WITH just a few weeks to the November 16 governorship election in Bayelsa State, the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) has been rocked by internal crisis over the choice of its candidate in the election.
Though Mr David Lyon, an engineer, was announced the winner of the party’s primary which was held on September 5, 2019, some members felt his emergence, engineered by former governor of the state, Chief Timipre Sylva, was nothing but an imposition.
Sunday Tribune findings revealed that the aggrieved members were angry over what some of them called the “blatant violation of the APC constitution”, labelling the direct primary that produced Lyon a sham.
Chief Loveday Ondekumo, a chieftain of the party who is among those kicking against the emergence of Lyon, while speaking with journalists in Abuja, said he was against the idea of Sylva “foisting Lyon on the party through a sham primary that violated the APC constitution.”
Ondekumo said he was concerned that the Bayelsa APC issue could end up like the situation of Zamfara State’s branch of the party which was not allowed to field candidates in the 2019 elections.
Already, he said two of the governorship aspirants, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri and Mr Preye Aganaba, an engineer, had already gone to court to challenge the outcome of the primary in court, a development, he said, could create a stalemate like in Zamfara State.
Ondekumo accused Sylva of secretly working for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by presenting Lyon, whom he alleged to be a weak candidate.
“Sylva wants to retain both the ministerial position and the leadership of the party in the state because of his interest in the governorship in 2024. He is not committed to ensuring that the APC wins. He is even not ready to fund Lyon’s campaign.
“We heard that he has secretly reached out to Governor Seriake Dickson so that PDP can have the upper hand in the election. That is the reason he deliberately foisted Lyon on the party because he knows he is a weak candidate as opposed to Lokpobiri or Aganaba,” Ondekumo said, warning that the aggrieved members have petitioned the national executive of the party and vowed that they would fight the injustice until they got a reprieve.
The APC chieftain further claimed that Sylva and some leaders of the party in the state knew the weaknesses of Lyon as a candidate, but chose to paper over them, alleging that Sylva and other leaders supporting Lyon had rebuffed all efforts to find solutions to the crisis.
“Lyon is also avoiding meeting with APC leaders in Abuja. They are shielding him from meeting with governors and other stakeholders of the party. We wonder why he has rebuffed the national chairman, Chief Adams Oshiomhole’s several invitations to meet with the National Working Committee of the party, governors and other leaders of the party,” Ondekumo alleged, asking the party’s leaders to prevail on Sylva and others linked to the crisis to play by the rules and save the party from another national embarrassment.Read Full Story