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Bayelsa APC Primary Election Did Not Hold, Oshiomhole Says
By Jefferson Ibiwale, Benin
Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, has dismissed reports that former governor Timipriye Sylva won the All Progressive Congress, APC, governorship primaries in Bayelsa State, insisting that no election held.
Oshiomhole, who chaired the committee that conducted the primaries, accused Sylva of hijacking the process and holding committee members hostage, as he objected to the party’s guidelines for accreditation of delegates, which included the use of Permanent Voter Card, National Identity Card and International Passport for the election.
“Whereas all the aspirants agreed with this guideline, it was only Silva 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,” Oshiomhole told journalists in Benin, the Edo State capital, on Wednesday.
He added that the committee insisted that the guidelines adopted by the party be used but Sylva refused and resorted to the use of thugs, who infiltrated the venue and prevented committee members from leaving without conducting the election according to the wish of the former governor.
“The committee was virtually held hostage and this time, they were supervised unfortunately by one of the aspirants, the former governor of the state Timipriye Silva, who said to my face and to the committee that we cannot leave the venue of the conference unless we conduct the exercise without accreditation as prescribed by the national secretariat,” Oshiomhole said.
He added that some people were arrested with cloned card and handed over to the police, only for the police to release them back to the venue.
According to the Edo State governor, with the police under the control of Sylva, he had to call Abuja to have the army in the state escort him out of the venue.
“When it became clear that our lives were under threat, I have to call Abuja to prevail on the army, the JTF to provide me with security to enable me leave the venue because the thugs have effectively blocked the gate under the instructions of Silva,” he explained.
The governor said he had forwarded his report to the national secretariat of the party and believed that a new date would be set for the election to be conducted.