By Mbah Green Okem, Yenagoa
Bayelsa elders drawn from the eight local government areas of the state has thrown their weight behind the decision of the Former Minister of State for Agriculture, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri to reject the outcome of the controversial Governorship primaries held on Wednesday, saying the processes were flawed and a mockery of the internal democracy of the All Progressive Congress (APC).
The Bayelsa Elders, led by the Former Security Adviser to Bayelsa Government and a Chieftain of the APC from Sagbama, Chief Richard Perekeme Kpodoh, said the conduct and the processes of the disputed primaries that led to the purported emergence of David Lyon, is characterized by deceit, fraud and disrespect to the six other aspirants and the entire members of the APC in the State.
Chief Perekeme Kpodoh, who was reacting to the outcome of the result and after due consultations with some elders of APC, agreed that the processes were heavily filled with default whereby the party machinery was handed over to an aspirant and results hand-written in a hotel.
According to Kpodoh, the collation officer and his colleagues were lodged at the hotel owned by the Wife of the former President, Dame Patient Jonathan and hand written papers were given to them to announce to the media as result of the process.
‘While APC chieftains and delegates were still on their way to Yenagoa with authentic result of Governorship primaries, one Senator Emmanuel Dangana Ochoja, who claimed to have the mandate of the Yobe Governor, was stampeded into announcing a fraudulent score as result of the primaries.’
Kpodoh said though he had earlier warned the national leadership of the clandestine plot to impose David Lyon on the APC members in Bayelsa through fraudulent and violent means, the display by David Lyon and his sponsors have shown that it is grand conspiracy to deny APC the opportunity to take over the state come November 16,2019.
The former Minister of State for Agriculture, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, had rejected the outcome of the just-concluded primary election, which was held in Bayelsa State using a direct mode.
Lokpobiri said it was still trying to get details of what transpired in Bayelsa insisting that he and his team never participated in any primaries that declared David Lyon the flag bearer of the party.
Lokpobiri, who is a frontline APC aspirant in the state said there was no way he would be defeated in any election in Bayelsa by Lyon adding that the majority members of the APC were supporting him.
He wondered why a primary was said to have started in a hotel in Yenagoa and ended in the hotel sidelining the secretariat of the party in the state.
He said party members gathered at the secretariat in Yenagoa and waited in vain for the arrival of the committee saddled with the conduct of the primaries.
He also queried why a result was purportedly declared by someone other than the Returning Officer and Governor of Yobe State, who chaired the committee.
Lokpobiri expressed optimism that the national leadership of the would look into the development in Bayelsa and ensure a credible process that would throw up a popular candidate for the APC.
The former minister said there are hundreds of thousands of APC members in the state, noting that it was not possible for a direct primary to produce less than 45000 voters as purportedly announced in Bayelsa.