The Peoples Democratic Party Youth Network has called on the Indepedent National Electoral Commission to avoid subjecting Nigerians to another round of heartaches in the Bayelsa Governorship election scheduled for November 11, 2023.
The Coordinator of the group, Mr. James Oputin said in a statement on Friday that the discordant tunes coming from INEC on the issue of the electronic transmission of results is generating so much doubts and tension.
Oputin said that while the State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Ofiong Efanga, jolted Bayelsans by saying that INEC would adopt manual transmission of election results, the Chairman, Prof Mahmud Yakubu has come out to over rule him.
Yakubu, had said penultimate Saturday that the results of the November 11 governorship elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi states would be transmitted electronically.
Oputin said that the people are doubtful of INEC’s conflicting declarations from the state and the federal level on the sensitive issue of the electronic transmission of results which is expected to reduce drastically the disturbing incidence of electoral violence in the state.
He noted that Nigerians have not forgotten how the same INEC under Prof Yakubu abruptly opted to transmit the Presidential election result manually after weeks of intense media reassurances to Nigerians that the election would be transmitted electronically.
He urged Prof Yakubu to prepare the minds of the Bayelsa voters and stakeholders on what to expect as most people seem to have dismissed his statement as yet another ambush on Election Day.
Oputin also called on the Bayelsa REC, Efanga to address the press on the disturbing conflict on the issue of the planned deployment of electronic transmission of results.
He said that it is a difficult task to convince a person who has been a victim of trust-related disappointment to believe someone carrying an albatross of trust.
Oputin who called on Nigerians especially the media to hold INEC accountable to its promises also urged the electoral umpire to be conscious of the corrosive effects of failed promises and dampened expectations on its image.
The PDP youth leader said that what the party and indeed Bayelsans expect from INEC is an impartial conduct of the forthcoming election.
He stressed that the overwhelming popularity of Governor Douye Diri who has executed projects his opponents once considered impossible is what the party needs to retain the Creek Haven, Yenagoa, Government House.
Oputin said that Bayelsans are pleased with Diri who has ensured stability in the state apart from projects such as the Nembe- Brass Road, the Central Senatorial Road and continuation of many huge projects he inherited from his predecessor, Senator Henry Seriake Dickson.
“The PDP Youth Network has observed with serious concern the conflicting remarks about the issue of the deployment of electronic transmission of results in the Bayelsa governorship elections scheduled for November 11.
“We note that the INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmoud Yakubu and Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state are not on the same page in this issue. If there is anything they know that seems to impede their preparation and the more efficient electronic transmission of result, they should speak out now.
“Bayela is a largely riverine state and we are of the view that electronic transmission of results would reduce or erase the ugly incident associated with results snatching witnessed in previous elections.
“We call on the Nigeria public to hold INEC accountable to its words.
We also challenge Prof Mahmud and his team to ensure that promises made to Nigerians are not seen as attempts to lay ambush on Election Day.”
“As a party, we only need the soaring popularity of Governor Douye Diri who has performed above expectations to retain political control in the state.”