Bayelsa State governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson and the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday traded words over the alleged threat by the opposition parties not to participate during the forthcoming local government election in the state.
While Governor Seriake Dickson said the planned boycott of the forthcoming local government council poll by some political parties, particularly the APC, is a demonstration of their inability to win elections in the state.
The All Progressive Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State, ,through its Publicity Secretary, Doifie Buokoribo, said though Dickson’s metrics of strength is not that of the party, the decision of the party to boycott the local government council polls fixed for 10th August, 2019, is not a sign of weakness but the way of strength and wisdom.
According to the APC, though the election is to be conducted by the Bayelsa State Independent Electoral Commission, “the commission is and effectively an extension of the Bayelsa State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). If PDP is the main house, the Bayelsa SIEC is the back house!”
“In the past two months, this electoral outfit has had three Chairmen. All of them are card-carrying members of the PDP. The first one is now a candidate for the same election he was scheduled to conduct. The second one just rounded off his tour of duty as a member of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly on the platform of the PDP. The incumbent served as a local government council chairman under PDP. Indeed he was a PDP aspirant for the Bayelsa Central Senatorial seat in the 2019 general elections”.
“We will not do Governor Dickson and his party the favour of participating in a game in which the referee is a member of our opponent’s team. Not only are the rules rigged against us, the forthcoming elections are completely illegal”.
Governor Seriake Dickson, who was quoted in a statement by the Special Adviser on Media Relations, Fidelis Soriwei, during a meeting with members of the State Executive Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the party’s secretariat in Yenagoa, acknowledged the APC’s right to boycott the election.
Gov.Dickson, however stressed that the party lacked the popularity and the capacity to challenge the PDP under his leadership in a free and fair election devoid of federal intervention,” the APC is in no position to contest the upcoming governorship election if it could not demonstrate its strenght in the council election”.
Gov. Dickson, who said that the PDP would embark on robust campaigns across the state, expressed confidence that all the local government councillorship and chairmanship candidates would emerge victorious, “I understand that some parties are boycotting the council election especially the APC but that’s their own right. But we expected them to show their strength in this state in an election that does not have much to do with federal might”.
“We thought they would take advantage of this election to show their real strenght on ground but unfortunately they chickened out. The party that is now running away even from council election, let’s see the fire they have in their stomachs.I urge all our party leaders and members to resist the temptation both within and mostly from outside the state where people want to interfere. Our party has always built a party of inclusion to weather all the storms that we have seen in the politics of this state and in our country”.
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