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Bayelsa not exclusive preserve of PDP, says Lokpobiri 


[FILE PHOTO] Heineken Lokpobiri

A former minister of Agriculture, Heineken Lokpobiri, yesterday, faulted the notion held in certain quarters that Bayelsa State is the exclusive preserve of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Lokpobiri assured that the All Progressives Congress (APC) could upstage the PDP if it fields an acceptable candidate in the November 16 governorship poll.

Speaking to journalists after picking the N22.5million nomination and expression of interest forms at the National secretariat of the party in Abuja, to vie for the governorship, he noted: “Let me assure you that Bayelsa, in the last election, the APC got 40 per cent of the votes. This time around, we will win and we will win big.

“How many Bayelsans are in PDP? Majority of voters are not party men, but what determines the failure of any party in an election is the quality of your candidate. If the candidate has the highest quality, then you have already won the election by 60 per cent.

“But if you bring a candidate with a lot of questionable issues, then you are about to fail the election and we have had that experience.”

Lokpobiri claimed he hold no grouse against a former governor of the state, Timipre Sylva, adding the adoption of the indirect mode for the conduct of the party’s governorship primaries would surely throw up a credible and acceptable candidate that can toss the PDP out of power in the state.

“Let me make it categorically clear that I don’t have any problem with Sylva. Sylva is a Bayelsa man; he is a Bayelsa leader, just like all the other ones we have here with me and I will never have any problem with him.

“The only time there will be problem in Bayelsa APC is not to conduct transparent and credible primary election. That is why in my wisdom and the wisdom of the majority members of the party, indirect primary is the best way to go.

“By the time authentic delegates of the party gathered in a designated place that is well secured, the winner will clearly emerge and the losers will also know that they were given a fair chance, and that is what we, as a party, wants.

“If you hear anywhere somebody is rooting for direct primary, that is the person’s opinion, but I believe that as a party, and the majority of the supporters in Bayelsa State prefer indirect primary election.

“Like I always say, the only way we can avoid division and ensure that there is credibility in the process is to ensure that we have the indirect primary.”

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