#BayelsaDecides2023: LP gov candidate faults process, alleges vote-buying

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The Labour Party governorship candidate in Bayelsa State, Udengs Eradiri, on Saturday, faulted the conduct of Saturday’s governorship election in the state, saying it was fraught with irregularities bordering on alleged selling and buying of votes.


He also claimed that the identities of LP polling agents were changed by INEC prior to election day.


Speaking in an interview with reporters after casting his vote in his Agudama-Ekpetiama community, Yenagoa Local Government Area, Eradiri said, “Unfortunately, vote-buying was the order of the day, and the people were encouraging it and being bought.


“I was talking to somebody, and the person was telling me that she was ready to sell her vote for me, and I told her I can’t buy votes. Secondly, I didn’t contest because I’m looking for people to induce to be governor. I came to the contest because I felt that things were not right, and I felt that I could do things differently.

Behind the scenes, you see the buying and selling of votes going on, as you vote you collect your tallies, and you can see people are showing their votes to confirm. So, people don’t care about what you do. All they are after is money.”

Shedding light on the alleged changing of the names of LP polling unit agents, he said: “In our case, we had filled the forms, 2, 244 agents complete. INEC sent printed tags and on the tags, especially four local government collation agents, which were our local government chairmen, but on the tags, it’s your name but not your face.


“They just mixed the faces, so it was deliberate. So I insisted and called the national chairman (of INEC) and we sent him a letter. So we have a received copy from INEC. Given that these are errors that you committed because you printed the tags, you didn’t ask us to print them. We filled out forms on the portal, but when you printed them, the names were different. The names were different from the faces. Our agents were refused in a lot of polling units because this problem was deliberately put.”

The LP standard bearer blamed the electorate for the inability of the state to make progress in terms of good governance, quality leadership, and development, saying that he was disappointed in the system.


“I am disappointed. I’m disappointed not with the process alone but with the people themselves because I thought that the people understood now because everybody has seen the nakedness of poverty, neglect, and incompetence of leadership and so that will define the voting pattern, but I was fooled.


“People don’t care about the educational situation and economic situation. All people care about is money in their hands. And that’s why I feel very sad because probably I misjudged the people before I decided to embark on this journey. I thought that the people, going through this process, they would have been able to express it in the ballot.”



Lawal AbdulSalam Olawale

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