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Bayelsa State Governor, Henry Seriake Dickson has accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of luring members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with money and fake promises ahead of the November 16 governorship election.

Dickson while inaugurating PDP Grassroots Movement from Brass and Yenagoa Local Government Areas said the APC, in the state lacks the political structure and presence to win the election.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, quoted the governor as stating that the APC in its usual character was putting its hope on luring members of the PDP to its fold with money and fake promises which would fail them.

Dickson urged PDP members and the electorate not to be deceived by the antics of the APC. saying the main opposition party in the state was torn apart by unaddressed grievances from the party’s primaries which have made the original founders of the party in the state to shun its candidate, David Lyon.

According to him, the opposition party lacks the structure to adequately mobilise support to wrest power from the PDP, noting that a crushing defeat awaits them in the forthcoming election.

The governor said that it was quite interesting that the APC opted to field a candidate who lacks the experience and capacity to articulate issues of governance unlike the PDP standard-bearer, Senator Douye Diri, and his running mate, Senator Lawrence Ewhrujakpo who are tested and experienced with exemplary records in public service.

“I want you to take the message to our people about the antics of the APC. The original founders of the APC, even those who worked for former Governor Chief Timipre Sylva in this state are not with their current flag bearer. There are more grievances in the APC and they are not doing anything about it. They are concerned about using federal position and monies that they have, making promises and luring people, PDP stakeholders. Defectors do not win elections, political parties win elections, parties with structures and superior strategies and planning win elections.”

Meanwhile, Dickson has received back to the party, a prominent PDP member and former Caretaker Committee Chairman of Ekeremor Local Government Area, Mr. Tolu Amatu, who defected to the APC three days ago.

He lamented that the APC was banking on electoral fraud, through collusion with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and the use of violence and mayhem through the use of the security forces to harass and intimidate innocent voters.

The governorship candidate of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), Mr Azibola Okala, has urged Bayelsans to reject the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the forthcoming governorship election.

Okala who stated this in an interview said while the PDP has impoverished Bayelsans with its anti-people policies in the last seven years, the APC has no plans to rescue the people but to inflict more pains on them.

According to him, PRP offers an alternative to change the narrative of Bayelsans and enthrone a welfare government which the first civilian governor of Old Rivers State, late Chief Melford Okilo practised.

Okala enjoined Bayelsans to resist attempts by the PDP and the APC to manipulate the election and support a party that would look out to improve living conditions in the state.

“PRP is a great party founded on principles and ideology. It is a socialist party. PRP does not believe in manipulating people, we believe in welfare of the citizens. I chose PRP because of its manifesto that would help Bayelsans. I want to appeal to Bayelsans to focus and change their mindset of collecting money from politicians and lament for another four years.

“Late former governor Melford Okilo brought development and civilization to Elebele community. He brought Bayelsa palm and attract people. I appealed to Bayelsans especially the youth to drop their support for other political parties and support PRP which can bring development to the state. I am saying it categorically that PDP and APC have disappointed Bayelsans. There is no need to pretend about that. PDP has been ruling Bayelsa since 1999 and they have nothing further to offer. The November 16 governorship elections offers Bayelsans the opportunity to send PDP and APC out of the state”, he said.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has slammed Governor Seriake Dickson and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over claims that the Council of Chiefs of Epie Kingdom has endorsed its governorship candidate, Senator Douye Diri for the governorship election.

The party while expressing worry that traditional rulers were being blackmailed for support said the governor and his party were desperately ambushing palaces of kings and traditional stools and coming out with reports that such revered institutions adopted their candidate for the forthcoming election.

The Chairman of APC Contact, Reconciliation and Integration Committee, Chief Dikivie Ikiogha, in a statement in Yenagoa said the people of the state were taken aback when Dickson in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Fidelis Soriwei, claimed that the PDP candidate was endorsed by the Epie-Atissa monarch, King Malla Sasime and his Council of Chiefs.

Ikiogha, who is also a member of the Epie and Atissa councils of Chiefs and member of Epie-Atissa Joint Council of Chiefs, said it amounted to desecration of traditional values for the governor to twist a normal traditional protocol in a courtesy visit to score cheap political points.

He said Dickson and the PDP having suddenly realized their failures in the state and the imminent harsh judgement reserved for them at the poll have resorted to outright lies and propaganda.

Ikiogha said with the high level of disconnect between the people and Dickson’s government, no traditional institution apart from the council of Chiefs in Toru-Orua, Dickson’s community in Sagbama, would identify with the PDP’s candidate, Senator Douye Diri.

Ikiogha said the council of Chiefs were angry at the report of purported endorsement and appealed to members of the public to disregard it.

He said: “I am a member of the Epie Council of Chiefs and a member of Epie-Atissa Joint Council of Chiefs. I am a political leader in Epie-Atissa and being a member of the council of chief, I was supposed to be there when the governor visited the council of Chiefs. But I was unavoidably absent. Nevertheless, it has never been in history that a courtesy call by a governor to a council of chiefs would amount to adoption. So, the Epie-Atissa never adopted the PDP candidate at all. When I got the information, I called the king because I know that this one would never happen. I know that the APC candidate, David Lyon is a son to King Sasime. I wanted to know from the king and he said there was nothing like that. I asked the secretary of the council and he said there was nothing like that. They only received the governor and his team as the tradition demands.”

A Federal High Court in Yenagoa has ordered substituted service on the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief David Lyon.

The Presiding Judge, Justice Jane Inyang gave the order as part of the four motions she granted in the suit filed by former Minister of State for Agriculture and APC governorship aspirant, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri against the APC, Lyon and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the disputed outcome of the September 4, governorship primaries in the state.

In the resumed preliminary hearing of the suit numbered FHC\YNG\C\100\19, Inyang granted the exparte motion for substituted service and three others.

She however refused to grant an order of abridgment of time which required the defence to enter appearance, file and serve their respective defence process to seven days due to the plaintiff prayer that it is a pre-election matter that needed accelerated hearing.

Justice Inyang premised her refusal on the fact that the plaintiff cannot unilaterally abridge the time of response of the defence counsel.

She declared that based on the argument by the plaintiff counsel, Mr Fitzgerald Olorogun, that the respondents have been running away from being served, granted that the APC should be served by pasting the service on the party secretariat or served the Legal officer or any other senior official of the party.

Justice Inyang ordered that Lyon should be served by pasting the service on the campaign Secretariat along the Isaac Boro expressway, and INEC by pasting the service on the State Secretariat along Swali road.

Olorogun in an interview after court proceedings hailed the court for granting four of the five motions and described it as a positive development.

“It would have been difficult to serve these people with the service. But with the court order, it will no longer be difficult. You are all aware that David Lyon has been running away from service. We are now to come back for the report of service on the 14th of October, 2019”, he said.

Justice Inyang had similarly ordered substituted service on Lyon in another suit filed by Preye Aganaba who is also challenging the outcome of the APC governorship primary election.

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