About 76 political parties in Bayelsa state have reportedly resolved to withdraw the names of their party candidates taking part in the forthcoming local government elections, if the state government fails to remove the acting chairman of the State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC) within three working days.
It was gathered that the political parties under the aegis of Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) are threatening to boycott the LG polls on the grounds that the acting chairman of BYSIEC, Hon. Ball Oyarede is a card carrying member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) appointed the State Governor, Hon Seriake Dicksont to help the PDP rig the elections.
It was further learnt that the leadership of IPAC has also directed all member political parties that have not conducted their primaries to put their primaries on hold until their demands are met.
When contacted, the State chairman of IPAC, Mr. Eneyi Zidougha, confirmed the report, threatening to drag the state government to court if their demands are not met after three days.
He said “our demand is simple. We are asking the state governor to remove Ball Oyarede, who is a card carrying member of the PDP and replace him with a none PDP member, preferably somebody from the academia. And we are giving the Governor a three day ultimatum to meet this demand.”
However, the BYSIEC has denied the news making the rounds that Oyarede is the acting chairman of the commission.
Hon. Diepreye Dede, Commissioner Media and Publicity of the commission, told Blueprint on the phone that the office of the chairman of the commission is vacant as at the time of filing this report.
He said “I am not aware that Ball Oyarede has been inaugurated as the chairman of the commission. And for that reason, I cannot react to the issues raised by IPAC.”
Dickson had on the 1st of June forwarded the name of Hon. Ball Oyarede to the State House of Assembly for confirmation.
Before the ensuing controversy, Oyarede was a serving member of the Bayelsa State Sixth Assembly whose tenure ended on the 6th June, 2019.