All Progressive Congress (APC) has deployed Governors Aminu Waziri Tambuwal (Sokoto) and Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun) to support Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole to conduct a fresh governorship primary for Bayelsa State, following the controversy over the outcome of the primary election held on Tuesday.
But former governor of the state and one of the aspirants, Chief Timipre Sylva, has rejected the decision, insisting that he remains the authentic winner of the last primary held last Tuesday for the December 5 election.
The party’s decision to deploy two other state governors to assist Oshiomhole was based on security issues raised after the first primary election, which was allegedly characterized by hijack of the process by some executives of the state chapter, invasion of the venue by thugs and threat to the lives of some of the members of the electoral panel, including Oshiomhole.
The fresh primary, which has been tentatively slated for Tuesday next week, was considered to meet the September 30 deadline for the submission of candidate by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The Sylva Campaign Organisation described as misleading and completely untrue, reports that the September 22 primary had been cancelled or rescheduled.
In a statement in Yenagoa yesterday, the campaign organisation insisted that the primary, which it said was won by Sylva, was conducted in accordance with the party’s rules and guidelines set by INEC and as such, the party has no basis to annul its outcome.
The statement signed on behalf of the campaign by Mr. Doifie Buokoribo, said:“We want to state categorically that since the primary election was conducted according to the rules and duly won by Sylva, he remains the candidate of the APC in Bayelsa State and any statement to the contrary is mere rumour.
The National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, does not have the powers to unilaterally annul a state primary election. We are even shocked that he allowed his name to be used when he has not even received the report from members of the electoral panel.
“Beyond the electoral panel’s report, there is also an Appeals Committee, which has the responsibility to examine complaints arising from the primary election. It is only after the Appeals Committee has concluded its job that the National Working Committee (NWC) will meet to consider all reports from the primary, including those of the security agencies.”
It added: “There are seven members of the panel. Let us say Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole has submitted his own report through the pages of newspapers, there are six members left and the NWC has to sit and debate the reports.
Oshiomhole lied that the election was marred by violence. There are pictures and videos to prove that he lied and presided over the election and handed over the exercise to the Secretary of the Panel on the excuse that he was going to eat.
“It should also be pointed out that only Oshiomhole left the venue of the election and that the remaining six panel members and INEC officials remained in the venue till the winner was announced.
“Oshiomhole must answer some questions relating to his conduct which completely compromised his position as Chair of the election panel.
“Right from the beginning, it was obvious thatAmosun was working towards a pre-determined answer. Unfortunately for him, the will of our people prevailed.
Lastly, you cannot abort a baby that has already been born. The APC governorship primary has been concluded in Bayelsa State, a winner has emerged, and the winner is Sylva.We therefore ask our teeming supporters to remain calm and ignore the rumour that a new primary is being scheduled for early next week.
Meanwhile, it was gathered that the party’s decision does not augur well with Sylva, who might be considering a court action to stop the party from going ahead to conduct a fresh primary.
A member of the Sylva campaign organisation said the decision was “unacceptable.”
He added: “We may have no option than the court, because the court is the last hope of the common man.
“If the party insists on forging ahead with the planned fresh governorship primary, we, as supporters of Sylva, will head to the court to stop this illegality because there is no need for such a primary again, since we have conducted a legitimate one.”