All Progressives Congress, APC, Chieftain in Bayelsa State, Chief Perekeme Kpodo, has expressed concern over the ‘doctoring’ of the list of delegates to the party’s Governorship primary election, billed for September 19.
Kpodo, who is the factional Chairman of the APC in the state, has accused the party Chairman, Tiwei Orunimighe, of altering the list and compelling the delegates to vote for leader of the party and former Governor of the state, Chief Timipre Sylva.
Kpodo, who decried the development, insisted on Saturday, that all aspirants in the party should be given level-playing field during the primaries stating that taking delegates to the house of a chieftain where they were allegedly asked to vote for Sylva and no other person at the primary election, is clearly undemocratic..
He said the idea of forcing delegates to vote for a particular aspirant had foreclosed the chances of a credible primary election in the state.
Kpodo, who was the former Chairman of the defunct New PDP, took a swipe at Sylva, alleging that he (Sylva) is a “bad product” and that if the APC presents him as its candidate, the party would lose woefully.
“I want to use this opportunity to advise the delegates not to yield to the manipulation by Tiwei Orunimighe, because as a chairman of a party, he has no right under the Constitution to compel delegates to vote for a particular candidate when you have many candidates.
“It is wrong. That is why some of us started fighting them because we believed then that what is happening now will surely happen. So for us, we are justified – we have been vindicated.
“Our position is that they cannot support one candidate; they should allow the delegates to make their choice.
“The Sylva they are working for is not a good product in Bayelsa any longer. Let them carry out investigation. Sylva was stoned publicly for atrocities he committed in office. They cannot afford to bring such a person back to Bayslsans.
“He is saying he served one tenure, remaining one. Even that one he served he was supposed to thank God that he had the opportunity to serve one tenure. How did he come about serving one tenure? He is supposed to think about all this and go home and relax.
“We got the information that Orunimighe carried delegates to a chieftain’s house and that is exactly what he has been doing, persuading and compelling the delegates, but some of them have been complaining. What they have done now is to change the delegates list to suit them because of hidden agenda and that is why they refuse some of us who supposed to correct some of these problems to hold any position. They blackmailed us.”
Kpodo called on the national leadership to intervene in the matter and ensure that delegates are given free hands to choose candidate of their choice.
He warned that attempt to compel delegates to vote for one aspirant would spell doom for the party.
“If Sylva is given the ticket of the APC, the APC will scatter and it will lose woefully. That is exactly what the opposition is praying for. But if we bring any other credible candidate in the APC, you will see a serious fight. It is a battle. To win an incumbent, you know what it means and not people like Sylva. Sylva has been rejected publicly by stoning.
“My advice for delegates is that they should look inwards and vote for credible person not Sylva. Sylva’s name has been ruled out. It won’t make sense that after suffering all of this we go and lose the election because of the ambition of one man. It is not good. If it is Sylva, most of us will not have the zeal to put in our best and that is where he will lose.
“The people are complaining that they do not want him. Tiwei Orunimighe who is driving the whole process for Sylva is himself not a material. Those people who defected to the APC came with their groups and that was why you saw the crowds. They are also a critical factor.”

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