Pockets of protests and threats of violence marred the conduct of the ward congresses of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the Ad-hoc delegate election in the 105 wards of Bayelsa state.
Protesters led by some PDP members loyal to the Timi Alaibe Campaign Organisation and led by Chief Tiwei Orunimighe, Hon. Bananas Endure and a former Member of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Vivian Ere, barricaded the PDP Secretariat demanding for the cancellation of the process over alleged fictitious list of electoral officers presented to the Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi state led National Committee by the state chapter of the party.
Chief Tiwei Orunimighe,while addressing the Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State led National Committee members at the party Secretariat expressed displeasure at the processes leading to the conduct of the Congress.
According to Orunimighe, ‘there are processes the conduct of the PDP Congress use to take.The party will agree with them and we go to our communities and bring results. But to our dismay yesterday, the committee has not addressed us. But people are congratulating the exercise and process that have not taken place as first of its kind. They were claiming that it was good that someone has won, when the process have not even started.
‘We are members of the PDP and not restoration caucus. There are other organisations like the restoration on the State PDP. What we are asking is what are the modalities agreed upon by the committee and the aspirants.?And who are the returning officers agreed and where are they coming from? We are very aware that it was the restoration group that gave you the list.
‘Because,we noticed that when we were about to talk at the stakeholder meeting, the restoration group brought out a list that they have compiled. The question is that who are they?And where did they come from? Secondly, you told us that by 7am today, materials would be distributed. But we have not seen materials’
However, Governor Umahi, commended the peaceful conduct of the protest and warned that anyone that engages in violence will provoke him to cancelled the election process.
Umahi, assured the angry PDP members that the committee will not be bias and would not compromise their integrity
“’we will not manipulate the process in anyone’s favour. I want to say the process started yesterday and we all signed that we should conduct the process. Anybody suggesting that the process should be aborted is not suggesting the right thing because we are already in agreement with the aspirants,” he said.
But the Chief Timi Alaibe Campaign organisation tackled the Eboyin State Governor saying that the refusal of the aspirants to talk was due to the lack of access to the list of electoral officers presented to conduct the Ad-hoc delegate election.