Controversy has continued to trail the outcome of the Bayelsa State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), stakeholders meeting called to adopt a mode of election for the party’s primaries to elect a candidate for the forthcoming gubernatorial election in the state.
Newsmen gathered that though the meeting ended in a rowdy session, majority of the stakeholders chose the direct mode of primaries.
Engr. Preye Aganaba and Senator Heineken Lokpobiri argued that the meeting ended in a stalemate because the Chairman of the Party, Mr. Jothan Amos, failed to follow due process at summoning the stakeholders’ meeting and adoption of the mode of primaries for the party.
One of the aspirants, Engr. Preye Aganaba, who spoke through the Director-General of his Governorship campaign, Nestor Binabo, said “though the meeting ended in a stalemate, even with a consensus pattern, we will carry the day. Bayelsa people want us and we know quite alright that they are yearning for change.”
He continued, “The Chairman of the party didn’t handle the matter well. The State Working Committee of the party should have drawn up an agenda and bring it to the stakeholders meeting for adoption and discussion. This process was not followed and according to the APC constitution the meeting was technically unconstitutional.”
In his position, former Minister of state for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, through his Director of Media and Publicity of his Governorship campaign team, Perez Peretu, said the meeting ended in a stalemate and that the APC state Chairman needed to summon another stakeholders meeting, “Even if we disagree, we will eventually agree”.
Meanwhile, a serving federal lawmaker, representing Southern Ijaw federal constituency, Hon. Preye Influence Oseke, said claims of the meeting ending in a stalemate was not true, adding that there was no stalemate because majority of the people supported the direct mode of primaries.
“In a meeting, it is normal to have opposing views, but the majority will have their way. The minority will also be heard, we already adopted the direct primaries mode for the governorship election through voice votes and that is the position of the party.”
On whether this could cause division in the state, he said “Of course that is expected but as a party we will overcome it, we’re advising party faithful to work together to forge a common understanding to deliver the various units in the election.
“Many of the SWC members including the Deputy Chairman and the State Legal officer kicked against the action of the State Chairman and accuse him of not summoning a meeting of the party exco to discuss and adopt the mode of primary before the stakeholder meeting.”