Governor Henry Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State had applauded the judgment of Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja which upheld his victory in the December 5 2016 governorship election describing it “a victory for democracy and Bayelsans.”
The governor in a statement issued on Tuesday evening by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, also commended the judiciary “for upholding our nation’s democracy and once again acquitting itself as the bastion of our democracy.”
The All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate, Timipre Sylva, had challenged the election of Dickson of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seeking a reversal of the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which declared him as the valid winner of the election.
But in a unanimous decision, the three-man tribunal, led by Justice Kazeem Aloba, said the APC failed woefully to prove its case.
The tribunal consequently dismissed Sylva’s petition and upheld Dickson’s election as earlier declared by INEC.
The governor, according to Iworiso-Markson, praised Bayelsans for voting for him and his party on conviction and stood to protect their votes.
The governor, who regretted the loss of lives and property during the election, decried the “intimidation of voters” which he regarded as a failure of institution.
Dickson, however, said that the judgement indicated that “the resolve of the people did not go in vain” as he canvassed for “greater vigilance to protect democracy” in the country.
He said, “We want to use this opportunity to thank the good people of Bayelsa State for voting en-masse for the PDP and defending their votes even in the face of such virulent intimidation and harassment. This judgement is clearly a victory for democracy and the resilient and courageous people of Bayelsa.”
The governor also commended the judiciary for its role as the defender of the constitution, saying that without a fearless and independent judiciary, democracy is imperiled.
According to him, it was not the election that was on trial per se but the judiciary itself, adding that the judgement of the tribunal validated the saying that the judiciary is the last hope of the common man.