Wednesday, November 2, 2011

BAYELSA GOV RACE: PDP clears Dickson, Boloubo, others

•Knocks out Gov Sylva, Bruce •Sylva denies being disqualified

THE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has failed to clear Governor Timipre Sylva and former Director General of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Mr Ben Murray Bruce, to contest its forthcoming primary election for the governorship race in Bayelsa State.

The party, on Tuesday, released the names of aspirants it had screened and cleared for the race and the names of Governor Sylva and Bruce were missing.

The release of the list of cleared aspirants followed an emergency meeting of its National Working Committee (NWC), which was held on Monday in Abuja to consider reports on the preparations for the forthcoming gubernatorial primary in Bayelsa State.

According to a statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Professor Rufai Ahmed Alkali, the NWC also received the report of the Screening Appeal Panel, headed by Mrs Abiodun Olujimi, former deputy governor of Ekiti State.

It said after a thorough review of the reports of the Screening Panel and the Screening Appeal Panel, “the leadership of the party has so far cleared the first batch of contestants for the primary” in the state.

The statement gave the names of those cleared as Oruta Justine Boloubo; Henry Seriake Dickson; Enai Christopher Fullpower and Kalango Michael Youppele.

The PDP statement added:  “The NWC session to conclude the review exercise continues in order to consider cases of other aspirants on their individual merits. All party members, particularly stakeholders in Bayelsa State, are to please note that the NWC is handling this exercise painstakingly and shall communicate all its decisions in due course.”

It, therefore, advised party members to await the decisions of the NWC on this issue and mobilise all their supporters for the success of the forthcoming primary.

However, the Nigerian Tribune investigation in Abuja, on Tuesday, revealed that though the PDP stated that the names released were just the first batch, Governor Sylva’s case is as good as closed, following the alleged endorsement of President Goodluck Jonathan of his exclusion from the race.

The party leaders were said to have sought and received the president’s approval, after evidence suggested that Sylva may have violated rules guiding the operation of foreign accounts.

Bruce was said to have been stopped because he holds dual citizenship of Nigeria and the United States of America (USA).

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