The Independent National Electoral Commission in Bayelsa State has cancelled the election result for Brass Constituency 2 in the rescheduled election for Brass Constituency 2 and Ogbia Constituency 2 which it conducted last Saturday for the state House of Assembly.
Already, the commission’s action is generating tension in the state as the Returning Officer, Perekere Bertola, had on Sunday morning announced the candidate of APGA, Alfred Belemote Watson, winner of Brass 2.
According to him, Watson polled 849 votes, out of 2,805 accredited voters, to defeat the candidates of the PDP and the APC who scored 308 votes and 476 votes respectively, to clinch Brass 2.
But INEC in a statement on Monday by its Public Relations Officer, Timidi Wariowei, declared the Brass 2 election inconclusive. The commission, however, upheld the victory of PDP candidate, Anapurere Awoli, for Ogbia 2.
Dissatisfied by the cancellation, APGA’s leadership in the state has petitioned the chairman of INEC, Attahiru Jega, over the commission’s decision to upturn the Returning Officer’s verdict.
Wariowei, however, said the result was suspended due to conflicting declarations by Bertola.
He added that the Returning Officer’s report had been compiled and forwarded to the headquarters of INEC in Abuja for further directives.
“The suspension of the result was due to the conflicting declarations by the Returning Officer and the circumstances surrounding the declaration. The reports by the Returning Officer have been compiled for the attention and further directives of the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja”, Wariowei said.
No sooner had Wariowei declared the Brass 2 result inconclusive than some factions in the PDP warned Watson to stop parading himself as winner of Brass 2. Manager of Alfred Watson Campaign Organisation, Felix Bapaganyo, said INEC’s action was a calculated attempt to subvert the will of the people.