The All Progressives Congress (APC), on Sunday, December 1, has called on one of the party’s governorship aspirants in Bayelsa State and former senator, Heineken Lokpobiri, to reconcile and identify with Bayelsa Governor-elect, Mr David Lyon.
The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Yekini Nabena who made the call on Sunday, while speaking with newsmen in Abuja, urged Lokpobiri to drop his legal action against APC and Lyon in order promote peace and unity in the party and the state.
Recall that few months ago, Lokpobiri, who is also a former Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, challenged the election of Lyon as APC candidate, after the party’s primary.
He had approached the court, seeking to be declared winner of the poll and therefore the party’s authentic candidate.
Nabena said: “It is common knowledge that Senator Heineken Lokpobiri has refused to congratulate and identify with the governor-elect of Bayelsa, Mr David Lyon, after his landslide election victory.
“Lokpobiri has refused to drop his misplaced and ill-advised legal action taken against the APC and Lyon, with the hope of acquiring the Bayelsa governorship mandate with the support of his sponsors.
“After the Bayesla governorship election, stakeholders have held several meetings with Lokpobiri’s sponsors, who I am not disposed to name for political reasons.’’
According to the APC chieftain, some governors are positioning themselves by scheming to control Bayelsa State through Lokpobiri, and then use that as a springboard into other South South states ahead of the 2023 presidency.
“I will not dwell on the political power play among APC leaders of the South South for the soul of the region ahead of 2023.
“However, my strong advice for the governors is that they should focus on the development of their states and not meddle in the affairs of Bayelsa State and the South South.
“Bayelsa and other oil-producing states of the South South enjoy a fragile peace as a result of the commendable efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government to develop the zone and productively engage the youth.
“We will not allow anybody to disrupt the peace of Bayelsa State in furtherance of their selfish political interests,” NAN quoted Nabena as saying.
He added that, Buhari is a stickler for democratic principles and the rule of law, and so everyone must follow these principles.
“It is Lokpobiri’s constitutional right to approach the court, even if his case has no merit. But I think it is important to let the world know that his actions are sponsored by outsiders in furtherance of their political interests ahead of 2023,” he said.
Meanwhile, Newsflash247 had earlier reported that the Federal High Court, Yenagoa, on Thursday, November 14, few days to the governorship election then, declared that the All Progressives Congress (APC) does not have a governorship candidate in the forthcoming election in Bayelsa State.
The court was presided over by Justice Jane Inyang.
The court declaration, on Thursday, November 14, was part of its judgement in a case filed by Heineken Lokpobiri, one of the APC governorship aspirants.
Mr Lokpobiri, a former minister of state for agriculture, had approached the court, asking it to declare him, and not David Lyon, the authentic candidate of the APC.
“The court pronounced that the governorship primary conducted by the APC in Bayelsa state was not done in compliance with the guidelines and the constitution of the party, and, therefore, the party has no candidate,” Mr Lokpobiri’s lawyer, Fitzgerald Olorogun, told reporters immediately after the court ruling.
A shocked Mr Olorogun said the court declaration was not part of their prayers. “It’s strange,” he said.
Asked what was the next option for his client, Mr Olorogun said “We’ll do the needful. But for now, the pronouncement of the court is that APC has no candidate.”
There was heavy police presence within and outside the court premises. The main highway way leading to the court was barricaded by the police. Visitors, including journalists, were frisked before they were allowed to enter the court building.
Mr Lokpobiri, before now, has been urging the people of Bayelsa to vote for the APC in the November 16 election, despite his court case against Mr Lyon and the party.
“I’m a very strong member of APC and I came today to formally tell our chairman and to speak to Nigerians, in particular, the electorate in Bayelsa that all of them should vote for APC regardless of what happens in the court case in which judgment is slated for Nov. 14, 2019,” the former minister said in Abuja after a courtesy visit on the national chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole.
“I told my supporters even before I came here that no matter what happened, I will remain in APC having served as a minister under this administration.
“There is no way the outcome of the governorship primaries will make me leave APC. We are working and campaigning at different levels.
“I always advise that anybody that is grieved, the only place to go is the court.
“So, whatever happens in the matter that is pending in court will not be an infraction on any part of our party’s constitution,” he said.
A Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday had disqualified Mr Lyon’s running mate, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, from participating in the forthcoming election on the grounds that he provided conflicting information on the documents he presented to INEC.