From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
A faction of the Advance Nigeria Democratic Party (ANDP) in Bayelsa State has distanced itself from the election petition filed at the Bayelsa Governorship Elections Petitions Tribunal by its governorship candidate, King George.
The faction led by the National Publicity Secretary, Fortune Oyadoghan, the State Publicity Secretary, Charles Krotezi and the State Secretary, Pastor Sapiere Obi Euduakakpo declared that the party had no governorship candidate in the November 16 governorship election but instead adopted Governor Douye Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party as its candidate.
According to the ANDP faction, the verdict delivered by the tribunal where it ordered for a fresh election within 90 days because of the exclusion of the party in the governorship election came as a rude shock because the party did not conduct a governorship primary and did not agree on any candidate.
Pastor Euduakakpo who read a press statement on behalf of the state chapter at a press conference held at the Secretariat of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Yenagoa said the party could not have filed a petition at the tribunal over alleged unlawful exclusion due to the fact that they had previously adopted Diri as the candidate of the party.
The statement read in part “At the time of the said Governorship elections, the ANDP was still in its formative stage and yet to create the important structures necessary to run a successful campaign. Consequently, the party at the state level, in consultation with the National Executive, in its wisdom, opted to endorse the candidate whose vision and manifesto best mirrored the aspiration of the party.
“In that consideration, we met and agreed to support the candidature of Governor Douye Diri. The questions begging for answers are that if our party had a candidate in the election in Bayelsa State: where did it hold primaries that produced the purported candidate? Who were the INEC and Security personnel that conducted and supervised the process in accordance with electoral provision?
“It is equally important to mention that the purported candidate of the ANDP is unknown to the party as he is not a card carrying member. We challenge him to produce his membership card if he maintains the charade. Indeed, to the best of our knowledge, he is the chairman of another political party.”