities that marred the electoral process. This article delves into the intricacies of Eradiri’s claims, unveiling the flaws in the November 11 election.
The Allegations of Massive Vote-Buying
Eradiri’s primary contention revolves around the unprecedented levels of vote-buying that tainted the election. In a press conference held at his campaign secretariat in Yenagoa, Eradiri asserted that the state government, led by Governor Douye Diri, transformed polling units into market squares and business centers. Here, votes were not cast based on political ideologies or policies but were instead auctioned, haggled over, bargained for, and outright purchased.
The Monetization of the Political Process
The gravity of Eradiri’s allegations becomes apparent as he labels the November 11 Bayelsa election as the most monetized poll in the history of Nigeria. According to him, the state government deployed billions of the commonwealth to induce and compromise voters. This blatant misuse of state resources, estimated to be over N80 billion, raises serious concerns about the sanctity of the electoral process and the integrity of the democratic ideals it purports to uphold.
A Crime Against Humanity
Eradiri vehemently condemns vote-buying as a crime against humanity, emphasizing that resorting to such tactics is indicative of a lack of performance, unpopularity, incompetence, leadership failure, and overall cluelessness on the part of those who engage in it. The LP candidate expresses his surprise at the government’s descent into vote-buying, pointing to his consistent emphasis on the incumbent’s incompetence.
The Shocking Magnitude of Vote-Buying
The shocking revelation made by Eradiri unveils the extent to which the malfeasance of vote-buying reached during the Bayelsa election. The government reportedly purchased each vote for as much as N70,000 in some areas, setting a dubious record in the annals of Nigerian elections. This staggering figure not only underscores the desperation of the ruling party but also questions the ethical standards upheld in the electoral process.
Challenging Leadership Incompetence
Eradiri asserts that his decision to contest the election was driven by a determination to challenge the leadership incompetence prevailing in the state. Despite the controversies surrounding the results, he expresses no regrets, stating that the election provided him with a unique opportunity to traverse the length and breadth of Bayelsa. Through this journey, he gained firsthand insights into the suffering of the people and the endemic poverty plaguing the state.
A Call for Investigation
To address the alleged irregularities and restore faith in the electoral process, Eradiri calls on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to probe all electoral officers involved in the November 11 election. He contends that these officers are complicit in the rampant voter inducement that tarnished the sanctity of the polls. The LP candidate urges the EFCC to investigate the massive monetary inducements that transpired during the Bayelsa election, holding those responsible accountable.
In conclusion, Udengs Eradiri’s rejection of the Bayelsa gubernatorial election results unveils a troubling narrative of widespread vote-buying and electoral irregularities. The gravity of his allegations, coupled with the unprecedented monetization of the political process, necessitates a thorough investigation to restore public trust in the democratic system. As the controversy surrounding the November 11 election unfolds, it raises critical questions about the state of democracy in Nigeria and the imperative to uphold the principles of free, fair, credible, and peaceful elections.