Supporters of the All Progressives Congress governorship candidate in Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva, and his running mate, Joshua Maciver on Friday accused the national leadership of the party of abandoning them during the November 11 poll.

The APC members, who protested at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja, attributed Sylva’s loss to lack of support from the Dr Abdullahi Ganduje-led National Working Committee, alleged vote buying and cancellation of his 84,806 votes allegedly by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

The incumbent governor of Bayelsa State and governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Douye Diri, was declared the winner of the election.

Diri polled 175,196 to defeat his closest rival, Sylva, who garnered 110,108 votes while his counterpart in Labour Party, Udengs Eradiri, polled 905 votes.

Addressing newsmen at the APC secretariat, the leader of the protesters, Dr Otitis Etionumeya, said they found it appalling that the national leadership of the party could dump the former Minister of Petroleum at a time he needed them most.


He said, “We write with searing pain in our hearts over the brazen electoral heist perpetrated against our governorship candidate, Chief Timipre Sylva, his running mate, Great Joshua Maciver and the entire APC family in the state in the November 11, 2023, gubernatorial election in Bayelsa State.

“We find it strange and curious that our party’s candidate was left in the lurch by the party at the national level at a time when he needed the support of the party the most.

“We, therefore, inclined to believe that the Bayelsa State chapter of the APC has once again been used as a sacrificial lamb to satisfy some vested interests without any consideration for the party’s teeming members and supporters who have worked assiduously and at great cost for our party’s victory.

“If the Bayelsa State chapter of the All Progressives Congress wasn’t sacrificed to please some vested interests, how do we explain the audacious cancellation of results in areas such as Ogbia, Nembe, Brass, and Southern Ijaw LGAs where our great party had a clear lead until INEC jettisoned the respective collation centres where the results ought to have been declared but moved the results to the state collation centre in Yenagoa where results already declared with our party in clear lead were cancelled in flagrant contravention of Section 51 of the Electoral Act, 2022.”

Continuing, the protesters scolded Ganduje for conceding defeat immediately after Diri was announced as the winner.

While urging the APC leadership to do all within its power and explore every available option to reclaim their ‘stolen mandate,’ the delegation also begged the ruling party to wield the big stick on members accused of anti-party activities during the November 11 governorship election in Bayelsa.

He added, “We find very disheartening the statement credited to you on November 24 2023, wherein you were reported to have said, ‘We lost the election in Bayelsa, and we have conceded in good faith.’

“Mr. Chairman, we make bold to say the governorship election in Bayelsa State was neither free nor fair as it was characterised by intimidation, violence, and manipulation of results in favour of the PDP. We therefore,with profound respect, beg to differ with your position on the Bayelsa State governorship election.

“We, therefore, humbly, and passionately appeal that the party spares nothing at ensuring that the stolen mandate freely given to our party’s governorship candidate and his running mate is duly restored as we can no longer afford to be the sacrificial lamb in every governorship election.

“We also demand that all members of the Bayelsa State chapter of the APC who are known to have engaged in anti-party activities during this election be severely sanctioned to serve as a deterrent otherwise we may just have successfully legitimized anti-party activities in the Bayelsa State chapter of the APC,” he stated.

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