The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State has suffered a major setback as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has amended the lists of governorship candidates for the November 11 election and removed its flagbearer, Timipre Sylva, and his running mate, Joshua Maciver.
The commission said it acted on the basis of an October 10 Federal High Court order that barred Sylva and Maciver from contesting in the election. The court ruled that Sylva, who had served as governor of Bayelsa State for five years, would violate the 1999 constitution as amended if he ran for a third term.
The court also stated that Sylva was ineligible to participate in the election because he would exceed the constitutional limit of eight years in office as governor of the state if he won and was sworn in.
The APC gubernatorial campaign council, however, dismissed the exclusion of its candidate and urged its supporters to remain calm and focused.
The campaign council’s Director of Media and Publicity, Mr Perry Tukuwei, issued a statement on Wednesday, assuring the party’s supporters that they have a strong case at the Appeal Court.
He said: “We want to encourage our fellow Bayelsans to remain hopeful and confident as we approach the November 11 Governorship Election. We have a clear and compelling vision of Renewed Hope for Bayelsa, and we have demonstrated our commitment and achievements in our campaign activities across communities. The people of the state have chosen Chief Timipre Sylva and Joshua Maciver as their next Governor and Deputy Governor.
“Our beloved Bayelsans, do not worry. Do not lose heart. We are focused and undeterred. Our lawyers are handling the situation professionally and effectively as we anticipate victory at the Court of Appeal. We will win.”