By Deji Abdulwahab
A governorship aspirant under the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State, Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri, has urged the party to conduct indirect primaries for election of its candidate for the Nov. 16 poll.
Lokpobiri, a former Minister of State for Agriculture, gave the advice at a news conference on Thursday shortly after picking his expression of interest and nomination forms at the APC National Secretariat in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the former minister bought the form to participate in the primaries for the party’s flag bearer for Nov. 16 governorship poll in the state.
He said that indirect primaries would ensure transparency and credibility in the process of electing the party’s flag bearer in the state.
Lokpobiri said that the only way to avoid problem and division in the state chapter of the party is to conduct free, fair and transparent primary scheduled for Aug. 29.
“The only time there will be problem in Bayelsa is when a transparent and credible primary election is not conducted.
“That is in my wisdom and the wisdom of the majority members of the party; indirect primary is the best way to go.
“By the time authentic delegates of the party gathered in a designated place that is well secured, the winner will clearly emerge.
“Also the losers will know that they were given a fair chance, and that is what we as a party want,” he said.
According to him, if you hear anywhere somebody is rooting for direct primary, that is the person’s opinion but I believe that as a party and the majority of the supporters in Bayelsa support indirect primary election.
“Like I always say, the only way we can avoid division and ensure that there is credibility in the process is to ensure that we have the indirect primary,” Lokpobiri said.
He also said that he has no problem with the former Governor of the state, Timiprie Silva.
“Let me make it categorically clear that I don’t have any problem with Sylva.
“Sylva is a Bayelsa man, he is a Bayelsa leader, just like all the other ones we have here with me and I will never have any problem with him,’’ he stressed.
Lokpobiri also urged the ruling party to desist from fielding candidate of questionable character during the gubernatorial election, adding that if the party put forward a candidate with the highest quality, the election would be easily won.
“Let me assure you that Bayelsa in the last election got 40 per cent, this time around, we will win and we will win big.
“How many Bayelsans are in PDP? Majority of voters are not party men, but what determines the failure of the process in any party in an election is the quality of your candidate.
“If the candidate has the highest quality then you have already won the election by 60 per cent.
“But if you bring a candidate with a lot of questionable issues then you are about to fail the election and we have had that experience,” Lokpobiri said.