Home » Bayelsa, Headlines, INEC Politics, State News » Sylva and Dickson’s names absent in Bayelsa’ guber list

Sylva and Dickson’s names absent in Bayelsa’ guber list

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Thursday released the names of candidates of the 36 political parties for the February 11 governorship election in Bayelsa State, but was silent on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its flag bearer in the election.

The commission gave the ongoing litigation between the party and Governor Timipre Sylva as the reason for the exclusion of the party from the list.

But the commission did not say if it will allow the party to field its candidate when it eventually resolves the crisis rocking it, less than 30 days to the election.

However, while commending the commission for toeing the path of the rule of law in the release of the list, Sylva has said he is heading for the Supreme Court to stake his claim as the authentic candidate of the PDP for the election.

In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Doifie Ola, Sylva said: “INEC has taken the right decision as an impartial umpire by acknowledging and stating clearly that the subject of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for the governorship election is validly before a court of law, and that as an institution that respects the rule of law and democracy, it would not do anything to prejudice the final outcome of the matter in court.”

In the run-up to the November 19, 2011 PDP governorship primary in the state, the governor had approached the Federal High Court, Abuja following his exclusion from the primary by the PDP.

The governor had asked the court to uphold his candidature on the basis of the January 2011 primary or, on the contrary, allow him to participate in any primary that will be conducted by his party, PDP.
The learned judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, consequently ordered PDP to show cause why the governor’s prayers should not be granted.

But the PDP went ahead to conduct a primary election, and followed it up by filing an appeal at the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal has since ruled that the High Court has jurisdiction to hear the governor’s suit.

Sylva’s argument at the Supreme Court, according to Ola, is that “he is the authentic candidate of the PDP for the February 2012 governorship election. He notes that under the amended Electoral Act, a political party has no right to withdraw the name of a candidate it has submitted to INEC; it is only the candidate, due to resignation or death that can so do”.

Sylva argued that the governorship election in Bayelsa State was postponed, and not cancelled; adding that the postponement of an election could only be likened to the recent postponement of the Adamawa State governorship election from 14 January to 21 January.

“Assuming that this election was postponed for one month or more, will the Adamawa PDP go for another primary to determine the flag bearer in the rescheduled gubernatorial election? The answer to this, is clearly, no,” he said.

But Sylva’s challenger and winner of the November 19, 2011 primary election, Henry Seriake Dickson, has dismissed the omission of his name from the list of candidates in the election. He said he was sure of his candidature and that there was no cause for alarm.

Dickson urged his supporters not to lose sleep over the issue as the names of the authentic candidates had been forwarded to INEC.

Dickson, who was reacting to the exclusion of his name and that of his running mate from the list, contended that “members of our great party should rather concentrate on campaign strategies to actualise our restoration agenda to restore the glory of Bayelsa and engender socio-economic turnaround by winning the forthcoming 2012 governorship poll”.

In a statement, the Director of Publicity of the PDP Governor-ship Campaign Committee, Boyelayefa Debekeme, said: “We wish to inform our members, teeming supporters and Bayelsans generally that there is no cause for alarm, as our candidates’ names had already been submitted and accepted by INEC before the deadline.”
In a related development, the state chairman of PDP, James Dugo, has said the party is miffed by the commission’s position on the candidate of the party for next month’s election.

He said in a statement that: “We are completely taken aback by this development and to say the least, we are shocked, embarrassed and disappointed that INEC would take such a drastic and monumental decision without recourse to us as a party, having formally received and accepted the names of our candidate and his running mate following the successful conduct of our party primaries on November 19, 2011.”


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Posted by on Jan 12 2012. Filed under Bayelsa, Headlines, INEC Politics, State News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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