Nigeria: #BayelsaDecides2023 – Can Sylva Upturn Diri’s Lead With Remaining Two Lgas’ Results?

Yes, technically, an upset is possible because of the number of registered voters in those two areas.

There is apprehension in Bayelsa State as the political parties, their governorship candidates, and supporters await the collation of the election results from the two remaining local government areas – Southern Ijaw and Brass – for last Saturday’s election.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Sunday, adjourned the final collation of results to Monday. The exercise is expected to begin by noon.

Timipre Sylva, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), hails from Brass Local Government Area, while his running mate, Maciver Joshua, hails from Southern Ijaw.

Results from six out of the eight local government areas of the state have already been declared, placing Governor Douye Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of other candidates in the election in five LGAs. Mr Sylva won only one of the six LGAs already declared.

Based on the results of the six LGAs declared, Mr Diri, the incumbent governor, is leading by 64,106 votes.

Mr Diri, a former senator, who is seeking a second term as governor, has scored a total of 137,909 votes from six LGAs so far declared.

Can an upset happen?

The question on everyone’s lips for now is: Can the results from Southern Ijaw and Brass change the course in favour of the APC candidate, Mr Sylva?

Yes, technically, an upset is possible because of the number of registered voters in those two areas – Southern Ijaw has 184,401 while Brass has 94,040.

The two local government areas have remained the APC strongholds over the years. The APC candidate, David Lyon, who won the 2019 governorship election in the state, but was later sacked by the Supreme Court, had 124,803 votes from Southern Ijaw, and 23,831 votes from Brass while the PDP candidate, Mr Diri, had 4,898 votes in Southern Ijaw, and 10,410 votes in Brass.

In the 2015 governorship election, INEC cancelled the election in Southern Ijaw – Mr Sylva was the APC candidate in the election, and was expected to win in the area.

The then PDP candidate, Governor Seriake Dickson, who was leading in the election, was later declared the governor-elect.

PREMIUM TIMES spoke with Tarinyo Akono, a journalist in the state, about the possibility of an upset.

“Even me, I am confused. I don’t know,” said Mr Akono, a former chairperson of the Nigeria Union of Journalists in Bayelsa.

“Well, let’s watch and see what would happen,” he added.

Voting had been concluded by Sunday, everyone is now waiting for the results of the two local government areas.


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