The Acting National Publicity Secretary of All Progressives Congress, APC, Comrade Timi Frank, has given insight into how the party can emerge victorious in the inconclusive governorship election in Bayelsa State, despite trailing by 33,154 votes.
From the results so far declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in seven local government areas, the Peoples Democratic Party candidate and incumbent Governor Seriake Dickson, is clearly leading in six LGAs with 105,748 votes while the APC candidate, Chief Timipre Sylva is playing catch up with 72,594 votes and won in only one LGA.
With the race to Bayelsa Government House now down to the electorate in Southern Ijaw, the local government area of Sylva’s running mate, Elder Wilberforce Igiri; State APC chairman, Chief Timipa Tiwei Orunimighe and Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, Comrade Frank said that brighter chances await the party if the stakeholders can buckle up and overcome their past mistakes.
Southern Ijaw LGA has the highest number of voters in Bayelsa and has a voting strength of 108,838 according to details contained in the INEC voter register for the area.
Elections were canceled in the LGA as a result of widespread irregularities including abduction of electoral staff, ballot box snatching and gun-fight between security forces and political thugs loyal to both APC and PDP.
Expressing confidence that APC can still turn the tide in its favour, Frank blamed internal strife in the state chapter of the party for its poor showing in some LGAs in Bayelsa.
“I think this was the beginning of the battle. The battle is not yet over and we are waiting for INEC to give us a new date by the grace of God, that local government is a very big one and has a lot of votes.
“We must have lost in the other 6 local governments as at now but we are still hopeful that if we come together as a party, I can tell you clearly that the only reason why even lost the local governments we have lost, before today I have made it very clear that there are internal crisis in Bayelsa.
“Till today, our governorship candidate 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.
“If we came together as one if we have united ourselves before the election and every member happy, what happened in Bayelsa would not have happened.
“We are still hopeful that if we go back, I pray that candidate himself would correct whatever loopholes or mistake he must have done you know to put our party in this situation.
“Now that we are expecting a local government that has a huge vote, if we do very well within this very short period to correct our wrongs I believe that we can still get victory”, he said.