An All Progressives Congress (APC), governorship aspirant in Bayelsa State, Preye Aganaba, has described the party’s primary election in the state as a mockery of the democratic process.
Aganaba rejected the outcome of the party’s direct primaries and referred to the primaries that produced David Lyon as the candidate of the party as a political hoax and lacking any semblance of credibility.
He further alleged that the results were written in a hotel in Yenagoa, the state capital.
“The process leading to the direct primary election was rife with irregularities and has set a bad precedent for a political party that prides itself as a progressive which is supposed to lead by example.
“Engr. Preye Aganaba did not partake in the September 4th APC governorship primary election because there was no election. The degrading votes allotted to him is a complete fabrication and designed to ridicule him and his supporters,” he told reporters on Thursday.
The politician further recalled that few issues were raised by the aspirants to ensure a credible process during a stakeholders’ meeting with the Returning Officer and Chairman of the state Primary Election Committee, Mai-Mala Buni, the Governor of Yobe state.
According to him, the stakeholders had agreed that the names of returning officers should be published at ward levels; result sheets should be available in the various local government areas and also that tags should be provided for the eight local government agents and 105 ward agents.
Aganaba lamented that though the Chairman and Secretary of the Committee agreed to the demands, they failed to honour them during the process that led to the primaries.
He added, “The Returning Officer, Mai-Mala Buni was not present during the primary election, having travelled back to Abuja the same night after the meeting, never to return.
“In the morning, the Secretary disappeared and his phones switched off, thus thwarting any effort by the aspirants to address these discrepancies.
“The above actions clearly cast a huge doubt on the neutrality of the election committee members and its commitment towards conducting a free and fair election as they have breached every trust reposed on them.
“One wonders how a Returning Officer and Chairman of a Governorship Primary election Committee can endorse a process he never witnessed and since when did a Collation Officer substitute the powers of the Chairman of a Governorship Primary Election Committee and declare a winner?
“It is shocking and impossible to believe the election results can be announced from a hotel without evidence of elections having held; a simple process which is validated by the presence of election results sheets signed by ward returning officers as well as ward agents to the aspirants.
“This single-minded desperation is inimical to the doctrines of the APC. The All Progressive Congress is being inexorably drawn towards an absolutism system, where complete power is held by one man who has no qualms to claiming rights over virtually everything.
“This political fraud perpetrated in the name of direct primaries is a vindication of the earlier assertion of Engr Preye Aganaba at the September 3 stakeholders meeting, about the path the party is being driven by some politicians.
“The Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) should distance themselves from this scam and reject the result completely. This sham with fake results written in hotel rooms can not stand.
“The collation Officer is not the Chairman of the Election Committee to declare a winner. This rape on democracy will be contested in a competent court of law, if the party fails to look into our appeal.
“True Progressives and lovers of a free, fair, credible process should be reassured that appropriate steps are being taken to seek redress.
“Finally, it is clear that the disposition of those who wrote this shameful result in a hotel room is not about winning the general elections, sadly it’s about ridiculing other stakeholders in the party who don’t align with them, in preparation of a possible governorship run in 2023.
“It is clear that this is all about settling old political scores and disagreements that have bedeviled the Bayelsa state chapter since 2013. We will approach the arena for settling disputes, knowing that justice will be done at the end of the day”.