Bayelsa guber: Stick to Electoral Act, group tells APC NWC  

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Ahead of the Bayelsa state governorship election coming up in November, 2023, a group under the auspices of Progressives Minds of Bayelsa has cautioned the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Working Committee (NWC) leadership to take steps to prevent the party from running into litigations that may affect its chances of fielding a candidate for the election.

According to the group, it is less than 30 days to the primaries and some persons who bought nomination forms for the contest are still holding political appointments contrary to the provisions of the new electoral act.

The group in a statement signed by its national coordinator, Chief Raymond Ayebapreye and made available to journalists in Abuja, particularly drew the party’s attention to Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act as amended that stipulates that “no political appointee at any level shall be a voting delegate or be voted for at the convention or congress of any political party for the purpose of nomination of candidate for any election.”

Section 84(13) reads: “Where a political party fails to comply with the provisions of this act in the conduct of its primaries, its candidate for the election shall not be included in the election for the particular position in issue.”

This position is coming on the heels of allegation that the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, has been cleared by the APC screening committee to contest for the election. 

Consequently, the group raised alarm that allowing the minister, who has remained in office to this moment will be counterproductive for the party as other political parties mindful of the provisions of the law will definitely make a case that may jeopardise the chances of the APC in the election. 

The group further urged the party not to forget in a hurry the outcome of similar situations in the state in the last elections where the party won the governorship election at the polls but lost out in court over pre-election litigations.

“Recall that David Lyon won the governorship on the platform of the APC but was sacked by the Supreme Court. Although the circumstances may differ but bottom-line remains that the party lost in court. What this teaches is that we must as a party pay close attention to the provisions of the electoral act and the constitution generally to avoid a repeat of the ugly situation,” the group added.

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