A victorious Governor Douye Diri has praised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the conduct of the Bayelsa State Governorship Election, saying it was credible.
Diri defeated his closest rival Timipre Sylva of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to win a second term in office as the leader of the coastal state.
About one day after INEC declared him as the winner of the fiercely-contended poll, Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) commended the electoral umpire for organising a fair contest in spite of the challenges it faced during the exercise.
“The conduct of the election sincerely could be adjudged to be free, fair, and transparent,” he said on Tuesday’s edition of Channels Televisions’ Politics Today. “But it is a human effort so it could not be a perfect one. There were challenges”.
“Be that as it may, I believe the electoral umpire has done well with all these challenges and I want to believe that this is one of the best elections they have ever conducted where the BVAS has been brought into full test,” he noted.
Part of the challenges, he said, is the state’s terrain which is totally different from Kogi and Imo states where off-cycle governorship elections were also held at the same time.
When there was that hue and cry about a delay in releasing results, those of us from the state, we understand that it was not that easy for elections to be conducted and results will stream in the way they could have like in Imo or in Kogi,” Diri added.
“But that apart, we also had challenges; we are aware of the boat mishap and so election has to be conducted the following day.”
“So, a few of those challenges that had led to the delay and I think a lot of people became very curious and suspicious about the release of the results and final declaration,” the governor said.
But now that the election is over, Governor Diri is setting his sights on governance.