Bayelsa PDP chieftain dismisses Lyon’s guber victory chances, APC denies hiring presiding officers
A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and governorship aspirant in the September 3 primaries in Bayelsa, Keniebi Okoko, has challenged the All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial candidate for the November 16,2019 poll in the state, David Lyon, to openly articulate his programmes and “stop hiding under former Governor Timipre Sylva.”
Okoko, who spoke in Yenagoa, maintained that Lyon’s choice had greatly reduced the chances of the party making any impact.
The businessman and philanthropist, who is a member of the PDP’s national and state campaign councils, explained that “put side by side, the candidate of APC and his PDP opponent do not stand on the same pedestal given the PDP candidate’s intellectual ability and exposure.”
Okoko said rather than “hide behind the Minister of State, Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva”, whom he described as intellectually sound, the APC candidate should come out in the open to tell the people his plans and programmes.
He added that he would continue to commend excellent persons across party lines, citing Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology, and the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, who he described as great materials for the country.
He said: “The pockets of defections will not affect the PDP because it gives the younger ones the latitude to display their potential. In as much as we want them to stay, but their movement will not determine the outcome of the election.
“Bayelsans are now not easily deceived anymore. Comparing Douye Diri and David Lyon is like comparing something white and black, two opposite things. And let us make this clear, that some one being a good person does not make him a good leader.”
The chieftain said he was shocked that somebody of Sylva’s stature could support Lyon ahead of other heavyweights like Preye Aganaba and Heineken Lokpobiri.
He continued: “I have never been one who will see something right, even in the APC and not commend it. But David Lyon is a poor choice for the APC. If APC had an Aganaba (Preye) or Lokpobiri (Heineken), it could be a reason to feel jittery, but definitely not a David Lyon. I don’t think the people of Bayelsa will want to go backwards.”
However, the APC yesterday faulted claims by Diri that it influenced the list of supervisory presiding officers (SPOs) for the upcoming election.
Its Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, in a statement, dismissed the allegation even as he claimed that the PDP and its candidate were doing everything possible to intimidate the Resident Electoral Commission (REC) into doing their bidding.
The party said the duo were crying wolf in the face of its imminent defeat come November 16.
APC also revealed that the Bayelsa REC and its official “rejected the bribe offer made to them by the PDP elements hence the call for his removal.”
His words: “The baseless allegation by the PDP and its governorship candidate is part of their plan to intimidate INEC and other critical stakeholders that will be on election duty. You can see the PDP during their campaigns, they have nothing to tell Bayelsans following the failed administration of Governor Seriake Dickson. So, they have resorted to falsehood, rumours and crying wolf.”