Bayelsa Primary: Oyegun Lacks The Power To Unilaterally Nullify My Election As APC Candidate – Sylva

TIMIPRE-SYLVAAs controversy continues to trail Tuesday’s governorship primary election of the All Progressives Congress in Bayelsa State, the purported winner and a former governor of the state, Chief Timipre Sylva, has faulted the National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun for rescheduling the exercise, saying he lacks the powers to do so.
Sylva polled 726 votes to defeat his closest rival, Timi Alaibe, who got only four votes even though he and some of the 19 aspirants, were reported to have stormed out of the Samson Siasia stadium, venue of the exercise in protest.
Edo State Governor and chairman of the seven-member electoral panel that conducted the election, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, in his reaction to the announcement of Sylva as the APC candidate, said there was no election and therefore the ex-governor could not claim victory.
But Sylva has since dismissed Gov. Oshiomhole’s claim, describing him as a liar and having a “pre-conceived” agenda for the primary election.
Mr. Odigie-Oyegun had also told journalists on Wednesday that the election had been rescheduled, citing security challenges as the reason.
But in a statement on Friday, the Timipre Sylva Campaign Organisation insisted that Mr. Sylva was still the governorship candidate of the party in the state and described as “misleading and completely untrue”, reports purporting that the party had cancelled or rescheduled the controversial election.
The statement signed by Doifie Buokoribo, said the primary was conducted in accordance with the party’s rules and guidelines set by the Independent National Electoral Commission and as such the party had no basis to cancel its outcomes.
Wondering why the APC chairman could allow himself to be dragged into the matter, the organisation contended that it was only after the Appeals Committee had concluded its job that the National Working Committee led by the national chairman could meet to consider all reports from the primary, including those of the security agencies.
“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”, it said.
“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”,
“There are seven members of the panel. Let us say 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”.
The campaign organization also reiterated Mr. Sylva’s position debunking Oshiomhole’s claim that the election was marred by violence, insisting that there were pictures and videos to prove otherwise.
It said, “Oshiomhole lied that the election was marred by violence. There are pictures and videos to prove that he lied. There are pictures and video to show that Oshiomhole 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 conducts, which completely compromised his position as Chair of the election panel. Right from the beginning, it was obvious that Oshiomhole 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”.
The organisation also asked Mr. Sylva’s supporters to remain calm and ignore the rumour that a new primary is being scheduled for early next week.