All Progressives Congress Rues Missed Chances In Bayelsa Governorship Election As Peoples Democratic Party Insists On Transparent Conclusion Of Process
Acting National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, yesterday blamed the poor outing of the party in the inconclusive governorship elections in Bayelsa state on internal crisis within the ranks of the party in the State.
As he blamed the party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which is in the lead in the election, warned against any act, or acts, that would truncate the process as it called for a transparent conclusion of balloting and respect for the sanctity of the ballot box.
Frank, who insisted that he remains the mouthpiece of APC, said, while addressing journalists in Abuja, that the party could still win the elections if it comes together, bury differences and work for the common good.
According to him, there are many aggrieved APC members in Bayelsa state, who would rather keep quiet than speak out on issues ongoing in the state chapter of the party. “I can tell you clearly that is the only reason. We even lost the local governments before today.
I have made it very clear that there is internal crisis in Bayelsa (chapter of the party). “Till today, our governorship candidate, after the primaries has not spoken to me. 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 come together as one; if we have united ourselves before the election and every member is happy, what happened in Bayelsa would not have happened”, Frank told journalists.
According to him, “if the party uses this short time to correct it’s wrongs before the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) schedules a rerun in Southern Ijaw where the polls were cancelled, the party still stands a chance on winning the election.
“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. When asked if there were issues on who the official spokesperson of the APC is, Frank said, “Today I am the spokesperson of the party, I am the acting spokesperson of the party.
I can tell you without fear or favour that when the substantive person in the office of the national chairman or the national secretary or anybody is no longer there, the deputy takes over automatically. “Any other person issuing a statement is doing so on a personal capacity, but constitutionally I am the acting spokesperson of the party. It’s not something I need to lobby for, it is something meant to be the trend and I stand by it”, he added.
Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and Nigeria’s military, have been advised to respect the sanctity of the ballot and will of the people of Bayelsa state.
Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, said this yesterday at his office while interacting with journalists stressing that the president has enough already to tackle and would not need further distractions. According to the PDP chairman, President Muhammadu Buhari needs peace to rule the country adding that any plot of manipulation of the results in Bayelsa, by the military and the Independent National Electoral Commission would only cause distractions for the President.
He maintained that the popularity of the PDP in Bayelsa state remains uncontestable, assuring party faithful that the State will be won by the PDP especially with its record win in six of the seven local governments announced.
He commended the women and youths of Bayelsa who withstood intimidation by hoodlums to enable them to rig the elections, a situation that made the Independent National Electoral Commission to cancel the elections. “We thank the women and the youth of Bayelsa state especially the Southern Ijaw youths who rose to the occasion and resisted intimidation to hijack materials by hoodlums. “Southern Ijaw is a PDP local government stronghold since 16 years.
So there couldn’t have been any magic overnight to change the will of the people. “We believe that election has been won already and the governor and the good people of Bayelsa state have spoken and INEC and the security agencies must respect the will of the people. “Nigeria today is faced with several challenges of the Boko Haram in Northeast, the challenge of Biafra, the separatist group in the south east.
My advice to the APC-led government is that they must not do anything that will truncate our democracy. There is terrorism and insecurity on our land and we have enough that government is faced with. “They must not come to Bayelsa as they did in Kogi to manipulate to give one of their supporter governments for the sake of running one party state. They must avoid what can truncate democracy.
The President needs peace in all the zones to be able to rule. “We should give peace a chance. The media must also help to find the truth. We should not destroy Nigeria with propaganda. You are aware that that is PDP base. “You cannot overnight hijack that state from PDP give the Bayelsa to APC like you did in Kogi.
We believe that in Kogi the judiciary will rise to the occasion and address the matter and deliver justice to our people in Kogi state and we will get justice there for the rule of law to take place over what happened in Kogi. “So PDP has no choice but to go to court because we know that we will get justice there. We advise the security agencies especially the military to know that they are Nigerian soldiers, Nigerian Army not APC army they must not play partisan at this level, their duty is to protect the territorial integrity of Nigeria and must be so guided.
They are to protect all of us whether APC or PDP. They must not be involved. “The report that we got from Southern Ijaw was indeed alarming and discouraging. They must not allow our country to run into crises. They are there to protect not to participate, our country is not like those countries where the military has shares in political offices. “Unless you change our constitution, if the military wants to participate in politics then the constitution must be changed.
“We want to appeal to the Army to face the military job and avoid anything that can brew crises to Nigeria; we have enough to battle. “Our military should face Boko Haram and other insecurity issues in Nigeria not aiding APC in rigging the election”, Secondus said. He noted that in the last administration, the PDP managed elections by deploying the military without direct involvement in the elections.
“During the last administration, the military were not directly involved in the elections, those of you who have been at the elections recently in Kogi and Bayelsa the military were positioned in strategic places far from the polling units. In the case of southern Ijaw they were at the polling booths handing out materials to the people.
“And in the community there, the women and the youth barricaded them. You can see the difference, the previous administration, we’re not allowed to participate, in this one, they were the people doctoring the elections for both INEC and the APC,” Secondus stated.
– Dyepkazah Shibayan and Patrick Osadebamwen, Abuja