Yenagoa, June 17, 2019
The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Monday said it would not participate in the forthcoming Bayelsa Local Government election slated for August 10.
Mr Doifie Buokoribo, Publicity Secretary of APC in Bayelsa made the position of the party known in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
He said the poll was a ploy by the current administration of Gov. Seriake Dickson to use the council election to plant his men, who would rig the forthcoming November 16 governorship polls in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Buokoribo spoke amidst threats at the weekend by 76 other political parties to boycott the local council election if the Dickson administration did not remove the chairman of BYSIEC, Ball Oyarede.
The parties, under the auspices of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) in the state led by Eneyi Zidongha, said they had given the governor three working days to sack Oyarede.
Oyarede, was a member of the immediate past fifth Bayelsa Assembly, representing Ekeremor Constituency One on the platform of the PDP.
He was appointed chairman of the BYSIEC on June 2 following the sudden resignation of Dr Bertola Perekeme, who cited threat to his life and members of his immediate family as reason for his resignation.
Perekeme, erstwhile Chairman of Bayelsa State Independent Electoral Commission (BYSIEC), who resigned on May 30 had shifted the polls from July 12 to Aug 10.
Perekeme, is now a candidate for Ekeremor Local Government Chairmanship seat under the platform of the PDP.
Oyarede and two other newly appointed members of the electoral commission, Charles Emmanuel and Preye Broderick, were screened and confirmed during a marathon session by the former members of the state of Assembly, which ended on June 3.
Buokoribo said that Dickson’s dramatic decision to hold local council polls a few months to the end of his tenure, indicated that the governor has a hidden agenda.
He said the APC would not waste its time to take part in an election that would be conducted by an electoral umpire “chaired by a card-carrying member of the PDP.”
According to him, the short notice for the election released by BYSIEC was also part of the grand plot by the governor and the PDP to compromise the council polls.
“The rules are rigged against us in the APC and we don’t stand a chance.
“For us, the pertinent question is: how come that for close to eight years, Dickson did not deem it fit to conduct local council election?
“When he is about to go, that is when suddenly he remembers to conduct local government election. I mean, he has an agenda.
“He wants to use the council chairmen to compromise the forthcoming governorship election. That’s one of the ways the PDP is trying to rig the governorship election.
“We are not going to be part of that and we will have nothing to do with it, by participating in the local council election,” Buokoribo said.
NAN recalls that Dickson, who accepted the resignation of Perekeme on June 1 accused the APC of threatening the BYSIEC boss and boasted that the PDP would sweep the council polls and the Nov. 16 governorship polls in the state.