A rights group, Nigeria Youth Organisation for Leadership and Right Activation has advised the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Working Committee (NWC) to consider adopting David Lyon as its consensus candidate in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Bayelsa State.
The advice came as the party prepares for its primary election ahead of the November 2023 poll.
The group in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja by its national coordinator, Comrade Yusuf Yahuza, argued that adopting Lyon who won the November 2019 election but was sacked by the Supreme Court would brighten the chances of the party as he is widely accepted by the people of the state.
The group maintained that adopting a consensus candidature was not only serving natural justice to the majority of Bayelsans who voted their preferred candidate in 2019 but also boost the fortunes of the party.
He said, “As Bayelsans prepare for the November 2023 governorship election, it is our candid opinion that the party should as a matter of justice and fairness, consider a candidate that has over the time been the choice of the people of the state. It is also our candid view that the leadership of the party should try to avoid misstates of the past.
“Recall that the Supreme Court had sacked David Lyon less than 24 hours before his inauguration as governor of Bayelsa State. The decision of the apex court was in affirmation of the verdict of a federal high court disqualifying Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, Lyon’s running mate, for submitting forged credentials to INEC.
“Consequent upon the above, the right thing to be done by the party is to give David Lyon the ticket of the party. Also, there have been reports of some aspirants for the election that have run contrary to the provisions of the Electoral Act and it is important to caution the party to take steps to prevent the party from running into litigations that may affect its chances of fielding a candidate for the election.
“Our attention has also been drawn to the provision of section 84 (12) and (13) respectively “that no political appointee at any level shall be a voting delegate or be voted for at the convention or congress of any political party for the purpose of nomination of candidate for any election.
“Section 84(13) reads: “Where a political party fails to comply with the provisions of this act in the conduct of its primaries, its candidate for the election shall not be included in the election for the particular position in issue.”
“We hereby join our voice to the several voices that have raised alarm on the infringement of the electoral act that the minister of State for Petroleum, Timipree Sylva has been cleared by the APC screening committee to contest for the election”, the statement added.
The group further urged the party not to forget in a hurry the outcome of similar situations in the state in the last elections where the party won the governorship election at the polls but lost out in court over pre-election litigations.