In a spirited demonstration at the All Progressives Congress (APC) headquarters in Abuja, supporters of Chief Timipre Sylva, the APC governorship candidate, and his running mate, Joshua Maciver, voiced their discontent, alleging that the national party leadership abandoned them during the November 11 poll. The protesters, donning solemn expressions, blamed the lack of support from the Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje-led National Working Committee for Sylva’s loss in the fiercely contested election.
Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State, representing the Peoples Democratic Party, emerged victorious with 175,196 votes, leaving Sylva behind with 110,108 votes. The demonstrators, comprising scores of Bayelsa APC members, highlighted their grievances at the APC secretariat, emphasizing the perceived abandonment by the national party leadership at a critical juncture.
Addressing the media, Dr. Otitis Etionumeya, the leader of the protest, expressed astonishment at the party’s decision to leave the former minister of petroleum unsupported when he needed it most. Etionumeya conveyed a sense of betrayal, stating, “We find it strange and curious that our party’s candidate was left in the lurch by the party at the national level at a time he needed the support of the party the most.”
The protesters suggested that the Bayelsa State chapter of the APC might have been sacrificed to serve vested interests, disregarding the contributions of the party’s members and supporters who worked diligently and at significant cost for victory. Etionumeya raised questions about the cancellation of results in areas such as Ogbia, Nembe, Brass, and Southern Ijaw LGAs, where the APC had a clear lead until the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) allegedly bypassed the collation centers where results should have been declared.
The accusations and grievances underscore the internal tensions within the APC, with supporters demanding accountability and transparency in the aftermath of the Bayelsa election.