The petroleum minister, Timipre Sylva, has said he believes the All Progressives Congress (APC) will clinch the December 5 bye-election for Bayelsa West and Central seats in the state.
Mr Sylva gave the assurances at the committee rally for the Bayelsa West Senatorial District candidate, Peremobowei Ebebi, in Yenagoa, the state capital.
Bayelsa Central and West seats became vacant following the inauguration of Douye Diri and Lawrence Ewhrujakpo as governor and deputy governor of Bayelsa respectively.
The November 16 guber poll was won by APC’s candidate David Lyon, who was sacked by the supreme court on February 13 on grounds that his deputy, Degi Biobarakumo, submitted forged credentials in his nomination.
The APC is fielding Peremobowei Ebebi for Bayelsa West and Abel Ebifemowei for Bayelsa Central bye-election.
The minister said the party had more acceptable candidates for the polls.
He alleged that the former governor, Seriake Dickson, who is the PDP candidate for Bayelsa West, is maligning the image of the APC candidate, who is a former deputy governor, due to Mr Ebebi’s political clout and pedigree.
Mr Sylva described the recent judgement by a Federal High Court barring Mr Ebebi from contesting as a ‘miscarriage of justice’.
“You all know the antecedents of our candidates, Peremobowei Ebebi and Abel Ebifemowei. You also know that the PDP candidates have failed Bayelsa.
“Dickson did not argue that Ebebi was a lawyer, but took him to court on the grounds of his qualification for admission into the Rivers State University of Science and Technology where he read the law.
“It seems to us, the APC family in the state, that the judiciary in the state is targeted at our party and candidates.
“The said judge who gave the procured judgement is sympathetic to PDP, she is partisan and so we are not surprised at the biased judgement that was delivered in favour of Dickson and his party,” Sylva noted.
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He said the party was hopeful that the appeal court would upturn the judgement against Ebebi and the APC, maintaining that the two APC candidates would emerge as senators-elect at the end of the polls.
Mr Ebebi has urged his support base and party faithful to disregard the court judgement which had earlier disqualified his candidacy.
He said he was hopeful that the expected judgement from the appeal court would upturn the former judgement and put him back on the ballot.
He promised that he would fast track the development of the senatorial district when he emerges winner in the forthcoming poll.
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