No fewer than twenty two people were killed during the November 16 violent Bayelsa State election, Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson alleged on Monday.
Ten of them, according to the governor, were beheaded, their bodies mutilated and thrown into the sea.
Dickson, at an interactive session with reporters in Abuja, said: “I just set up a panel of inquiry on the killings during the poll. What took place in Nembe in particular was a massacre. What we saw was a tragedy of monumental proportion.
“So far, 12 deaths were recorded. Their offence was being PDP members and for attending PDP rally. We have not heard the last of the brutality they visited on law-abiding citizens in Nembe.
“They also beheaded, mutilated and actually butchered some citizens of the state. From eye-witness accounts, the people they slaughtered and butchered were close to 10.”
The governor also said going by two judgments of the Federal High Court, the APC had no candidate in the state for the poll. He said the PDP would pursue its pre-election cases to logical conclusion.
Dickson pointed out that the state had remained peaceful after the poll because he led the campaign against violence
He added: “What happened in Bayelsa State was not an election but a democratic coup. The results were pre-meditated as collation officers were carefully selected. It was the first time the collation officers, who were trained in Benin, were coming to Bayelsa State.
“These collation officers were guided by the military and protected by the police to rig the poll. In Nembe, militia men took control, thumb-printed ballot papers and returned 80,000 votes for APC.
“In Ogbia, they came up with 50,000 votes which had never been the case in the electoral history of the state. In Yenagoa, the area with the largest votes, they arrested, harassed and shot down PDP supporters. As we are talking, a number of PDP supporters are still in custody.
“Some electoral officers were so angry that they have sworn to affidavits to expose what the military and the police did. They confessed that they sat down and wrote the figures.
“Elections after elections, we will continue to talk about the neutrality or otherwise of the military. The soldiers and the police turned everybody off.
“You need to understand our peculiar terrain. For you to have acceptable election, the security people must behave in an acceptable and professional way. We thought the military and the police will be neutral but they were not.”
The governor said the battle will now shift to the court and election petitions tribunal.