Nigeria: Supreme Court Ruling - Stay Away From Bayelsa, PDP Warns Oshiomhole

13 February 2020

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has reacted to Adams Oshiomhole's remarks on the current political development in Bayelsa.

The party warned the APC national chairman to stay away from the state.

A five-member panel of the apex court led by Justice Mary Odili on Thursday nullified the election of David Lyon on the grounds that his deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, presented false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in aid of his qualification for the November 16 governorship election.

With the judgment, the candidate of the PDP in the election, Diri Duoye, is expected to be sworn in this Friday, having received the second largest votes in the election.

Mr Oshiomhole in his reaction to the court judgment said nobody should be sworn in as the new governor of Bayelsa State on Friday.

Mr Oshiomhole, at a press briefing at the party's secretariat in Abuja shortly after the court verdict, said only the APC candidate met the "desired spread as expressed by the Supreme Court.

"The next candidate who happens to be the PDP candidate does not have one-quarter of the votes cast in that election... ," he added.

Mr Diri of the PDP polled 143,172 votes, while Mr Lyon who won the November 16 election got 352,552 votes.

Mr Lyon won in six out of the eight local government areas in the state, while Mr Diri won in only two.

For a candidate to be declared the winner in a governorship election, he is constitutionally required to score the highest number of lawful votes, in addition to securing 25 per cent of votes in two-thirds of the local government areas in a state.

Mr Diri of the PDP had the second-highest number of lawful votes and also secured 25 per cent of votes in five of Bayelsa's eight local governments.

PDP fires back at Oshiomhole.

The PDP in its reaction said Mr Oshiomhole's comment was "an empty and inconsequential ranting."

The party in a statement from its national spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, warned the APC national chairman to steer clear of Bayelsa "as his apparent plots to trigger violence in the state has failed.

"The people of Bayelsa State know as a fact that the INEC under our laws, cannot take instructions from any individual, let alone a factional national chairman of a dysfunctional political party like the APC," the statement said.

The PDP advised Mr Oshiomhole to be careful with his utterances "and not use any forms of venomous garrulity and clear misuse of language to destabilise our nation and truncate our hard-earned democracy.

"The PDP calls on the people of Bayelsa State to remain calm as their mandate has been restored and cannot be taken away by the ranting of any individual who has no stake whatsoever in the wellbeing of his own home state."

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