Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, on Wednesday said the party’s primary for the Dec. 5 governorship election in Bayelsa had been rescheduled.
Odigie-Oyegun told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in a telephone interview in Abuja that the primary earlier scheduled on Tuesday was cancelled due to security challenges.
‘’The primary has been rescheduled; it had to be called off due to security challenges,’’ he said, adding that leadership of the party would meet to choose a new date for the exercise.
NAN reports that the attempt by the party to conduct the primary at the Samson Siasia Stadium, Yenagoa, on Tuesday was frustrated by fracas involving supporters of most of the 19 aspirants.
The situation led to the walk-out of 14 aspirants, including Chief Timi Alaibe, from the venue after Chairman of the Primaries Committee, Adams Oshiomhole, was reportedly whisked out of the place to avoid being attacked.
Confirming the postponement of the primaries, Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Timi Frank, said the primary did not hold in Bayelsa on Tuesday.
According to Frank, fracas marred the exercise but one of the aspirants and former governor of the state, Timipre Sylva, held a member of the committee under duress to declare him winner of the exercise.
Frank said that neither the chairman of the primary committee nor the secretary was part of the purported primary, which he described as ‘’kangaroo primary’’.
He said that the party would soon come up with a position on the primary and a new date for it.
“I am speaking as a concerned citizen of Bayelsa that the purported primary is not acceptable anywhere.
“In a situation where all other aspirants walked out of the venue and a particular aspirant put a member of the primary election committee under duress to declare him winner is unacceptable.
“I believe the party will soon come up with a position on that fraud called primary and schedule a date when an acceptable primary will hold,’’ Frank said.
Results of the purported primary indicated that Sylva polled 726 votes to defeat his closest rival, Timi Alaibe, a former Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission, who got four votes.
A total of 1,502 delegates were expected to participate in the primary to elect the party’s candidate for the December election.
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