Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has described the purported emergence of former Governor of Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva, as the All Progressive Congress gubernatorial candidate in the state as a “huge joke”.
The Edo governor was the Chairman of a 7-member electoral committee set up by the national leadership of APC to conduct the governorship primaries in Bayelsa State.
According to Oshiomhole, Sylva was not declared winner of the primaries, hence no Certificate of Return was issued to him.
Speaking to reporters in Benin City, the Edo State capital, Gov. Oshiomhole said the purported emergence of Sylva would not alter the rules of the party.
He noted that other aspirants agreed to follow the guidelines released by the national leadership of the party, but Sylva insisted that the primaries should be conducted in flagrant disobedience to those guidelines.
He said Sylva insisted that it was wrong for the national secretariat of the APC to conduct the primaries and that it was the function of the party leadership in the state.
“By the way Sylva conducted himself, it shows that he does not have faith in this democratic process.
Sylva insisted that he founded APC in Bayelsa State and therefore he cannot understand why people who didn’t fund the party have this right to contest on the platform of the party”, Oshiomhole said.
He continued: “The reported election of Sylva is a joke because I am the returning officer in that primaries and which is why I function as the Chairman of the Election Committee. The next person is the Secretary. Neither the Secretary nor myself announced any result. It is customary that when election is conducted, the winner of the election is issued a Certificate of Return. As far as I know no such certificate was issued.”
“If a member of the committee purport they are now selling results; that is their funeral. That does not in any way alter the rules of the party. Sylva can declare himself but none of this can substitute for due process which the party is committed to. Anybody who wanted to do a shoddy job will not ask people like me to be part of that exercise because I cannot be used for fraud.
“The committee was virtually held hostage including my humble self. These thugs were supervised by one of the aspirants, Mr. Timipre Sylva. Sylvia said to my face that we cannot leave the venue of the exercise unless we carry out the exercise without accreditation as prescribed by the National Secretariat.
“Sylva told me that the committee will not leave unless we were ready to conduct the primaries without recourse to accreditation. I was not in a position to amend the guidelines nor was I ready to submit to intimidation.
“When it was clear that they had mobilized the thugs and the thugs in collaboration with the police took over the stadium, the police left the stadium open and it made the thugs gained access into the venue.
“I have to call on Abuja to prevail on the JTF to provide me with security to leave the venue of the primaries. The thugs have effectively blocked the gate under the instructions of Sylva”.