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INEC list: Don’t fret over Sylva’s exclusion, APC tells supporters

The All Progressives Congress has urged its supporters and prospective voters not to fret over the exclusion of its Bayelsa flag-bearer, Timipre Sylva, from the list of governorship candidates published on Tuesday by the Independent National Electoral Commission ahead of the November 11 poll.

The Federal High Court in Abuja had on October 10 disqualified Sylva from the Bayelsa governorship race on the grounds that he had been sworn in twice as Bayelsa State governor and ruled the state for five years.

Sylva, however, immediately appealed the judgment.

But on Wednesday, INEC did not list him among the governorship candidates for the November 11 poll.

His absence from the INEC list caused a stir in the ruling party and among his supporters in Bayelsa.

Reacting via a phone chat with The PUNCH, the APC Director of Publicity, Bala Ibrahim, told our correspondent that there was no need to panic over the issue.

Ibrahim stated that it was obvious the electoral umpire was merely trying to play safe by not pre-empting the outcome of the ruling party’s appeal.

He said, “There is no need for panic. We are all aware the party has appealed the judgment. I think INEC is just playing safe. But that does not mean anything. It is nothing to worry about.

“Once the Court of Appeal rules in our favour, INEC will be compelled to return his name to the ballot.”

Similarly, the Bayelsa APC Governorship Campaign, in a statement by its Director of Media and Publicity, Perry Tukuwei,  described the exclusion of Sylva from the list as a temporary setback that should not cause any worry among supporters.

Tukuwei said, “The Bayelsa APC Gubernatorial Campaign hereby urges our dear people of Bayelsa not to be deterred about the recent happenings in the polity as we march towards the victory post at the November 11 governorship election.

“We are clearly miles ahead with a well-thought-out Renewed Hope for Bayelsa agenda as well as resounding successes recorded in campaign activities across communities culminating in the decision by people of the state to look the way of Chief Timipre Sylva and Joshua Maciver as the next governor and deputy governor, respectively.

“Our dear people of Bayelsa, do not fear. Do not be discouraged. We are on course with no distractions. Our lawyers are very well on top of the situation as we expect victory at the Court of Appeal. We will win.”