By Lawrence Olaoye
President Muhammadu Buhari formally received Bayelsa state governor-elect, David Lyon, who contested on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and defeated the candidate of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Duoye Diri, in the November 16 governorship election in the state.
Lyon was presented to the President by a team led by the National Chairman of the ruling party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
Other members of the team were the governor of Jigawa state, Abubakar Badaru, who chaired the APC governorship campaign committee in Bayelsa alongside his counterpart in Kebbi, Atiku Bagudu who co-chaired the panel and the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Timipre Silva.
Briefing newsmen about their mission, Oshiomhole said they presented Lyon to the President adding that the governor-elect’s victory was accepted by all Bayelsans across party lines.
According to him, his party played by the rules in line with the instruction handed down by the President to eschew violence and ensure free, fair and peaceful polls in the state.
He said “We thanked the president for his fatherly role and he insisted that we must ensure that while we are determined to win the election that we must play by the rules and ensure that the process is transparent and above all the president has always been concerned about peaceful election and we were proud to inform him that besides very isolated cases of ballot box snatching, the election in Bayelsa can be described as the most peaceful.
“I believe since 1999, you as very seasoned journalists who have covered elections in Bayelsa in the past, you will agree that this is the only time we can say the election is truly transparent and peaceful. Again, our candidate attract supports across the political divide when you see territories and communities where his victory was being celebrated you will agree that not only did he had the support of the APC family, he had support beyond the APC family.”
He appreciated the former President, Goodluck Jonathan, for the warm reception accorded to the campaign committee after Lyon’s victory. Oshiomhole described the ex-President as humane, simple and committed.
Kebbi state governor who is also the APC Governors’ Forum Chairman said the former President, Goodluck Jonathan, who represents the arrowhead of the nation’s major opposition party (PDP) and others were happy with Lyon’s victory.
He said “It is equally noteworthy that Bayelsa is a home of a former president of Nigeria and this election won by a party different from the one he belongs, has been accepted by all including around him and so far, from what we hear and what we are, he also is happy with the outcome irrespective of the difference in the party, which is an indication of the transparency of the process.
This is a victory for Nigeria because it shows that parts of the country that has been under another political party, can in a free, fair election make their democratic choice and vote for another party with the right candidate.”
Badaru in his comments thanked the APC leadership in Bayelsa for presenting a marketable candidate who enjoyed the support of the Bayelsans across party lines.
Sylva in his comments said the APC’s victory was significant in the sense that it signaled the beginning of political alignment of the South-South and the South-east with the national party.
The governor-elect who also spoke assured Bayelsans of quality service even as he vowed to always accord party leaders and traditional rulers their respect.
He equally promised to provide adequate security for the citizens of the state.