September 23, 2021

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After Losing At PDP Primary, Alaibe Weighs Options Considers Court Action Against PDP, Guber Ticket From ADC

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Trouble is not over yet for the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa state as Chief Timi Alaibe, one of the leading aspirants in the just concluded governorship primary election has vowed to continue with legal fireworks.
This decision, according to sources, is to test the position of the party on the eligibility of the recently elected local government chairmen and councillors to vote during the just concluded primary election. If the action succeeds in court, the PDP may end up not having a candidate.
Apart from this, he is said to be considering the option of moving into another political party where he hopes to get their ticket to contest the November governorship election. That party, according to sources, is the ADC.
On Monday, there were very strong signals that Alaibe had already picked the ticket of the ADC, even though the former NDDC managing director refused to confirm or deny it, when TNN reached him via a text message.
His response was in the form of a rhetorical question: “Did you see a statement from my campaign office?”When TNN reached him again on the issue, he did not respond.
A very close confidant however told TNN in Monday that he would not be surprised if Alaibe had picked the APC ticket. Then he asked, “why are they afraid? They said the man was not a better candidate, so why are they now worried that he has gone to pick another party’s ticket. We shall see how things unfold”
Alaibe came second in the PDP primary election which took place on September 3 in Yenagoa, polling a total of 365 votes as against Senator Douye Diri, who scored 551 votes to emerge winner.
Alaibe had condemned the processes that led to the conduct of the party primary election, challenging the eligibility of the newly elected local government chairmen and councillors as well as the ad-hoc delegates to vote at the polls.
Before the primary election, some of the new local government chairmen had gone to court to authenticate their legibility to vote as statutory delegates.
Also joined in the suit as defendants were some of the governorship aspirants, including Alaibe and Fred Agbedi who wanted the Sagbama High Court sitting in Yenagoa to exclude the local government chairmen and councillors from the list of delegates, arguing that they did not meet the party’s guidelines.
Ruling on the case in suit number YHC/169/2019, Justice Ebinyeri Omukoro declared that the court had no jurisdiction to entertain the matter as it bordered on pre-election issues.
Omukoro went on to state that the court lacked the jurisdiction to “dabble into the affairs of political parties,” and struck out the case for lack of merits.
Immediately after the election, Alaibe made a statement entitled “We Must Move On,” a statement that is laden with ambiguities.
In the statement, Alaibe asked his teaming supporters to be calm, stating that very soon he would realize his aspiration through the provision of the constitution of the party.
While some pundits reason the statement to mean that Alaibe has decided to put the outcome of the primary election behind him and carry on with his life, others see it in a different light, construing it to mean that the former NDDC boss has plans to move to another political party.
However, a member of the Timi Alaibe Campaign Organization confided in our correspondent in Yenagoa that his principal had no plans to leave the PDP but was ready to pursue the outcome of the party’s delegates’ election to a logical conclusion.
In a brief telephone conversation with TNN, the source said “we are looking at a legal option to exclude those delegates they included illegally to recover our principal’s mandate.”
The post-election statement personally signed by Alaibe reads: “we are all aware, the election to determine the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for the November 16 governorship race in Bayelsa State has been conducted.
“Even with all the inarguable inherent flaws bordering on crass disrespect for legal procedures and party guidelines, a winner has been declared. The delegates—whether coercively or voluntarily—have spoken even if their voices do not represent the voice of the people.
“My decision to seek election as Governor of Bayelsa State was based both on the collective opinion of respected stakeholders of our beloved state and a personal conviction that I have what it takes to make the difference in the economic development of our state. Having travelled the same route more than once, I took time to pray, plan my strategies and carry out wider consultations more than I had ever done in the past.
“My sincere desire was to bring into governance my experiences and exposures both in the public and private sectors—spanning more than three decades. I came with a mission and a vision clearly articulated and made public. I was thrilled to see the Blue Economy Concept and Project Dolphin becoming household chants, especially among our vibrant youths.
“When we finally picked the Nomination and Expression of Interest Forms, we chose to run idea-based campaign. We envisioned a state where electricity will run 24/7 in less than 18 months through planned utilisation of abundant but wasted gas resource.
“We looked forward to creating a permanent distance between our youth and violence by applying the same method we did in the Presidential Amnesty Programme—disarming, demobilising, rehabilitating and reintegrating them. We articulated programmes that would produce intellectual militants in place of violent militants. We thought of a booming economy based on sea-side industrialisation that would create jobs for our people.
“We thought of extensive road networks and bridges, functional health facilities, among others. Drawing from my modest experience at the Niger Delta Development Commission, my vision was to assemble a team of experts that would conceive and execute a 25-Year Development Plan for Bayelsa State—a plan that would outlive my administration—for the good of our people. From all indications, these lofty plans may have to be put on hold because the opportunity to execute them has been put on hold.
“We chose to run a decent campaign in line with the Constitution of our party, the PDP and the laws of Nigeria. We vowed never to engage or respond to acts of violence and abuse from any quarter. We did not envisage that the process would be smooth and easy; but we also could not believe the depth of desperation and deadly manoeuvring that we encountered along the way. We were called unprintable names and even labelled with criminal tags. But we were too focused to be distracted.
“To my supporters and friends, let it be known that no one could have been more disappointed with the outcome of our governorship primary that held on Tuesday September 3 than me. I know you are awfully disappointed too. But our disappointment is certainly not that the outcome was against our wish to obtain the mandate of our great party, but because of the obviously flawed process that led to the primary.
“While we must put on record our disappointment with this wilful disregard to our constitution, we must take no further steps that would merely equalize the disregard for the same constitution. In the circumstances, we express our serious reservations about the process that led to the primary for its unconstitutionality and its outcome completely unacceptable because of its illegitimacy.
“However; we must move on. At the beginning of this contest, we made our objective very clear, that we are out to take the levers of power in order to use them to galvanise the economy of the state for the benefits of our people—who have been kept down for too long. We believe this could only be realised on the platform of this great party.
“For us, therefore, this is simply a setback. We will remain focussed, believing that very soon we would be able to realise our aspiration.
“We thank our great supporters, especially our delegates that backed us up to this point and ask them not to despair but stand firm in the belief that sooner than later, our just cause would prevail as the struggle continues. We thank you all.”
Last week, sources close to the Accord Party in Yenagoa confided in TNN that Alaibe was talking with the party, to know the possibility of him getting the party’s ticket for the election.
The source said Alaibe was informed that a candidate had already been picked by the party, a response that did not appear to go down well with him. TNN learnt that Alaibe, at that point, sought to have a meeting with the party chairman to know what options could be available for him.

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