The Bayelsa Stakeholders Forum has called for cancellation of results over the alleged manipulation in some polling units in Nembe and Brass Local Governments Area during Saturday’s governorship election in the state.
The stakeholders made this call in a statement issued on Sunday in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state and signed by their spokesman Johnson Ikurite.
The forum which comprises diverse stakeholders committed to upholding the principles of democracy said the reported irregularities have compromised the integrity of the electoral process in these areas.
The statement read, “Numerous reports from our observers and concerned citizens on the ground have highlighted instances of voter suppression, ballot box tampering, and other forms of electoral malpractice. These incidents, if left unaddressed, pose a serious threat to the credibility and fairness of the entire electoral exercise. What was witnessed in some of these polling units, undermines every credibility, that may come out of the election.
“We wish to alert the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, that what is being brandished in some of the polling units are stolen votes. For instance, in about 6 communities in the two Local government areas of Brass and Nembe, results were merely written without any accreditation or voting. These polling units include Okpoama, Brass ward 4 and Ewoama/Fantuo ward 3, Bassambiri wards 4, 5, 6, 7, and Oluasiri-Nembe Ward 11, 12 and 13.”
Stressing the need for transparency and accountability in elections and kicking against the desperation of some politicians, the stakeholders said in light of these troubling developments, “we demand an immediate cancellation of results in these polling units and others, where noticeable electoral fraud have been perpetrated”.
“Given the gravity of the manipulations, we advocate for the cancellation of votes in the identified polling units. This measure is essential to ensure that the true will of the people is accurately reflected in the final results.
“The Bayelsa Stakeholders Forum remains committed to the principles of fairness, justice, and the promotion of a democratic society. We believe that addressing these concerns is crucial to upholding the sanctity of the electoral process and ensuring that the voices of the people are heard without interference.
“We call on all relevant stakeholders, including INEC, security agencies, and civil society organizations, to join hands in safeguarding the integrity of our democratic institutions”, the statement added.