President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Bayelsa state governor-elect David Lyon of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Lyon shocked his PDP challenger Senator Douye Diri, by winning the governorship election on Saturday by a large margin, in a state hitherto a stronghold of the PDP, since 1999.
His victory was announced by the returning officer, Prof. Faraday Orumwense, Vice-chancellor, University of Benin, at the INEC Collation Centre in Yenagoa on Sunday night.
Lyon won in six out of eight local government areas and scored 352,552 votes while the PDP candidate polled 143,172, more than half of the votes coming from Sagbama LGA, home base of Diri’s sponsor, Governor Seriake Dickson.
Buhari in a statement on Sunday night commended Lyon for the impressive victory, the first time the APC would win a governorship post east of Nigeria since its formation in 2014.
President Buhari also commended APC supporters in particular and Nigerians in general in the State who exercised their civic rights in a peaceful manner, notwithstanding the pockets of unrest recorded in some locations.
Condemning the loss of lives in Bayelsa, particularly prior to the election, the President commiserated with the families of the victims saying, ‘‘Violence during elections vitiates our commitment to demonstrate to the world and upcoming generation that we are a people capable of electing leaders in a peaceful and orderly manner.’’
He noted that while officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies did their best within the ambit of the law to ensure free, fair and credible elections, it was unfortunate that pockets of unrest, mostly sponsored by desperate politicians, were recorded during the poll.
The President looked forward to working with the incoming government to improve the lives of the people in Bayelsa State while ensuring the security of the lives and property of all citizens.
President Buhari urged Governor-elect Lyon to carry other divergent interests along in the next phase of governance, imploring those not satisfied with the outcome of the poll to seek redress through the constitutionally established channels.