Bayelsa State Governor elect David Lyon of the All Progressive Congress (APC) was congratulated by President Buhari after winning the Bayelsa state election on Saturday.
Lyon surprised his PDP rival, Senator Douye Diri, by winning a large margin in Saturday’s governorship election, in a state that has been a PDP stronghold since 1999. His victory was declared on Sunday night at the INEC Collation Center in Yenagoa by the returning officer, Prof. Faraday Orumwense, vice-chancellor, University of Benin.
In six out of eight local government areas, Lyon won 352,552 votes while the PDP candidate polled 143,172, more than half of the votes from Sagbama LGA, Diri’s sponsor’s home base, Governor Seriake Dickson.
In a statement on Sunday night, President Buhari commended Lyon for the impressive victory, the first time since its formation in 2014 that the APC would win a post-eastern Nigerian governorship. President Buhari also commended APC supporters and Nigerians in the State in particular who exercised their civic rights in a peaceful manner, given the pockets of unrest reported in some areas.
Condemning the loss of lives in Bayelsa, particularly prior to the election, the President commiserated with the families of the victims. ‘‘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 noted that while officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies did their best within the ambit of the law to ensure free, fair and credible elections, it was unfortunate that pockets of unrest, mostly sponsored by desperate politicians, were recorded during the poll.
The President looked forward to working with the incoming government to improve the lives of the people in Bayelsa State, while ensuring the security of lives and property of all citizens. President Buhari urged Governor-elect Lyon to carry other divergent interests along in the next phase of governance, imploring those not satisfied with the outcome of the poll to seek redress through the constitutionally established channels.