Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have resumed their bickering ahead of the Bayelsa State local council election scheduled for August 10.
Governor Seriake Dickson had triggered the latest round of tirades when he accused the APC of planning to boycott the council election because the party lacked the capacity to win any election in the state.
A statement by his Special Adviser on Media Relations, Fidelis Soriwei, quoted Dickson to have stated that APC lacked the popularity and the capacity to challenge the PDP under his leadership in a free and fair election devoid of federal intervention, while speaking at a PDP stakeholders’ meeting.
Dickson, who acknowledged APC’s right to boycott the election, however, stressed that the APC is in no position to contest the upcoming governorship election if it could not demonstrate its strength in the council election.
His words: “I understand that some parties are boycotting the council election, especially the APC, but that’s their own right. But we expected them to show their strength in this state in an election that does not have much to do with federal might.
“We thought they would take advantage of this election to show their real strength on ground but unfortunately they chickened out.
“The party that is now running away even from council election, let’s see the fire they have in their stomachs.
In a swift reaction, the APC which taunted Dickson’s metrics of strength as faulty disclosed that the decision to boycott the council elections “is not a sign of weakness” but “the way of strength and wisdom” accused the PDP government eroding the independence of Bayelsa Independent Electoral Commission (BYSIEC).
Publicity Secretary of the party, Doifie Buokoribo, accused the Dickson government of turning BYSIEC into an extension of the PDP.
“If PDP is the main house, the BYSIEC is the back house. In the past two months, this electoral outfit has had three chairmen.
“All of them are card-carrying members of the PDP. The first one is now a candidate for the same election he was scheduled to conduct.
“The second one just rounded off his tour of duty as a member of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly under the platform of the PDP.
“The incumbent served as a local government council chairman under PDP.”