The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Monday broke the twenty-year-old strangle-hold of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on the oil-rich Bayelsa state following the victory of the APC candidate David Lyon, in the November 16, gubernatorial election in the state.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the APC candidate David Lyon, winner after scoring 352,522 votes, to beat his closest rival Douye Diri, of the PDP who polled 143,172 votes.
The PDP had been in power in Bayelsa state since the commencement of the present democratic dispensation in the country in 1999.
Several thousands of APC supporters literally poured into major roads in Yenegoa, the state capital, to celebrate the party’s triumph over the PDP in the election that many independent observers alleged was characterized by violence and electoral malpractices.
In a statement on Monday, President Muhammadu Buhari congratulated the new Bayelsa state governor, while deploring the violence that characterised the vote.
“Violence during elections vitiates our commitment to demonstrate to the world and upcoming generation that we are a people capable of electing leaders in a peaceful and orderly manner,” he said.
He urged those unhappy with the results to seek legal redress rather than resort to violence.
In a similar development, INEC on Monday afternoon declared the incumbent APC governor Yahaya Bello, as winner of the Kogi state governorship election held on November 16.
Bayelsa and Kogi are among seven states where gubernatorial elections are being held at different times from the general election, due to court rulings.
The Police in Kogi said three people were killed while voting materials were snatched and election officials harassed by gangs loyal to the rival parties.
Bello was returned with 406,222 votes, beating his main opponent Musa Wada, of the PDP, who scored 189,704.
Some independent election observers have called on INEC to cancel the Kogi election, citing deadly violence and malpractices that allegedly characterized the poll.
More than 50 people were killed during the February and March 2019 general election which returned Buhari to power.
In 2011, hundreds of people were killed in post-election violence, mostly in northern Nigeria.
Meanwhile, President Buhari has promised to reform the electoral system to make future polls free, fair, credible and violence-free.