By Samuel Oyadongha & Emem Idio
SOME elders drawn from the eight local councils of Bayelsa State, yesterday, threw their weight behind the decision of former Minister of State for Agriculture, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri to reject the outcome of the governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress, APC, held on Wednesday, saying the processes were flawed and a mockery of the internal democracy of the APC.
Led by a former Security Adviser to Bayelsa government and a chieftain of the APC from Sagbama, Chief Perekeme Kpodoh, the elders said the conduct and the processes of the disputed primaries that led to the emergence of David Lyon, was characterised by deceit, fraud and disrespect to the six other aspirants and the entire members of the APC in the state.
Kpodoh, while reacting to the outcome of the result and after due consultations with some elders of APC, agreed that the processes were heavily flawed whereby the party machinery was allegedly handed over to an aspirant and results hand-written in a hotel.
According to him, the collation officer and his colleagues were lodged in a popular hotel 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, who claimed to have the mandate of the Yobe Governor, was stampeded into announcing a fraudulent score as result of the primaries,” he said.
Kpodoh said though he had earlier warned the national leadership of a clandestine plot to impose a candidate on APC members in Bayelsa through fraudulent and violent means. He said the emergence of Lyon is grand conspiracy to deny APC the opportunity to take over the state on November 16, 2019.
Lokpobiri while rejecting the outcome of the primary election, said he was still trying to get details of what transpired in Bayelsa insisting that he and his team never participated in any primary that declared David Lyon the flag-bearer of the party.
Lokpobiri said there was no way he would be defeated in any election in Bayelsa by Lyon adding that the majority of APC members were supporting him.
He wondered why the primary was started in a hotel in Yenagoa and ended in the hotel side-lining the APC secretariat 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.