Bayelsa Congress: Jonathan candidate losing out to Dickson’s, violence erupts

Groups loyal to Timi Alaibe, one of thefavs of former President Goodluck Jonathan, have disrupted the Bayelsa guber delegate congress, demanding its cancellation because the process was not transparent..

The angry PDP members were led by some PDP stakeholders loyal to the Timi Alaibe Campaign Organisation.

They accused the election committee of doing the bidding of the state government–that is Gov. Seriake Dickson who is fielding a candidate from his government.

The PDP guber ticket has driven a wedge between Jonathan and his godson Dickson.

One of the protesters, Tiwei Orunimighe, told the national committee members at the party Secretariat, “there are processes the conduct of the PDP Congress use to take.

“The party will agree with them and we go to our communities and bring results.

“But to our dismay the committee has not addressed us yet people are congratulating the exercise and process that have not taken place as first of its kind. They were claiming that it was good that someone has won. When the process have not even started.”

He demanded to know the modalities agreed upon by the committee and the aspirants? And who are the returning officers agreed and where are they coming from? We are very aware that it was the restoration group that gave you the list.

The Governor of Ebonyi State and the Chairman of the Ward Congresses Electoral Committee for the conduct of Ad-hoc Delegate Election, David Umahi commended the peaceful conduct of the protest and warned that anyone who engages in violence will provoke him to cancel the election process.

“I want to say the process started yesterday and we all signed that we should conduct the process. Anybody suggesting that the process should be aborted are not suggesting the right thing because we are already in agreement with the aspirants,” he said.

But Timi Alaibe Campaign Organisation insisted that the refusal of the aspirants to talk was due to the lack of access to the list of electoral officers presented to conduct the ad-hoc delegate election.

The group said neither its aspirant nor any other person in the governorship race had access to the list and composition of the electoral and returning officers until when the list was publicly announced by the Chairman of the Electoral Committee.

A statement issued by the Administrative Secretary of the Timi Alaibe Campaign Organisation, Professor Seiyefa Brisibe alleged that the Electoral Committee Chairman simply collected an already prepared list by the State Chairman of the party, signed it as an approved list for the three-man delegate election.

Brisibe added that when aspirants requested for the list, they were promised that copies would be made available to them and that the list would be post on the aspirants’ social media platform.

“It was not until the very last minute when the Committee made public the list and composition of the returning and electoral officers that all the other aspirants discovered that most of those mentioned were brothers, sisters, nephews, cousins and relations of the Restoration Team aspirants. The first time we knew about the content of the list was when it was being read to everybody at the party secretariat,’ he said.

“For the Committee to therefore put the blame on the aspirants for not raising objections over the flawed procedure adopted in the conduct of the Ad-Hoc delegates election is to be economical with the truth because it was difficult to protest over a list that none of us had access to.”