Governorship aspirant on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC), Preye Aganaba, has rejected the outcome of the party’s direct primaries in Bayelsa, describing it as a mockery of the democratic process.
Aganaba, who further referred to the primaries that produced David Lyon as the candidate of the party as a political hoax and lacking any semblance of credibility alleged that the results were written in a hotel in Yenagoa, the state capital.
“The process leading to the direct primary election was rife with irregularities and has set a bad precedent for a political party that prides itself as a progressive which is supposed to lead by example.
“Engr. Preye Aganaba did not partake in the September 4th APC governorship primary election, because there was no election. The degrading votes alloted to him is a complete fabrication and designed to redicule him and his supporters”, he said.
He recalled that during a stakeholders’ meeting with the Returning Officer and Chairman of the state Primary Election Committee, Mai-Mala Buni, the Governor of Yobe state, few issues were raised by the aspirants to ensure a credible process.
He said the stakeholders agreed that names of returning officers should be published at ward levels; result sheets should be available in the various local government areas and that tags should be provided for the eight local government agents and 105 ward agents.
He said though the Chairman and Secretary of the Commitee agreed to the demands, they failed to honour them during the process that led to the primaries.
Aganaba in a statement said: “The Returning Officer, Mai-Mala Buni was not present during the primary election , having travelled back to Abuja same night after the meeting, never to return. In the morning, the Secretary dissapeared and his phones switched off, thus thwarting any effort by the aspirants to address these discrepancies.
“The above actions clearly cast a huge doubt on the neutrality of the election committee members and its commitment towards conducting a free and fair election as they have breached every trust reposed on them.
“One wonders how a Returning Officer and Chairman of a Governorship Primary election Committee can endorse a process he never witnessed and since when did a Collation Officer substitute the powers of the Chairman of a Governorship Primary Election Committee and declare a winner?
“It is shocking and impossible to believe the election results can be announced from a hotel without evidence of elections having held; a simple process which is validated by the presence of election results sheets signed by ward returning officers as well as ward agents to the aspirants.
“This single minded desperation is inimical to the doctrines of the APC. The All Progressive Congress is being inexorably drawn towards an absolutism system, where complete power is held by one man who has no qualms to claiming rights over virtually everything.
“This political fraud perpetrated in the name of direct primaries is a vindication of the earlier assertion of Engr Preye Aganaba at the September 3 stakeholders meeting, about the path the party is being driven by some politicians.”
Aganaba called on the National Working Committee (NWC) to reject the primaries, which he described as anomaly, political scam that has the propensity of tainting the image of the party.
He said: “The Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) should distance themselves from this scam and reject the result completely. This sham with fake results written in hotel rooms can not stand.
“The collation Officer is not the Chairman of the Election Committee to declare a winner. This rape on democracy will be contested in a competent court of law, if the party fails to look into our appeal.
“True Progressives and lovers of a free, fair, credible process should be reassured that appropriate