• Refer all grievances to appeal committee, PDP tells aspirants
Chuks Okocha in Abuja and Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
The ward congresses organised by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to elect ad-hoc delegates for the September 3 governorship primaries in Bayelsa ended at the weekend, as one of the aspirants and former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Timi Alaibe, accused Governor Seriake Dickson of tightening his stranglehold on the party.
Alaibe raised objection to the process leading to the emergence of the delegates, saying it was flawed and skewed to achieve a set objective.
This is coming as PDP has directed all aggrieved governorship aspirants in the tate to submit their perceived grievances arising from the elections of the local government ad-hoc delegates to the appeal committee handling all issues relating to the primary elections.
Alaibe said on Saturday that he had already petitioned the national leadership of the party, which he assured, would do everything to redress the matter, especially what he said was a ready-made list of delegates submitted to the Dave Umahi-led Committee which oversaw the poll.
It was learnt that the appeal committee arrived the state yesterday to hear the grievances of those who were dissatisfied with the outcome of the congress which took place in 105 wards of the state.
But at the end of the exercise, the Dickson-led Restoration Group registered a haul of delegates in the congress.
The PDP has been in control of the politics of Bayelsa State since the commencement of democratic governance in 1999.
Members of Dickson’s team stressed that the strongest factor in the forthcoming election in the state was the governor who controls a ‘cohesive structure’ with a huge presence across the state.
In its remark, the Restoration Governorship Election Primary Committee congratulated the Umahi-led PDP Ward Congress Committee for organising “a very transparent, credible and rancour-free Ward Congress.”
The Head of Media and Publicity of the PDP Restoration Governorship Election Primary Committee, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, in a statement in Yenagoa yesterday, said Umahi and his team displayed maturity in the discharge of their duties.
Describing the process as painstaking, Dickson’s team said Umahi followed through the rigorous process, giving everybody a fair hearing and providing a level playing field for all interested parties.
Iworiso-Markson said for over three hours, the committee on live TV collated the results from all the 105 wards as each of the eight local government areas took turns to tender their results before the panel in a rancour-free atmosphere.
“The Ward Congress has come and gone and it is important that we move on to the next stage. I must commend all those who made the exercise peaceful and without a hitch.
“I must congratulate and commend the Governor Dave Umahi-led PDP Ward Congress Committee for organising a very free, fair and transparent process. Only enemies of our party will be aggrieved about the conduct of the congresses.
“What is most interesting is the fact that it was televised live on national television for over three hours to show the world the level of internal democracy that exists in the PDP. We challenge other parties in the state to learn from us.
“The Restoration Governorship Election Primary Committee of the PDP will like to congratulate all those who emerged winners of the ward congress across the 105 wards in the state. There is still so much work to be done, so let us remain focused and more committed,” Iworiso-Markson said.
The party has directed all aggrieved governorship aspirants in the state to submit their perceived grievances arising from the elections of the local government ad-hoc delegates to the appeal committee handling all issues relating to the primary elections.
This was disclosed to THISDAY yesterday by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja.
According to him, “There is a laid down procedure to address all grievances in this matter. The aspirants that felt dissatisfied should follow the laid down guidelines. They should take their petitions to the appeal committee led by experienced and eminent Nigerians.
“This is if they cannot resolve their grievances among themselves. That is, if their grievances are irreconcilable. The appeal committee is there to give good listening ears to their petitions.
“The aggrieved aspirants should as well forward such petitions to the National Working Committee of the party for record purposes,” while assuring that all issues arising from the aggrieved members of the party in Bayelsa State must be addressed promptly,” he explained.