The All Progressives Congress (APC) has adopted the direct primaries mode to select the candidate to fly its flag in the Nov. 16 governorship election in Bayelsa.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the development followed the vacation of an interim injuction by a Bayelsa High Court restraining the party from adopting the direct primaries method.
The primaries are underway across the 105 wards across the eight local governments in Bayelsa
Returning Officer for the Bayelsa APC Primaries, Gov. Mai-Mala Buni of Yobe, told newsmen on Tuesday night after a meeting with the aspirants and key party stakeholders including the Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva and the former Minister of State for Agriculture, Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri in Yenagoa.
He said the process would be concluded within the time frame stipulated by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“The process has commenced and we had a very wonderful meeting with the stakeholders. We adjourned the meeting to allow the process to continue. We have agreed to adhere to all the guidelines issued by the party.
“We have a timeframe within which we are working. The process is direct primaries and all the aspirants agreed with it. We are on the same page.
“We are here to provide the level-playing ground for all the aspirants. We are not hoping for violence. We are all APC and one big family so we have to work together to win the election.
“It is only one person that wins and when one person emerges we look forward for all the others to come forward and support him”. Buni said
The Sagbama High Court sitting in Yenagoa had on Tuesday set aside an interim order stopping the party from conducting its governorship primaries in the state using direct mode.
The court presided by E.G. Umukoro, said the interim order, which he initially granted could no longer stand following argument contained in application on notice filed by the applicant respondent.
Reviewing the interim order against the position of the respondent, Umukoro said the kernel of the application was that the interim order was at variance with the electoral act, constitutions of the APC.
He said the respondent applicant quoted some judicial precedent including the case of Sylva vs PDP 2012 and posited that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain pre-primary matter of any political party.
“The interim order is not sustainable and is hereby set aside as the court acted without jurisdiction” Umukoro said.
Mr Japan Christopher, Evinson Olotu , Oddu Onyimiebi and Onyimiebi Isaih took the National Chairman of APC and 23 members of his executive and Bayelsa chapter executives to court over the decision to use direct primary.