Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Governor Henry Seriake Dickson has declared that the Bayelsa State local government elections would hold as scheduled on August 10, insisting that the desperation of some governorship aspirants within the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) cannot stop it.
Investigations revealed that intrigues over the governorship primaries slated for September 3 had made the local government elections become crucial because of the pivotal role the eight council chairmen and 105 councillors would play as delegates to the primary election.
Justice Venchak Gaba of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court had given the restraining order in a ruling on an ex parte motion marked: M/7079/19 brought by Micah Akeems and the National Rescue Movement (NRM) stopping the conduct of the election and adjourned the matter to October 9 for hearing.
Sources said intelligence reports available to the party leadership indicated that some governorship aspirants working in tandem with some chieftains of the party were behind the suit so as to ensure the council chairmen and councillors were not part of the governorship primaries.
A Yenagoa High Court has also adopted the out-of-court settlement terms by parties in a suit instituted against the governor of Bayelsa State, Bayelsa State Independent Electoral Commission (BYSIEC), the Bayelsa State Government, and the State Attorney General by Accord Party and nine others thereby clearing the way for the conduct of the poll.
Dickson speaking on the plan to conduct the election said the antics of some PDP big wigs and the decision of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to boycott the election would not affect its credibility.
“What happened was unfortunate. It showed the desperation of some politicians in the state. I know people who are planning to forge identities of delegates. You can imagine how they can come within the party to frustrate local government election.”
It would be recalled that the Commissioner for Legal Services of BYSIEC, Mr Marshal Abraham, had said the judgement of the Yenagoa High Court had conferred legal competence on the commission to carry on with processes of the council elections slated for August 10, emphasising that the date remained sacrosanct.
He had explained that an ex-parte order granted NRM by an Abuja High Court on the conduct of the election lasted only seven days, and with the substantive judgement delivered in Yenagoa on July 24, 2019, there was no legal constraint in conducting the August 10 local government elections in Bayelsa State.