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76 Political Parties To Boycott Bayelsa Poll

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About 76 political parties in Bayelsa State have threatened to boycott the August 10 local government council elections if the state government fails to remove the acting chairman of the State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC), Hon Ball Oyarede, within three working days.

The aggrieved political parties under the aegis of Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) are threatening to boycott the LG polls on the ground that the acting chairman of BYSIEC, Hon Ball Oyarede, is a card carrying member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and purportedly appointed by the state governor, Hon Seriake Dickson, to help the PDP rig the elections.

LEADERSHIP Sunday learnt that the leadership of IPAC has also directed all member political parties that have not conducted their primaries to put their primaries on hold until their demands are met.

The IPAC Chairman in Bayelsa State, Comrade Eneyi Zidougha, in a statement sent to LEADERSHIP at the end of the meeting of the political parties, insisted that the decision by the existing political parties was unanimous and binding.

In the statement, Comrade Eneyi Zidougha, confirmed that, “76 political parties have unanimously resolved to boycott the forth-coming local government elections if the  government refuses and goes ahead to appoint Hon Ball Oyarede as BYSIEC Chairman. This is because he is a card-carrying member of the PDP, he should be replaced with a neutral or none member of any political party, preferably from the academia.

‘We wonder why members of the Bayelsa State Assembly will accept and screen a card-carrying member of the PDP as BYSIEC Chairman, knowing that it is illegal and contravenes the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended). We vehemently reject this act by the Bayelsa State lawmakers.”

However, the BYSIEC has denied the news making the rounds that Oyarede is the acting chairman of the commission.

Hon Diepreye Dede, commissioner, Media and Publicity of the Commission, told LEADERSHIP Sunday on the phone that the office of the chairman of the commission is vacant as at the time of filing this report.

He said, “I am not aware that Ball Oyarede has been inaugurated as the chairman of the commission. And for that reason, I cannot react to the issues raised by IPAC.”

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