DAVID LYON WINS APC BAYELSA GUBER PRIMARY, LOKPOBIRI REJECTS RESULT

David Diai

FB_IMG_1567628012444Chief David Lyon, a Bayelsa state based businessman and oil industry mogul, renowned for his overwhelming philanthropy and grassroots appeal, has won the Bayelsa State All Progressives Congress, APC governorship primary election, held in Yenagoa, the state capital, on Tuesday, September 4, 2019.

Chief Lyon scored 42,138 Votes to defeat his nearest challenger, Mrs. Diseye Nsirim, who polled 1,533 Votes, in the election which was conducted with the Direct Primary process.

The detailed Result As Follows:

~ Engr. Preye Aganaba – 354 Votes

~ Prince Ebitimi Angbare. – 633 Votes

~ Diseye Nsirim – 1,533 Votes

~ David Lyon – 42,138 Votes

~ Prof (Engr) Maureen Ekpebu – 564 Votes

~ Sen. Heineken Lopkobiri – 571 Votes.

The chief collation Officer for the party primary, Senator Dangana Emmanuel, announced the result in Yenagoa, the state capital and affirmed that the party stakeholders and national working committee had unanimously agreed on a direct mode of primary, while the chairman of the party’s electoral committee and Governor of Yobe state, Alhaji Mai-Mala Buni, described the process as peaceful.

Recall that the returning Officer for the Bayelsa APC Primaries, Gov. Mai-Mala Buni of Yobe, had briefed journalists on Tuesday, September 3, after a meeting with the aspirants and key party stakeholders including the Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva and the former Minister of State for Agriculture, Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri in Yenagoa, that his commuttee was primed to ensure that they concluded the process within the time frame stipulated by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), especially since the Court has given them the green light to go ahead with the primary.

He said: “The process has commenced and we had a very wonderful meeting with the stakeholders. We adjourned the meeting to allow the process to continue. We have agreed to adhere to all the guidelines issued by the party.

“We have a timeframe within which we are working. The process is direct primaries and all the aspirants agreed with it. We are on the same page.

“We are here to provide the level-playing ground for all the aspirants. We are not hoping for violence. We are all APC and one big family so we have to work together to win the election.

“It is only one person that wins and when one person emerges we look forward for all the others to come forward and support him”.

Further recall that the Sagbama High Court sitting in Yenagoa had also on Tuesday, September 3, set aside an interim order it had earlier granted to stop the party from conducting its governorship primaries in the state using direct mode.

Justice E.G. Umukoro, who presided in the Court, said the interim order, which he initially granted following an application by Mr Japan Christopher, Evinson Olotu , Oddu Onyimiebi and Onyimiebi Isaih who took the National Chairman of APC and 23 members of his executive and Bayelsa chapter executives to court over the decision to use direct primary, could no longer stand in the face of convincing arguments contained in application on notice filed by the applicant respondent.

Reviewing the interim order against the position of the respondent, Justice Umukoro who averred that the kernel of the application was that the interim order was at variance with the electoral act and constitution of the APC, also noted that the respondent applicant equally quoted some judicial precedent including the case of Sylva vs PDP 2012 and having consider the weight of these submission, ruled that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain pre-primary matters of any political party.

“The interim order is not sustainable and is hereby set aside as the court acted without jurisdiction” Justice Umukoro had ruled.

Lokpobiri

But in a swift and bitter response to the outcome of the just concluded process, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, a former Speaker of the Bayelsa House of Assembly and Minister of State, Agriculture, has rejected the result of the APC Bayelsa gubernatorial Direct primary election, insisting that he and his team never participated in the primary which produced David Lyon as Bayelsa APC guber candidate.

Chief Lokpobiri, who is a former two terms Senator and prominent APC chieftain, regarded by many as the leading governorship aspirant in the state, until Chief David Lyon joined the race with the full backing of ex-governor and newly appointed Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, boasted that there was no way he would be defeated in any election in Bayelsa by Lyon and while adding that the majority members of the APC were supporting him, challenged the venue of the primary which was allegedly conducted in a hotel in Yenagoa, instead of the secretariat of the party in the state capital.

Citing more grounds for his rejection of the primary, Chief Lokpobiri, who had always advocated for Indirect primaries, said he had it on good authority that the result of purported election was allegedly declared by someone other than the Returning Officer and Governor of Yobe State, Alhaji Mai Mala-Buni, who chaired the committee, adding that party members had faithfully gathered at the party secretariat in Yenagoa, following the vacation of the court order that had earlier stopped the process, but had waited in vain for the arrival of the committee saddled with the conduct of the primaries.

Lokpobiri, who expressed shock and astonishment that the APC which has hundreds of thousands of members in Bayelsa state could only produce about 45, 000 voters in a direct primary election, as declared by those who conducted the process, was however optimistic that the national leadership of the party would definitely do the needful by appraising the development with s view to ensuring a credible process that would produce a popular gubernatorial candidate for the APC ahead of the November 16 Bayelsa state governorship election.

Senator Lokpobiri then stated that he and his team were still trying to get the comprehensive details of what actually transpired in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state, on Wednesday September 4, the day APC guber primary was scheduled to hold.

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