As the race for the governorship election in Bayelsa State commences in earnest, the state leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been accused of intimidating statutory delegates who may not be amenable to the preferred candidate of the political leadership of the state.
The PDP Integrity Group (PDPIG), in a petition signed by its Coordinator, Mr. Tony Nathan Ile, raised the alarm that all statutory delegates have been ordered to submit details of their voter;s identity cards and PDP membership card numbers to the leadership of the party.
According to Ile, “At a meeting called by the state leadership of the party at the secretariat, when some of these delegates refused to comply with the illegal order, thugs were used to collect these items by force from them.
“It is quite unfortunate for someone to indulge in such an inglorious act. We do not believe that our party’s executive in the state, which is expected to show good conduct in the affairs as it relates to the conduct of the PDP gubernatorial primaries coming up soon, will be involved in any nefarious act.”
Ile said the issue of “ordering ward and local government executive members of the party to submit their party identity cards and voter’s card pin number is surely an attempt to discredit and undermine the good and lofty intentions of the national leadership of the party to conduct free, fair and credible primaries of the party.”
He called on the national leadership of the party to immediately setup a panel to investigate the allegations which he called ‘serious and grievous.’
According to the coordinator, “Failure to act on these damning allegations would further polarise the party and make it vulnerable to defeat in the November 16 election as aggrieved members will have no other options than to seek refuge in other political platforms.”
He said the Integrity Group and other people of like-minds in the state stand “for fairness and transparency in the management and leadership of our party to ensure that we win the November elections. This we believe will promote the ideals of our great party as Ijaw and people-oriented party.”
Ile also called on the state Governor, Seriake Dickson, to call the party leadership to order immediately, saying such “overzealous and evil intention” is capable of derailing the party’s victory if not stopped forthwith.