Spitting fire and brimstone and shooting from the hips, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole has explained why nobody will be sworn in as governor in Bayelsa state from today.
Stating the position of his party on the Supreme Court judgement nullifying the election of Bayelsa State governor elect, David Lyon and his running mate, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, at a press conference in Abuja, Oshiomhole said the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Duoye Diri, will not be sworn in today.
The apex court had earlier ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Lyon and present fresh certificate to the candidate with the highest votes and with the required constitutional spread of votes in the election.
The ruling party chairman said the PDP candidate did not meet the requirement for swearing in as Bayelsa governor.
Oshiomhole said, “Nobody has raised issues about whether or not David Lyon and his running mate won overwhelming majority in the said election,”
“Issues of whether a chieftaincy title is part of a name or is not a name in our view couldn’t be a reason to dismiss the wishes of the great people of Bayelsa State who repose absolute confidence in the way in which they elected David Lyon and his running mate during the last governorship election.
“Let me also say that it is not a state secret, if as the supreme court has ruled, David Lyon cannot now be sworn in as the person who has the highest number of votes and the spread, it simply means from tomorrow there will be no governor in Bayelsa state.
“But, as far as we know the next candidate, as the facts are before court, who happens to be a PDP candidate does not have one quarter of the total lawful vote cast in that election in 2/3 of the local government councils in Bayelsa state.
“And, therefore from the fact available to us, in consultation with our lawyers, it is clear that there is no candidate that meets the requirements of the supreme court, which means no one can be sworn in legally tomorrow unless there is a deliberate abuse of the legal process.”
“In 1999, there was a similar case in Bauchi involving Gov Adamu Muazu. The court found out that the running mate was not qualified for whatever reason to contest that election and accordingly the supreme court nullified the election of Gov Adamu Muazu. And, the court as a consequence directed INEC to conduct a fresh election,”
“I believe it is still the same supreme court and therefore we have asked our lawyers to exploit all legal windows to ensure that Bayelsa people have a governor of their choice.
“I have chosen to respond to this judgement so that we do not live the great people of Bayelsa in doubt as to where we stand. We stand by them. I also want the Nigeria public to know the position of the APC.
“Let me say that as bad as the case of Zamfara was, where after we have won the governorship election, senatorial, house of reps and assembly elections, the court held that APC didn’t conduct primary in the state. And, therefore didn’t participate in the election. This one is totally different” Oshiomhole said.