Violence rocks Bayelsa as youths back Lyon
By Kekerimo Ebiri
Baylesa state has been thrown into turmoil this morning following the Supreme Court ruling declaring the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) candidate Senator Duoye Diri as the candidate to be sworn in today.
Irohinooudua monitored huge protests in Bayelsa where youths mounted roadblocks chanting anti-Diri songs. The protesters insist that the APC candidate, David Lyon must be sworn in as the elected Governor of the State.
“We lost three people on Thursday when the Supreme Court announced that Diri will be the Governor. Today, we have lost two people already. Its like the people of Bayelsa do not want Diri. The violence is spreading across the state as I speak to you,” a member of the Ijaw Youth Council, (IYC) who does not wish to be named told our correspondent.
On the main access road to Baylesa, youths in hundreds were seen burning tires as the smoke billowed to the sky amidst sporadic gunshots. In the local government areas monitored by our correspondent, youths have taken to the streets insisting that the PDP candidate will not be allowed to rule the state.
One of the youth leaders on the Bayelsa highway said the swearing in of Diri will “bring down Bayelsa. He cannot be the Governor of Bayelsa State. There will be a major crisis. We did not vote for him.” At the state secretariat, many workers abstained from work and those present discusses in muffled tones the uncertain fate. A source told Irohinoodua that major militants groups met yesterday in the night and resolved to prevent Duoye from being sworn in.
The judgment has raised serious constitutional crisis since Duoye did not win 25 percent of two thirds of the local governments in the state.
The All Progressive Congress, (APC) candidate, Mr David Lyon had scored the majority of votes in the gubernatorial election held last year.
The PDP spokesperson, Kola Ologbodiyan said the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) has no option but to swear in Duoye. However, the APC Chairman said the Supreme Court ruling did not expressly say that Duoye be sworn in since he did not meet the required constitutional provision.
There are suggestions that the Speaker should be sworn in. However, INEC commissioner, Festus Okoye said the electoral body awaits the ruling of the Supreme Court and that the body will be bound by the content.
Justice Ejembi Eko, who read the judgment noted, ” In sum total, the joint ticket of the first and second respondents (Lyon and Degi-Erenienyo) sponsored by the third respondent, APC, was vitiated by the disqualification of the first respondent (Degi-Eremienyo). ”Both candidates disqualified are deemed not to be candidates in the governorship election”