A former Governor of Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva, has emerged the candidate of the All Progressives Congress for the December 5 governorship election in the state after winning the party’s primary.
Sylva polled 981 votes to defeat his distant rival, Mr. Godknows Powell, who scored 39 votes in a peaceful primary conducted at the state secretariat of the party in Yenagoa on Wednesday.
The primary was conducted by a seven-member electoral committee led by Brig. Gen. Mansur Dan-Ali (retd.).
With this victory, Sylva will face incumbent Governor Seriake Dickson, who defeated him in the 2011 governorship election.
Out of 1,147 total votes cast at the poll, the chairman of the panel declared 1,120 votes valid and declared 27 votes invalid.
The rescheduled primary was peaceful and largely devoid of rancour and violence which characterised the initial exercise that was held on September 22 at the Samson Siasia Sports Complex.
Delegates conducted themselves in an orderly manner from 11pm on Tuesday till Wednesday afternoon when they cast their votes after accreditation.
There was, however, a brief protest at the venue of the election when Ikiogha led some aggrieved aspirants to the area, accusing the panel of shutting them out of the exercise.
For about an hour, Ikiogha and some other aggrieved aspirants kept the panel chairman busy with their complaints.
Ikiogha said the panel came to the state without meeting with them to intimate them on the modalities for the election, alleging that the committee came with a mandate to stop them from partaking in the exercise.
But the committee chairman insisted that the process was transparent and appealed to the aggrieved aspirants to maintain the peace.
After lodging their complaints, the angry aspirants walked out of the venue of the exercise and refused to come back till the end of the election
Sylva, who was declared winner of the primary around 4pm by Dan-Alli, thanked the delegates for electing him for second time.
He also commended the electoral committee members for a job well, saying that politicians still had had a lot to learn from the military.
Apparently alluding to Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, Sylva lampooned the governor for alleged inability to conduct the primary.
He said, “I am very happy today to accept this victory that you have given to me for the second time. I will like to tell all of you today that this is only the beginning of the journey. Today, I have seen that we politicians have a lot to learn from the military.
“What a great and serving governor of a great state of this country was incapable of doing just a few days ago has been achieved by a retired general and his team. This tells me that we have a lot to learn from the military.”
Meanwhile, one of the topmost contenders for the APC governorship race, Chief Ndutimi Alaibe, withdrew from the contest.
A statement signed by Mr Alaibe says he pulling out to avoid a situation of crisis that the PDP might reap from.
“I am not oblivious of the fundamental fact that we all need a virile, united, cohesive and collaborative APC to bring about our desires to fruition. Not only do we need this, APC deserves every sacrifice, including personal interests, to arrive at the envisaged destination come February, 2016.”
“Whereas I am confident that I have the required support of my admirers and supporters as well as the needed backing of Bayelsans to govern them, the hurdles set on the way of this noble project are seemingly tempestuous and capable of overheating the APC in Bayelsa.”
Mr Alaibe believes that the virtuous path is sacrificed for the common good, whether for the APC or the state in general.