Why Buhari refused to congratulate Dickson 24 hours after victory

By Amako Nneji January 11, 2016 17:14

Why Buhari refused to congratulate Dickson 24 hours after victory

Almost 24 hours after the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, declared Governor Seriake Dickson winner of the January 9th, 2016 Gubernatorial election in Bayelsa state, President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to send his congratulatory message. Hence exhibiting what political commentators have described as “Political intolerance” on the side of the Presidency.

Dickson had won with a total of 134,998 votes, while his closest rival, Timipre Sylva of the All Progressives Congress, APC, garnered 86,852 votes.

Despite INEC’s declaration, Sylva has refused to accept defeat and has threatened to challenge the elections at the tribunal.

See: INEC shocks Sylva with Bayelsa election results

When Post-Nigeria contacted the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, on why Buhari was yet to put a congratulatory message to Dickson for the much anticipated victory, he declined to comment on the issue.

Contrary to this, the Former President, Goodluck Jonathan, had on August 2014 congratulated the Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola of the APC for returning as a 2nd term governor.

“As Governor Aregbesola prepares to begin a second term in office, President Jonathan looks forward to continuing to work with him and other state governors to further improve the living conditions of Nigerians in Osun and other states of the country.” Jonathan had stated.

Some Nigerians are of the view that in politics, there should be a spirit of sportsmanship by extending a hand of fellowship to the winner.

Although, some APC sources who confided with Post-Nigeria hinted that Buhari’s delay in congratulating Dickson might be connected to his Party’s disappointing outing and failure to capture the oil-rich state.

Hence, corroborating the suggestion made by the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, who was reported to have said that all oil-producing states should be taken over by the APC in the interest of National security.

Before the Southern Ijaw Local Government Supplementary election which held on January 9th 2016, it was alleged that the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, had 2 high profile meetings with Mohammed Dan Ali, Minister of Defence, on how the military can once again be used to intimidate voters and rig the Bayelsa poll for the APC.

Following his victory, Dickson has thanked Bayelsans for his re-election, but said there would be no celebration because of the number of lives that had been lost.

While extending a hand of fellowship to his political opponents, Dickson said since the election had been won and lost, the needs of Bayelsans and the challenge of improving their material conditions had become more urgent.

See: Bayelsa Polls: How we broke APC’s backbone – Jonathan

Reacting to the January 9th election, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, in a statement said it was unacceptable that an election meant to produce a governor for the state was turned into a theatre of war with the attendant loss of lives and destruction of properties.

“I call on the security agencies to quickly end the bloodbath and also ensure that those responsible for the violence are arrested and prosecuted irrespective of political affiliations,” Saraki stated.