Former Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva, has emerged as the candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) for the December 5 governorship election in the state after winning the party’s primary.
Sylva polled 981 votes to defeat his distant rival, Mr. Godknows Powell, who scored 39 votes in a peaceful primary conducted at the state secretariat of the party in Yenagoa by a seven-member Electoral Panel led by Brig-Gen. Mansur Dan Ali (retd).
A former two-time member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Warman Ogoriba scored 28 votes; Diekivie Ikiogha, 22; Ebite Williams 9; Charity Valdego 7; Preye Aganaba 8 and Febo Austin 7.
Others are Romeo Dekeye 10 votes; Ebitimi Amgbare 3; Ambassador Otiotio 1, Felix Oboro 1 and Christopher Enai 2.
Out of 1147 votes cast at the poll, the chairman of the panel declared 1, 120 votes valid and invalidated 27 votes.
The internal election was peaceful and largely devoid of rancour and violence which characterized the initial exercise that was held on September 22 at the Sports Complex.
Delegates conducted themselves orderly and waited patiently from 11pm on Tuesday till Wednesday afternoon when they cast their votes after accreditation.
There was, however, a brief protest at the venue of the election when Ikiogha led some aggrieved aspirants to the area accusing the panel of shutting them out of the exercise.
For about an hour, Ikiogha, Prof. Tarila Tebepah, Pastor Apirila Tonye and Austin Ogiohwon kept the panel chairman busy with their complaints.
Ikiogha said the panel arrived the state without meeting with them to intimate them on the modalities for the election alleging that the committee came with a mandate to stop them from partaking in the exercise.
“This election is worse than the previous exercise that was cancelled. We are aware that a new list of delegates was compiled the previous night for the purpose of the election. This is not the change we advocated for. We are appealing for the cancellation of the election”, he said.
But the committee chairman insisted that the process was transparent and appealed to the aggrieved aspirants to maintain the peace.
After lodging their complaints, the angry aspirants walked out of the venue of the exercise and refused to come back till the end of the election.
Speaking shortly after he was declared the winner of the poll by the chairman, Sylva said the victory only signaled the need for members of the party to close ranks and work harder to win the December 5 election.
He congratulated the former Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Chief Timi Alaibe, for withdrawing from the race and demanded his support and cooperation of other aspirants ahead of the general election.
The APC candidate commended security agents who stayed awake to maintain the peace throughout the exercise.