A support group of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State, the Progressive Consultative Forum (PCF), has cautioned the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) to avoid the 2019 electoral mistake that cost it the governorship seat of the State.
The group warned the party against fielding the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva as its flag bearer at the November 11, 2023 Bayelsa governorship election for fear of falling short of the Electoral Act guiding the conduct of all elections in the country.
A statement by the group’s director general, Wilberforce Waribote in Abuja on Friday said the failure of the Minister to resign from his present position to contest the party primary slated for April 10 fell short of the Electoral Act which prescribed 30 days for all appointees to resign before party primary.
According to Waribote: “APC’s governorship primary is scheduled to take place on the 10th of April, 2023. All political appointees interested in the party’s primary ought to have resigned their appointments on or before the 10th of March, 2023.
“We make bold to say that as of today, 17th of March, 2023, the Minister is yet to turn in his resignation letter. This is a legal requirement that must be satisfied, and refusal to act by the provision of the law would be a fatal blow to his ambition and the party’s electoral fortune in the state.
“In light of this development, the entire leadership and members of the Progressive Consultative Forum of Bayelsa State wish to strongly warn the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) not to make a grievous mistake that will affect the bright prospects of the party at regaining our 2019 mandate.
“The party should not toy with such obvious facts for floating a candidate who has such an open legal deficiency that could be exploited by opposition parties in a court of law.”
The group stressed that for the party to reclaim the State, it must avoid past mistakes and field a popular and acceptable candidate to fly its flag on the 11th November State Governorship election.
PCF noted that for APC to win the governorship seat, “the party must put forward its best and the most acceptable candidate, while also ensuring that it goes into the elections with a united force to defeat the ruling PDP and the emerging LP.
“It is our candid opinion that Chief Sylva, at this point, could not be considered APC’s best choice in the forthcoming gubernatorial election.
“Sylva’s political inconsistency in recent times made him unfit for the party’s ticket. It will be recalled that he surreptitiously indicated his interest to vie for Nigeria’s presidency, and lacking the courage to resign his appointment as Minister and go for it, he buckled at the primaries. But, his presidential interest was not lost on the party’s power brokers and the electorates in Bayelsa who have noted his lack of guts.
“In a similar vein, his refusal to resign from his current position as the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources a month before the party’s primaries as required by the Electoral Act is a legal lacuna.
“Akin to his indecisiveness at the presidential primaries, Sylva has again shown a visible lack of courage to do the needful at the right time but went on to join the power brokers to carry on a spoiler game.”
Expressing its resolve to work for the victory of the party at the polls, PCF threw its weight behind the former Governor-elect, Chief David Lyon, insisting that he has the magic wand to win the election for the party come November.
“David Lyon has been a philanthropist and a bridge builder who has proved to be at home with the populace including the physically challenged and the fatherless. He is loved and respected by all in Bayelsa state.
“What the people of Bayelsa state need now is a practical politician like David Lyon who has indeed touched the lives of people positively including youth, women and the less privileged.
“We have it on good authority that members of the All Progressives Congress who decamped to other political parties are earnestly waiting for Lyon to return to the poll for them to come back to their party the APC.
“If Lyon can trounce an incumbent governor and the ruling PDP in 2019; If David Lyon had a winning formula in 2019, it is wise and reasonable to expect him to have the same in 2023.”
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