Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The immediate past Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development and frontline governorship aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Senator Heineken Lokpobiri has denied acceptance of an ambassadorial position as settlement to accept the results of the APC governorship primary election in Bayelsa State.
Lokpobiri who had rejected the result announced by the Governor Mala Mai Buni-led electoral committee, is seeking legal redress for the party to declare him the winner of the governorship primary election.
Lokpobiri speaking on the settlement deal through Hon Sunday Frank Oputu, a member of Heineken Lokpobiri Campaign Organisation said the claim was a lie and a calculated mischief by some groups out to cause division within the APC to mislead the people of Bayelsa State over the need for the court to intervene and make a pronouncement on what he called a fraudulent governorship primary election.
“I did not contest to be settled but contested with the full intention to serve the people of the state based on experience, capacity and full knowledge to rescue the people from years of mismanagement and poor development. Lokpobiri is a sure bet at all levels. He has not been settled and will not accept settlement except the mandate to govern and better the lives of Bayelsa people.”
Meanwhile a group, APC Youth Alliance (APCYA) has pleaded with the national Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole to intervene in the litigation over the outcome of the governorship primary election before it costs the party the opportunity to wrest power from the PDP in the November 16 governorship election.
Coordinator of APCYA, Dr Joseph Ikileka Temple in a statement regretted that the outcome of the governorship primary election had polarised the party with pending cases in court.
According to him, the party which should be intensifying efforts to challenge the PDP in the governorship election was torn apart by division caused by the emergence of David Lyon as the party’s candidate.
“We the concerned members of the APC Youth Forum In Bayelsa State have observed with dismay the deep conflict rocking our party as a result of the party’s primaries. At the last count, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, Engineer Preye Aganaba, and APC elders and leaders have filed five cases to seek redress over perceived deprivation. We are worried that the APC is not going into the election as a one united body with the deep rooted bitterness thrown up by the outcome of the primaries. We hereby appeal to our Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, and other national leaders of the party to address the sensitive issues around the controvertial primaries.”