• ‘Why APC lost six councils ’
WHILE political parties await a new date for a fresh election in Southern Ijaw, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to disqualify the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Bayelsa governorship election, Chief Timipre Sylva, for allegedly announcing fake results.The PDP also cautioned the APC-controlled Federal Government against alleged moves to forcibly declare its party winner of the polls against the wishes of the people.
The warning is coming amid the anxiety that the Resident Electoral Commissioner, (REC) Mr. Baritor Kpagih, has been missing from his office for about three days.
Meanwhile, the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mr Timi Frank, has blamed internal crises amongst chieftains of the party for the inability of the party to record a landslide victory in the inconclusive poll.
Frank’s comments are coming even as he and the national chairman of APC, John Odigie-Oyegun , have disagreed over the rightful person to speak on behalf of the party.
Addressing journalists at the PDP national secretariat in Abuja, the national chairman of the party, Uche Secondus, alleged that Sylva had announced that he knew the true results of the election in Southern Ijaw Council in breach of the Electoral Act which empowered only INEC to announce results.
Secondus stated that the PDP ”is full of thanks to the women and the youth of Bayelsa State especially the Southern Ijaw youths who rose to the occasion and resisted intimidation to hijack materials by hoodlums.
“We were told that security agencies came with armoured cars and harassed, intimidated the people. On confirmation of this report, INEC cancelled that Southern Ijaw elections.
“ Southern Ijaw is a PDP stronghold for 16 years, so there couldn’t have been any magic overnight to change the will of the people.
We believe the election has been won already and the governor and the good people of Bayelsa state have spoken.Therefore, INEC and the security agencies must respect the will of the people.
“They must not come to Bayelsa as they did in Kogi to manipulate to give one of their supporters the state for the sake of running one party state. They must avoid what can truncate democracy.
The president needs peace in all the zones to be able to rule.”
A statement from the office of the Chief Press Secretary to the
Bayelsa State Governor, about 48 hours after the cancellation of the
Southern Ijaw polls, a copy of which is in the possession of The Guardian, said the whereabouts of the REC, were unknown.
Speaking to reporters in Abuja, Frank expressed optimism that the party could still cancel out the slim edge recorded by the PDP candidate Seriake Dickson when election eventually takes place.
Frank urged the APC governorship candidate, Sylva to reach out to people to achieve the desired objective. According to him: “I think this was the beginning of the battle. The battle is not yet over, a re-run is expected and we are waiting for INEC to give us a new date.
“We may have lost in the other six local governments as at now but we are still hopeful that if we come together as a party, we would sweep the polls. I can tell you clearly that the only reason we lost some local governments we have lost is the internal crisis in Bayelsa.
“Till today, our governorship candidate , since after the primaries , has not spoken to me, up till today there are so many people aggrieved in the party. But again there are so many who do not have the guts to speak out and that is why we have lost in those areas we have lost.
“ Since the appointment of Alhaji Lai Mohammed as Information Minister, reporters covering the APC have been facing difficulties getting the views and reactions of the party on issues of national importance.”
When interviewed by reporters in Abuja yesterday, Oyegun said Frank couldn’t speak on behalf of the party, adding that only himself or the national secretary, Mallam Mai Mala Buni, could address issues relating to the party.
Reacting, Frank said with the exit of Mohammed, he remained the spokesperson of the party based on the dictates of the constitution of the party.
He said: “Our party constitution is very clear. Today , I’m the acting spokesperson of the party .I can tell you without fear or favour that when the substantive person in the office of the national chairman or the national secretary or anybody is not there, the deputy takes over automatically.”guardian.