At 57th NEC Meeting PDP Says Bayelsa Primaries Final, Despite Protest from Civil Groups

Timipre Sylva

Despite the controversy surrounding the exclusion of incumbent Governor Timipre Silva from the upcoming Bayelsa gubernatorial race, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday foreclosed a reversal of its controversial governorship primary.

The Nation reported that the party, at its National Executive Committee meeting in Abuja, endorsed the nomination of Mr. Seriake Dickson as the PDP candidate in February’s general election.

The party’s top organ also endorsed the governorship primaries in Kogi, Adamawa and Sokoto.

Attempts at the meeting to sway the ruling party’s decision to keep Silva off the ticket, failed, the Nation reported.

Reading the communiqué at the end of the 57th NEC meeting yesterday, Acting National Publicity Secretary Prof. Rufai Ahmed Alkali, said the party had played by the rules.

The communiqué stated that after a careful review of the party’s preparations for the primaries, the PDP believes its conduct in Kogi, Adamawa, Bayelsa and Sokoto states to be successful.

“Indeed, the gubernatorial elections have been held in Kogi State, with the PDP emerging victorious. Preparations are in top gear for the gubernatorial primaries in Cross River State, with the sale of forms commencing on the 2nd of January 2012,” the communiqué read.

“NEC commended the National Working Committee for a thorough handling of the primaries in the affected states and urged all Party members to accept the outcome of the exercise, in the spirit of party loyalty, unity and cohesion.”

He added: “On the forthcoming congresses to elect party officials at all levels, NEC commended the enthusiasm shown by Party members nationwide, especially the smooth conclusion of the update of ward registers. NEC expressed its determination to see to the successful conclusion of the transition exercise. NEC also agreed on proposals for consultations on zoning of party offices in order to consolidate our broad based national support and carry each constituent part of the nation along. A decision on what office goes to what zone shall be communicated to members in due course.”

“NEC also dismissed speculations in some circles that plans are underway to dissolve some State Executive Committees before the expiration of their tenure. NEC affirms its commitment to provision of the party constitution on tenure of officials and urged officials concerned to disregard such rumours.”

“NEC was briefed on progress of the PDP Constitution Review Committee, led by the National Legal Adviser. The committee is still working but has made substantial progress in fashioning a new constitution, which shall be in tune with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Electoral Act. The review Committee shall present a comprehensive report in due course.”

According to the Nation, the international community is now being invited to intervene in the murky political matters of Bayelsa state.

A petition was sent to the embassies of six countries considered to have “cordial relationships” with Nigeria.

The petition titled “An urgent call for international intervention in Bayelsa State” and dated December 13, 2011 was sent to the ambassadors or the high commissioners, of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Sweden and Switzerland.

It was signed by representatives of The Polaris Network, Ijaw Media Network, Niger Delta Democratic Initiative, Save Bayelsa Group and the Bayelsa Restoration Agenda.

In the petition, The Nation reported, the civil groups highlighted the “political tumult in Bayelsa State with its negative impact on the political development of the country, the possibility of descent into anarchy in the state, possible reversal of the political and social gains made in the state and the total implication for peace process in the Niger Delta”.

Since the political powers have thus far “defied all local attempts” to resolve it, the groups called on the international community to prevail on President Goodluck Jonathan to allow Governor Timipre Sylva contest the election in February.

They claimed the political imbroglio in the state has “defied all local attempts” to resolve it.

The groups said: “We ask that these governments should prevail on the Federal Government and President Goodluck Jonathan to obey electoral laws and respect democratic principles to enable Governor Timipre Sylva contest the election.

“The impact of this intervention by the international community will prevent a breakdown of law and order that will heat up the polity anddisrupt the peace that took the collective efforts of leaders in the Niger Delta to build in the last two years.

“We request that the international community should act timely to prevent a slide into anarchy,” the group stated.

Courtesy The Nation

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