NEDU MARK, Yenagoa
One-time Bayelsa State Governor, Chief Timipre Sylva will fly the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s flag at the forthcoming governorship elections in December, this year following his victory at the state primary poll, Tuesday night, in an exercise marred by violence, withdrawals and protests by candidates and delegates alike.
Sylva defeated the other18 aspirants to emerge winner of the primary which held at the Samson Siasia Stadium, in the Yenagoa, the state capital.
The development comes as the chairman of the APC Governorship Electoral Committee which conducted the electoral process and Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, had to be sneaked out of the venue by men of the Joint Military Task-force (JTF) following threats to his life by delegates who accused him of complicity.
The Election which was concluded at about 8pm Tuesday night witnessed Chief Timi Alaibe, Preye Aganaba and a host of others boycotting the poll over what they described as ‘mass irregularities, violence and unsafe atmosphere.’
Sylva was however, declared winner of the primaries conducted in the absence of Gov. Adams Oshiomhole, as he was said to be trapped and helpless at the venue, even as the electoral process was reportedly hijacked.
Sylva was however, declared winner by Nelson Alaba, a member of the Oshiomhole led electoral committee for the poll.
The electoral exercise witnessed gate crashing by supporters of Sylva who allegedly forced their way into the venue chanting war songs and accused Gov Oshiomhole of compromising the process to favour some aspirants other than Sylva
It would be recalled that before the elections proper, Chief Ndutimi Alaibe, Preye Aganagba and Ebiimi Amgbare had called for the cancellation of the primaries over what they described as mass irregularities and violence by the organizers and some delegates
Alaibe equally decried the beating up of his accredited delegates by hired thugs as well as harassments, noting that his delegates were locked out of the venue, as he further accused some individuals of ‘perfecting fraudulent acts.’
Alaibe insisted that the over 1,300 policemen deployed to the venue of the election cannot check the rising violence by some youths who shot indiscriminately into the air scaring delegates , while journalists scampered to safety, ‘therefore making the venue of the primaries unsafe.’
In his protest, Alaibe also called on the Oshiomhole led electoral team to shift the poll to a better date and condemned the beating up of party delegates.
“APC is a big family, there is no need for some of us to start beating the delegates, harassing and intimidating them before the primaries” Alaibe
The APC primaries election had in attendance over 1,508 delegates drawn from the wards and the eight local government areas of the state.
However, reacting, Sylva in an interview insisted that the process was peaceful and orderly, adding that there is no need for the cancellation of the primaries
Shortly after Sylva speech, over 1,000 unaccredited delegates made their way to the venue, chanting war songs and accusing Comrade Adams Oshiomhole of comprising the poll.
The irate delegates sang, “Sylva don win the election, we no go gree, Adams should go, you cannot tell us what to do in our state.”