The national executive screening body of the All Progressives Congress, (APC), has screened the Bayelsa State APC governorship aspirants ahead of the governorship election which is scheduled to hold on the 16th of November 2019 in the state.
Speaking at the ceremony which held at the Bayelsa State APC Secretariat in Yenagoa, the capital of Bayelsa State, South-South, Nigeria, a member of the committee, Mr. Abubakar Umar Garent observed that the essence of the screening exercise was for the fundamental processes of contesting election. ”You must appear before the screening committee to ensure that you have the capacity to contest. We have to go through all your credentials and make sure they are complete. We are here to do our work thoroughly to make sure that the party produces the best candidate’’.
In the same vein, The APC national Chairman, Mr. Adams Oshiomole, who was represented by the national Chairman of the APC Screening committee, Honourable Isa Song, appreciated the efforts of all the Bayelsa State governorship aspirants for being present during the screening exercise, noting that their present proves how serious they were to serve Bayelsa State if given the opportunity. ”on behalf of the committee, I congratulate each and every one of you for the effort you made so far in the previous elections that have been conducted which has brought about our current president and governors in other states, members of the national and states assemblies’’.
‘’If you do well, one of you here will be the next governor of Bayelsa State, which will mark the success of this programme’’. Hon. Isa Song, stated.
Hon. Isa Song went further to explain that the screening committee will not be bias in the exercise, ‘‘we would ensure we do what the party want us to do; we would not be bias at all. It is a very simple exercise.”
After the screening, some of the governorship aspirants aired their views on the exercise and their expectations on the forth coming governorship election in the state.
One of the governorship aspirants, who was a former Cross River State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Frankland Briyai, expressed satisfaction with the screening exercise, stressing that he expects the forthcoming governorship election in the state to be peaceful and credible, ‘’the election will be very peaceful, credible, all inclusive, transparent and will be violent free because INEC has improved in its management of elections presently’’.
He went further to explain to Journalists his desire to win the governorship election, ‘’ I am a very discipline person who can manage resources, and above all I am a philanthropist. A philanthropist does not take from the state, he give to the state. Bayelsans need somebody who could share, build and lead. I am a leader and I am not a ruler, I have been leading people for many years right from my primary school till date’’
Another governorship aspirant and a retired Commissioner of Police, (Cp) Deseye Nsirim Poweigha, who also expressed satisfaction with the screening exercise advocated that women should be given the opportunity to rule in Bayelsa State, ‘’today’s exercise was very peaceful and orderly. We expect that APC will fly the flag of Bayelsa State. The APC government is coming to make a difference. For me as a woman, it is time for the women to rule Bayelsa State because the men has been doing the same thing and ending up with the same type of result since the creation of this state. I am advocating for a woman to be given a chance to rule this state. As a mother, we know the suffering of our children and women too’’.
A former Minister of state for agriculture and also one of the governorship aspirants, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, also aired his view on the screening and his expectation concerning the forth coming governorship election, ‘’today’s screening is an integral part of the whole process, the party has set up a panel to come and screen the aspirants, to ensure that anybody who is qualify for the election is allowed to run for the primary’’.
‘’We are expecting a very transparent and credible primary election. We have to go into the governorship election as a united body. Let there be credible and transparent primary at the end of the day, let the best person win and let the rest queue behind the best to ensure that we win the next governorship election’’ Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, added.
The Bayelsa State APC governorship aspirants were seven in numbers, two female and five male.
They include, Former Minister of state for agriculture, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, Cp Deseye Nsirim Poweigha Rtd, a former Cross River State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Frankland Briyai, Chief CK Amgbare, Chief David Lyon, Professor Mrs. Marian Etebu and Engr, Preye Aganaba.
Meanwhile, the major opposition party in Bayelsa State, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had also screened their governorship aspirants on the 19th and 20th of August 2019.