Edo state governor, Adams Oshiomole who served as the Chairman of the Electoral Committee in the APC governorship primary election in Bayelsa State, has accused a former governor of the state, Timipre Sylva of using his thugs to sabotage the governorship primary.
Oshiomole made the accusation yesterday at a press conference he held on the outcome of the deadlock primaries
“I was appointed with six other members from the APC to conduct the primary election of the governorship electionin Bayelsa State. The exercise took place on Tuesday and somehow, thugs took over the sports complex, where the exercise was to take place. They practically prevented the actual delegates from participating and as a result, we could not proceed with the exercise.
The committee was virtually held hostage, including my humble self. This time, they were supervised unfortunately by one of the aspirants, the former governor of the state, Timipriye Sylva, who said to my face and to the committee that we could not leave the venue of the conference unless we conduct the exercise without accreditation, as prescribed by the national secretariat.
It is important that we state clearly that the national secretariat has adopted a standard guideline for the conduct of governorship primary and this guideline were used effectively in Kogi State and it produced a candidate in which all the aspirants were quite happy with.
The key issues in this guideline, as handed down by the party, is that delegates, as contained in the list, have to be identified either though the Permanent Voter Card or the National Identity Card or international passport.
This was to ensure that proper accreditation was done because the integrity of an election rests primarily on the integrity of the accreditation process; once the accreditation suffers any defect, it affects the entire exercise. As they say, you cannot build something on nothing. Whereas all the aspirants agreed with this guideline, it is only Sylva that did not agree with it. He rejected this mode of accreditation and chose to accuse the national secretariat of formulating the guideline to frustrate his ambition.
Every effort made to reassure him and direct his attention to the fact that same guidelines have been used and that they are standard guidelines that will be used in future elections fell on deaf ears.
He insisted that we cannot leave the place unless we are ready to conduct the election without recourse to accreditation, as stipulated by the party and, of course, I was not in a position to amend the guideline, nor was I ready to submit to his intimidation.
Sylva insisted that it is the State Secretariat and not the national body that should conduct the primary and that it was wrong for the national body to conduct primaries without involving the state leadership of the party and therefore, as far as he was concerned, we must proceed with the election without complying with the guidelines of the national secretariat.
When it became clear that our lives were under threat, I had to call Abuja to prevail on the Joint Task Force to provide me with security to enable me to leave the venue of the primary because thugs had effectively blocked the gates under the instructions of Sylva.
I have since forwarded our report to the National Secretariat namely that the primary could not be conducted because of these and several other malpractices.” he said.