You are not a democrat, PDP stalwart tells Bayelsa Dep.

With backstage tussle for the governorship of Bayelsa State, the home
state of President Goodluck Jonathan, yet to settle, sporadic uprising
of ex-militant, and feverish agitation for public accountability yet to
abet, this predominantly Ijaw state appears set for another potentially
dangerous political drama.

This time, it has to do with an alleged behind-the-curtain recruitment of
a candidate by the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for the state
House of Assembly bye-election.

Deputy Governor Werinipre Davidson Seibarugu, is at the centre of the
gathering political storm which is likely to expose the PDP to another
ridicule and cast slur on President Jonathan’s reform bid.

Already, former Director in the State Due Process Office, Mr. Bubaraye
Dakolo, has dragged the PDP before the court of the Chairman of
Independence National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru
Jega.

Pakolo’s lawyer, Mr. Chuks L. Uguru, in a two-page petition to the INEC
big boss dated August 24, 2010, claimed that petitioner is an indigene
of Gbaratoru in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa and
registered member of the PDP.

He is claiming that following the elevation of Seibarugu to the status of
a deputy governor from his former position as a member of the state
House of Assembly representing Yenagoa State Constituency 2, a
vacancy was created in the constituency.

Upon being informed of the development, INEC had initially fixed
August 14, 2010 for a bye-election and so, requested nominations
from political parties.

Dakolo was interested in contesting for the vacant state House of
Assembly seat and so indicated his interest.

According to his lawyer “he resigned his position as a Director in the
Due Process Office to enable him contest for the position”.

In the petition to the INEC Chairman, he said, “by the provision of PDP’
s constitution and the Electoral Act, 2006 nomination of a candidate for
an elective office by a political party must be preceded by a party
congress and/or primaries. As a matter of fact, section 85 of the
Electoral Act, 2006 under which the bye-election in issue is being
conducted provides that the political party notify INEC of such congress
for the purpose of primaries”.

Uguru, claims that Dakolo and other interested aspirants made
“painstaking efforts” to pick up forms from the PDP with the intent to
participate in the primaries but were allegedly denied the opportunity.
“They were still waiting to collect forms to participate in the primaries
when they heard that one Ebipadei Fekoweimo, had been handpicked
by the deputy governor to be the party’s flag bearer and his name
forwarded to INEC”, the lawyer said.

This, according to the lawyer, was done without holding a congress or
primaries as required by law, adding, “your staff in the Bayelsa State
INEC office can attest to the fact that they were not notified of any
congress”.

Continuing, the lawyer said, “All Nigerians except the few anti-
progressive forces are avowed that Nigerians must imbibe the culture
and spirit of free and fair election which is the hallmark of true
democracy”.

“It is our view with respect that any democracy without the political
parties practicing internal democracy is at best, a parody or a travesty
of democracy. We were of the belief that the era of godfatherism and
‘carry-go’ politics is over”.

Meanwhile, Dakolo said he resorted to petitioning the INEC Chairman
because his protests to the PDP allegedly met a brick-wall of rebuff.

African Examiner.

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