The Labour Party governorship candidate in the last Saturday’s Bayelsa State gubernatorial election, Udengs Eradiri, has alleged that the just-concluded poll is the most monetised in the country’s history.
Eradiri, who stated that the election was held against the cardinal principles, laid down procedures and ground rules that democratic elections should follow, described the conduct of the exercise as market squares and business centres where votes were auctioned, bargained for and purchased.
In a press briefing at his campaign office in Yenogoa, the state capital, on Tuesday, accused Governor Douye Diri of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, of emptying the state treasury and deploying taxpayers’ money to induce voters.
He said: “Our state resources were used to intimidate our traumatised people, who have been impoverished by this government. This government deliberately weaponised poverty and forced the people to sell their conscience for money at the polls.
“I consider vote-buying a crime against humanity. I cannot engage in vote-buying because it is a demonstration of a lack of performance, unpopularity, incompetence and leadership failure. I have always emphasised its incompetence. I am shocked at the level it took the malfeasance to.
“The state government has added another record to its bag of incompetent achievements, making the November 11 Bayelsa election the most monetised poll in the history of the country.
“I contested this election to prove a point that this incompetence in Bayelsa can be challenged. I contested to solve the problems of lack of potable water, dearth of infrastructure, ravaging poverty and rot in the educational sector.”
“They have to be probed. I wonder why INEC cannot enforce its rules to ensure credible elections in the country. There was intimidation and harassment of voters, violence, bypass of BVAS, among other irregularities, which vitiated whatever results they announced at the collation centre,” he said.