By Rotimi Ajayi & Henry Umoru
ABUJA – NINE days to the Bayelsa governorship primary election of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the embattled governor, Timipre Sylva was again not cleared by the party yesterday.
The party cleared Doukpala Francis Amaebi, Ekiyegha Fred Korobido and Austin Febo to join those cleared last week by the National Working Committee, NWC of the PDP.
According to a statement signed by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Professor Rufai Alkali, “the review exercise continues until all issues concerning all aspirants are successfully dealt with and disposed off.”
It will be recalled that last week Tuesday, the national leadership of the party, through Alkali, cleared Oruta Justine Boloubo; Henry Seriake Dickson; Enai Christopher Fullpower and Kalango Michael Youppele.
This brings to seven the total number of those cleared to come out November 19 to fight for the ticket of the PDP.
Also on the suspense list of aspirants along side Governor Sylva are former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Chief Timi Alaibe; ex-Director-General, Nigeria Television Authority, NTA, Mr. Ben Murray-Bruce and the Permanent Secretary, Water Resources, Ambassador Godknows Igali.
The leadership of the party had met on Monday last week to review the report of the Appeal panel headed by former Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Mrs Abiodun Olujimi. Other members of the panel are Solomon Edojah; John Idoko; Moshood Salvador; Bello Wurno; the four Zonal National Chairmen, Chief Okon Nkpubre, South South; Olisah Metuh, South East; Paul Wampana, North East; Alhaji Yusuf Ayitogo, North Central; Tajudeen Oladipo, South West, Senator Ibrahim Kazaure, North West, Professor Israel Owate and Abba Anas Adamu as Secretary.
According to the time table signed by the National Organising Secretary of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus and released last month, screening ought to have been concluded on October 27, while screening Appeal should have sat and concluded assignment October 28. Ward Congresses (Ad-Hoc Delegates) is fixed for November 14 and Ward Congresses Appeal is November 16.
The statement signed by Alkali yesterday read: “In continuation of the review of the reports of the Screening Committee and the Screening Appeal Panel for the gubernatorial primaries in Bayelsa State, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party has approved the clearance of the second batch of aspirants to contest the primaries scheduled to take place on Saturday 19th November 2011 along with those earlier cleared.
“Those in the second batch of cleared aspirants are:- Doukpala Francis Amaebi; Ekiyegha Fred Korobido and Austin Febo.”
The leadership of the Party while warning those behind false information with regard to the Bayelsa State Political imbroglio, said, ‘’Meanwhile, the NWC wishes to warn all those involved in rumour mongering, especially those peddling unfounded allegations against the National Leadership of the Party to desist from such acts forthwith or face disciplinary action.
“This warning has become necessary in view of mischievous and slanderous media reports accusing leaders of the Party of collecting various sums of money from aspirants.
For the records, those rumours are false in their entirety. The NWC under the leadership of Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje is deeply committed to due process and the rule of law and no amount of mudslinging, intimidation and blackmail will divert our attention from this noble course.
“Once again, we call on all our members in Bayelsa State to remain calm and focused and not allow any desperate political elements to cause division within their ranks.”