The Resident Electoral Commission in Bayelsa, Mr. Barito Kpgagih has revealed that he was offered money by some people to rig the December 5 state governorship election in favour of their candidate. He said his refusal to take the bribe had pitted them against him.
In an exclusive interview with The Guardian, the REC said his life has been under threat since he announced the cancellation of Southern Ijaw Local council poll
“Some people tried to bribe me to help them win the governorship election and this itself was a misconception by these individuals,” he said.
“This is because there is no way I can help anybody win an election. Mine was to oversee the process. I can’t falsify results, because they only come to the head office after they have been collated at all other levels. I only stay in the situation room and oversee collation.
“I believe it was those who had tried to bribe me before to help them rig the election that are now behind all sorts of stories, being bandied around about me. My refusal had infuriated them and they started by saying I was missing and that I have gone underground and all sorts of stories. People should not take election as a do-or-die affair.
“I told them, I can’t help them to rig the election and that they should use the money they wanted to bribe me with to go to the grassroots and canvass for the people’s votes.
“Somebody called me on the phone and threatened me and since then, I have been receiving all sorts of threats. These have come through text messages and others. Just on Thursday, two strange people visited my house in Yenagoa. They refused to identify themselves but told my people that they had an appointment with me and I knew for a fact that I didn’t have any appointment with anybody that day.
“Quite a number of people who are my friends have advised me to avoid all the hassles and stay away from Bayelsa State because my safety cannot be guaranteed. But I have a job to do and I am going to see it through,” he added.