Bayelsa APC Risk Not Having A Candidate

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Oby Ndukwe,Yenagoa

Feelers from Yenagoa, the state capital of Bayelsa indicates that in the wake of the cancellation of the botched primaries of the APC and with a rescheduling of the Primaries by the National Working Committee of the Party on Monday, the State Executive Committee headed by Hon. Tiwei Timapa Orunimighe is hell bent on scuttling a true democratic process that will produce a popular candidate of the Party for the December 5, 2015, Governorship elections.

The new electoral panel headed by Retired General Dan Alli Mansur, who replaced Gov. Adams Oshimohole, arrived Yenagoa at about 8pm on Tuesday night. Acceditation could not commence as the panel was yet to meet with the aspirants. But some minutes after midnight, the State Party Office was busy with delegates loyal to one of the aspirants ostensibly backed by the state exco of the Party.
Security was needed up with journalists hanging around to cover the accreditation which was scheduled by the state exco to take place at midnight.

But some of the other major aspirants who got wind of the information quickly out a call to Gen. Alli Mansur who in turn ordered the Party officials to discontinue with the purported kangaroo accreditation.
Meanwhile, the main bulk of the aspirants have threatened to withstand any attempts by the panel to disenfranchise their delegates from participating in the rescheduled primaries.
Wednesday, 30, 2015 is the last day for all political parties to submit the names of their candidates for the election. With the unending crisis in the Bayelsa APC, over the choice of its flagbearer, there is a possibility that the Wednesday deadline may hit the Party, if nothing is done to stop the compromised state exco from surreptitiously trumpeting the process of a free and fair primaries.
It would be recalled that last Tuesday’s scheduled primary election ended in a deadlock which pitched Gov. Adams Oshimohole against former Gov. Timi Sylva, a leader of the Party and one of the contenders to the ticket.
Sylva who claimed to have emerged as the candidate in a controversial election after Oshimohole and 14 other aspirants escaped from the highly tensed stadium, had accused the Edo Gov and the National Chairman of the Party, Chief John Odigie Oyegun of compromise. He also alleged that the NWC of the Party was tilting to the side of an aspirant, supposedly Timi Alaibe, a new entrant into the Party.
But Sylva’s alleged action of bringing in thugs and cultists who invaded the venue of the Primaries with arms and cloned PVCs to serve as means of identification was predicated on the camping of delegates outside the state by Timi Alaibe and his group. Alaibe who is rumoured to be sponsored by the PDP and former President, Goodluck Jonathan through Tom Polo has placed each delegate on a N200, 000 fee in exchange for their votes. Sylva and other aspirants were unable to have access to the delegates, and that infuriated Sylva who opted for a Plan B.

Having the state structure in his kitty, he procured a different delegates list which they embarked on accreditation before the arrival of Oshimohole to the venue.

The other aggrieved aspirants who protested before Oshiomohole over the use of a fake delegates list had their hope rekindled when the Edo Gov and Chairman of the electoral panel ordered that the accreditation be stopped, and the official list from the NWC used for fresh accreditation. That of course punctured Sylva’s Plan B. Thus, the Secretary of the Party called in the waiting thugs outside who invaded the stadium.
It took the intervention of the JTF and the DSS before Oshimohole was able to leave the stadium. The other 14 aspirants also left as well as several national officers of the Party.
But the intervention of the NWC in calling for fresh primaries in spite of the one conducted in favour of Sylva aftef the crisis may not yield any results. Sylva who had earlier threatened to disrupt any fresh election is back to the race having failed to secure an injunction through the court to stop the Party from conducting fresh primaries.
There are indications that Sylva’s camp is agog since the arrival of the new panel. But it may not yet be Uhuru as Alaibe is also battle ready.

Many had hoped that the two rival leaders, Sylva and Alaibe would have been disqualified in order for a dark horse to emerge. The option of choosing a consensus candidate between Chief DIEKIVIE Ikiogha and Prof. Tarilla may have been the best bet for the party in the state.
Any further attempt to scuttle the process today, may entail a NO CANDIDATE situation for the APC And that will be a cause for celebration in the camp of Gov. Seriake Dickson of the PDP.
Tension remains high in Yenagoa!


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