Ogege Kemelayefa, the candidate of the Action Peoples Party (APP) in the 11 November governorship election in Bayelsa State, said she is proud of the 14 votes she scored in the election.
The total number of votes cast in the election was 300,072.
Ms Kemelayefa, a 35-year-old entrepreneur, was among the 16 candidates in the election.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared the incumbent Governor Douye Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who polled 175,196 votes, as the winner of the election.
Mr Diri’s closest challenger, Timipre Sylva, of the All Progressives Congress, came second with 110,108 votes while the Labour Party candidate, Eradiri Udengmobofa scored 905 votes to secure a third position.
The APP candidate, Ms Kemelayefa, who sits second at the bottom of the INEC table, spoke with PREMIUM TIMES last week about how she felt about the just concluded election.
“I’m not satisfied with the results. There were high rates of vote buying, rigging, and results manipulation. There were so many things wrong with the process but for my 14 votes, I am very proud of them.
“You know why? I never paid a dime for those votes, I didn’t give anybody a dime to vote for me. These 14 people trust my vision for Bayelsa State.
“And talking about disappointment, yes I am very disappointed at the ruling party for impoverishing the people to the extent that all the people have to do is survive. So they took that monies at the polling units because they have to survive. I’m disappointed at the ruling party that they don’t have the best interest of the people at heart and that for four years there was no development, power supply, industries, good road network given to the people,” she says.
Ms Kemelayefa, two days after the election, made a Facebook video where she claimed she saw voters selling their votes for N70,000.
“I weep for Bayelsa State,” she said in the post.
The PDP spokesperson in the state, Ebiye Ogoli, declined to respond to a request for comment on the allegations of vote-buying against his party when contacted.
Ms Kemelayefa said she did her best during the election to enlighten the voters that “they are the kingmakers”, and as such “we do not need the king to come and give us money to install them”.
Despite its huge oil and gas revenue, Bayelsa State remains one of the most underdeveloped states in Nigeria, something Ms Kemelayefa said she aimed to change.
Speaking to this newspaper on her manifesto, the APP candidate said her social contract with the people of the state was encapsulated in an eight-point agenda including decentralisation of development, infrastructure renaissance and building of at least two industries in each of the eight local government areas of the state.
She said she had many “offers and temptations” to step down for the ruling party but rejected them.
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