Ex-Minister, Lokpobiri

By Ovie Okpare

A former minister and one of the leading governorship aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, has urged the party’s National Working Committee to use the indirect method in the governorship primary.

Lokpobiri said given the terrain of the state and likely malpractices associated with direct primaries, the party settle for indirect where all governorship aspirants would be given fair treatment, and the delegates vote without intimidation.

Lokpobiri, who spoke through the Director of Research and Strategy of his Campaign Organisation, Chief Livingstone Egba, maintained that the former minister was not afraid of any system adopted , but was only insistent on a credible process that would usher in the most acceptable candidate to face the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He added that the former minister remained the most experienced in the entire APC pack, noting that he’s the only aspirant with both executive and legislative experiences.

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 “ Lokpobiri is the aspirant who has prepared diligently to be governor of this state., He’s credible, exposed and highly experienced. If we must bring succour  to our people, then Lokpobiri is the man. He’s on a rescue mission. He’s prepared to take off from the first day of governance.

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“He’s the leading aspirant today. We have proposed indirect, not because we are afraid of the direct method, but because it is simple and straightforward. The leading parties have now adopted indirect primaries” he said.

Egba added: “ At the ward levels, we know who the leaders are.  How do you logistically conduct direct primaries in difficult areas. What time will you bring the man in Fantwo to Nembe creek, then Sabatoru. It’s a logistic nightmare.

“How do you bring people from Abuja to go into those creeks to conduct direct primaries. And that’s just one ward, not to talk of Southern Ijaw, where you talk about Olugbobiri, Oporoma etc far flung apart at sea?”

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According to him: “Direct primary is a recipe for disaster, electoral malfeasance, tricks and games” . To avoid those acrimonies , he advised the party to “conduct a neat and universally acceptable mode of primary”

He noted: “ Lokpobiri is not afraid. We have mobilised and fully ready, but for the sake of transparency and accountability, we advocate indirect primaries.

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“And most people have forgotten that the APC as of today does not have a standard, credible register. That’s another key issue. Who are the members known to the party. We have done registration like three times and none of them has produced a credible party register.

“Anybody can go and queue that they are members of the APC to take part in the primaries, even PDP members who have vested interests in the candidates. It will produce a muddled up process. But for indirect , we know the ward executive, the council executive. And they even have a potential advantage because they installed these executives.

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“If anybody should complain, it should be Lokpobiri. We want a credible process. If we lose, we are happy that it was fair, but if it’s not fair, we won’t be happy”


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