The attention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State has been drawn to the press conference addressed by Senator Heineken Lokpobiri on the conduct of the PDP senatorial primary for Bayelsa West Senatorial District which was published in some national dailies on Tuesday, December 2014.
We wish to state in unequivocal terms that the claims made by Senator Heineken Lokpobiri in the said report were spurious, totally false, misleading and thus did not represent the true position of events at the primary election held at the auditorium of the administrative block of the Isaac Boro College of Education, Sagbama, last Sunday.
Among other lies in his publication, we strongly take exception to the claim that the primary election was inconclusive just as we condemn his illegal action of holding a kangaroo election elsewhere, pleading to be considered as an option and indeed that he won. This can only be in his wild imagination. He should know that there is a process in a democracy and importantly that the wishes of the majority will usually prevail.
For the record, the Bayelsa West Senatorial District primary was held in accordance with the party guidelines and the processes were followed. Contrary to his fabricated comments, the election was successfully held and a winner emerged in the person of Evangelist Foster Ogola. His other co-contestants namely, Chief Ayakeme Whiskey and Dr. (Mrs) Stella Dorgu were present and had also in their separate speeches okayed the outcome of the primary because it was free and fair. Nothing could have been farther from the truth for Senator Heineken Lokpobiri to have curiously and illogically stated that :”after I insisted that the accreditation was supposed to be ongoing at that time, there was pandemonium, the governor left and others including the person purportedly collating the results scampered out of the venue.”
There is no iota of truth in this because it did not happen, and could not have happened, for the governor in particular to abandon the election inconclusive. We were all there from the beginning to the end. The governor, delegates, INEC representatives and members of the press remained at the venue even after the regrettable and shameful action of Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, who attempted to disrupt the declaration of the result but failed. He did not state this fact in his press conference.
For the avoidance of doubt, as captured by the video cameras of the various media houses that covered the event, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri was only being economical with the truth in his bogus narrative, actually an afterthought that he arrived at the venue at 11 am. The video clips evidence showed that he arrived at the venue after the conclusion of election process at 12. 47 pm (a deliberate action) and headed straight to the high table in an attempt to snatch the election result sheet. Of course, every discerning mind can read between the lines that the Senator was only playing game. He obviously lied.
Indeed, we must further note here that Senator Heineken Lokpobiri’s action on this day was only characteristic of him when we remember a similar incident in the 2011 National Assembly election in which he was threatened with sanction for electoral infringement by INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega. This is in the records and verifiable. Jega had promised to prosecute the senator for an alleged electoral offence.
We want to state, too, that he did not come to the auditorium with his supporters as claimed in his press conference. Clad in jeans attire, he came only with security aides, went straight to the high table, screamed and slammed the table, shouting: “stop it, what nonsense are you doing here” and afterward left the venue after shaking hands with the other contestants present. All these were captured on video.
However, to create a semblance of confusion, a pre-determined action, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri later went to conduct his own election, an aberration, and curiously majority of his supporters at his parallel primary were loyalists of former Bayelsa State Governor and now APC leader, Chief Timbre Sylva. To further expose the charade of his so-called parallel primaries, the man who presided over the election as his Chief Returning Officer, is a well known political thug and associate of his. It is pertinent to ask the ‘distinguished’ Senator Lokpobiri to show us clip of the INEC representatives who were on hand to serve as monitors of the electoral process.
Without doubt, his account via the said press conference was a political gimmick designed to mislead the public, the leadership and members of our great party but which is in vain by virtue of the authenticity of the officially conducted primary for Bayelsa West Senatorial District which produced a winner: Evangelist Foster Ogola and as announced by the Returning Officer, Mr. Offorji Oboku.
For the avoidance doubt and also to correct the misleading misinformation regarding the outcome of last Sunday’s PDP Senatorial primaries in Bayelsa State, we make bold to publish the result as declared by the Chief Returning Officers in the three Senatorial Districts and coordinated by the Chairman, Bayelsa State National Assembly Primaries Electoral Committee, General Idi Adamu, (rtd).
Find below the results as declared:
1. Bayelsa Central Senatorial District:
Senator Emmanuel Paulker 174 votes winner
Austin Ogionwon Febo 17 votes
Ebiundu Komonibo 1 vote
Torunana 1 vote
2. Bayelsa West Senatorial District:
Hon. Ayakeme Whiskey 27 votes
Evangelist Foster Ogola 69 votes winner
Captain Matthew Karimo 12 votes
Dr. Stella Dorgu 3 votes
Chief Frank Akpoebi 2 votes
Senator Heineken Lokpobiri 0
3. Bayelsa East Senatorial District:
Mr. Anthony Ikoli (SAN) 11 votes
Hon. Nelson Belief 2 votes
Mr. Ben Murray-Bruce 138 votes Winner
Mrs Irene Digitemie Opuene 4 votes
Austin Dressman (withdrew)
Professor Ayebaemi Spiff (withdrew)
Hon. Clever Ikisikpo 0 votes
Barrister Makbere Osom Jacob
PDP Publicity Secretary, Bayelsa State