Yenagoa—A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekeremor, Bayelsa State, Chief Pereagbe Egolikumo has chided the recent stance of the Bayelsa West APC Elders who in a communique stated there is a zoning arrangement in the party concerning the forthcoming Bayelsa West Senatorial District election.
In a report by Naijalivetv, the “APC elders averred that in view of this long-standing consensus within the period under review, Sagbama LGA has occupied the exalted Senatorial seat for sixteen years while Ekeremor LGA has only occupied it for eight years and the elders, therefore, maintain that it is the turn of Ekeremor LGA to produce the next Senator.”
Some of the APC elders who attended the meeting include Senator J. K. Brambaifa, the Former Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Peremobowei Ebebi, Chief Alex Ekiotene, Captain Matthew Karimo, Barr. Gad Ombeh, High Chief (Maj) Andrew Oputa Rtd, Sen. Deinyanbofa Dimaro, among others.
The APC elders strongly condemned the reported interest of some Sagbama politicians to join the senatorial race, describing it as a “flagrant abuse of the hitherto existing order.”
However, Chief Egolikumo Pereagbe in a statement sent to newsmen on Wednesday argued that “the Bayelsa West APC elders are not consistent in their stance on zoning, and their recent action will mislead youths in the party.
He insisted that the purported zoning arrangement in the APC regarding the Bayelsa West senatorial election is unpopular and inexpedient.
He warned that the continued insistence on zoning would only bring rancour within the APC and would therefore give the opposition an undue advantage to win the election.
In his words, “there was a time Senator Brambaifa said there was nothing like zoning. He is now joining other elders including Rt. Hon. Ebebi who contested the senatorial seat at a time it was said to zoned to Sagbama to call for zoning.
“I wish to remind our venerable elders that the APC does not believe in zoning. Thus they should stop confusing our vibrant supporters.
“For me, their insistence on zoning is largely motivated by selfish interest and what they stand to gain from it and therefore, is dead on arrival,” Chief Egolikumo alleged.”
He stressed that the party does not need a zoning formula to win the Bayelsa West senatorial election, but rather a vibrant candidate with electoral value.
“Zoning will not bring victory to our party. We just need a younger candidate with a proven track record in government who can effectively represent the party and ultimately the people of Bayelsa West Senatorial District in the National Assembly,” he added.
Egolikumo also urged the leadership of the party in the state to disregard the calls for zoning and throw open the selection process in the weeks leading up to the party primaries.