The All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial primary in Bayelsa State, expected to be contentious, are ready to begin with the conclusion of Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s visit as the Chairman of the State’s Electoral Committee.
Governor Oshiomhole led a seven-person Electoral Committee to Yenagoa, the capital of Bayelsa State, to meet with governor aspirants and other APC stakeholders before significant campaigning begins.
According to Oshiomhole a total of 1,508 delegates are expected to vote during the APC primaries, with two Board of Trustee members of the Party, the former Governor Timipre Sylva, and the Deputy Publicity Secretary of the Party Timi Frank as eligible voters.
Oshiomhole announced that the election venue would be the Samson Siasia stadium. He also decided that the primary election would use an open ballot system to cast votes which will use international passports and national identification cards as a method to identify delegates.
Oshiomhole warned aspirants against cloning identification cards and other means of electoral or identity fraud.
He added that a Card Reader will be used authenticate the national identification cards presented by delegates.
"If anyone is involved in fraudulent acts we will ensure they are arrested. Cloning of cards is a criminal offence. The sponsor of such acts and those caught with the cloned cards will be arrested," he stated.
Oshiomole told the crowd of governor aspirants "already, the fact that we can sit together in Bayelsa is a good sign. If we were to have this meeting last year we would need bulletproof vests. The spirit to be adopted is that the election is not between enemies. It is not between opponents. The language in this primary is not win and defeat. And it is not to kill. The language must not be violent. At the end of the day there would be no loser. Whoever emerges can not govern the State as a military administrator."
"Out of nineteen, only one will emerge as our Party's flag bearer. I know I have visited the State on different matters and I enjoyed myself. But I know I won't be able to enjoy myself like before. I know I will come back when my Party is in government," he concluded.