Bayelsa: APC Dares Sylva, Holds New Primary Today | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Bayelsa: APC Dares Sylva, Holds New Primary Today

Posted: Sep 28, 2015 at 9:19 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Rotimi Akinwumi, Abuja

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has called the bluff of one of its own, Timipre Sylva, over the party primary for Bayelsa State, saying the rescheduled primary would hold today in Yenagoa.

The National Chairman of the party, John Odigie-Oyegun made the disclosure at the end of a marathon meeting of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party at the National Secretariat of the APC.

The party primary which was initially scheduled for last Tuesday was cancelled when the Chairman of the panel, Governor Adams Oshiomhole, and his team abandoned the event over alleged threat to their lives.

Former Governor Timipre Sylva who allegedly won the disputed party primary has insisted that his victory stands even when the party says otherwise.

His insistence on his alleged victory was backed by threat of violence on the party leaders by a group of militants who vowed to unleash mayhem on the party leaders should Sylva’s victory be upturned.

However, the party stood its ground yesterday at the end of the NWC meeting, saying the party does not recognise the last week’s primary, and would hold another one today.


He asked Sylva to head to court if he feels cheated and does not feel he should participate in today’s party primary.

Speaking with newsmen at the end of the NWC meeting, Odigie-Oyegun said: “The main issue that occupied us today at the NWC meeting had to do with the Bayelsa Governorship primaries; we want to make it very, very clear that as a party the APC guards very jealously its records of free and fair primaries.

The NWC sees it as a duty to provide a level playing ground for all those who aspire to offices in this party, unfortunately, in Bayelsa State. We had serious security challenges and so the process could not meet the standards which this party has set for itself and so we had no alternative but to stop the process by ensuring that the chairman of the panel was effectively moved out of the venue with the help of security agencies.

“We decided thereafter that there should be a proper, fresh primary; so today the party decided, we have written to INEC appropriately, decided to conduct fresh primary for the Bayelsa governorship election beginning from tomorrow.

“We are getting in touch with the Inspector General of Police and all the other security agencies to please assist us in ensuring effective security.”

When asked to respond to the threat by Timipre Sylva , who claimed to have won the last primary election, Oyegun said: “Sylva can go to court because that is what the court is meant for.”

However, signs of fear of strike by militants were visible at the party secretariat following the threat to stage a protest over the decision to reverse Sylva’s alleged victory.

Unusual heavy presence of anti-riot squad of the Nigeria Police and other security men armed with various weapons in and around the party secretariat located at Blantyre street, Wuse 11, were noticed yesterday.

However, one of the aspirants and former Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Managing Director, Timi Alaibe, has dissociated himself from the threat issued by the militants.

The denial was contained in a statement issued by his campaign organisation.

“It has come to the notice of the Timi Alaibe Campaign Organisation that certain groups have printed T-shirts and vests in the name of Alaibe and are planning to stage violent protests in Yenagoa and at the national secretariat of the APC in Abuja.

“We dissociate ourselves from such protests and call on the public, security agencies and the national leadership of the APC to please take note.”


The Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, who chaired the committee tasked with the conduct of the party primary yesterday opened a can of worms on what happened at Yenagoa last Tuesday.

Addressing journalists shortly after he submitted the report of the committee to the National Working Committee (NWC),  Adams Oshiomole, confirmed that the primary did not hold because of security challenges, adding that gunshots from  AK 47, Pump action characterised the said primary.