Yenagoa- The Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party (ANDP) in Bayelsa State, on Thursday, washed its hand off the ongoing case on the alleged unlawful exclusion of the party’s candidate from the November 16, 2019 governorship election.
Pastor Sapere-Obi Endukakpo, the state secretary of the ANDP, said during a press conference at the Nigeria Union of Journalists Press Centre in Yenagoa on Thursday that the party was never a party to the petition filed before the tribunal.
Endukakpo, who was flanked by the state Publicity Secretary, Charles Krotezi, and the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Fortune Oyadongha, said the ANDP had unanimously adopted Diri during the run-up to the poll.
He said the ANDP could not, therefore, have dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before the tribunal to complain about the alleged unlawful exclusion of the party’s candidate from the election.
Endukakpo said, “As at the time of the said elections, the party was still in its formative stage and yet to create structures necessary to run a successful campaign.
“Consequently, the party at the state level, in consultation with the National Executive, in its wisdom, opted to endorse the candidate whose vision and manifesto best mirrored the aspirations of the ANDP for a greater Bayelsa State.
“In that consideration, we met and agreed to support the candidature of His Excellency, Senator Douye Diri, of the Peoples Democratic Party.”
He recalled that the ANDP officially communicated its intentions to Diri in a letter dated November 4, 2019, and also published the same in some national dailies, stressing that the judgment of the election petition tribunal sacking the governor “came to us as a rude shock.”
Endukakpo further said,” For clarity and emphasis, the ANDP did not conduct primaries, neither did we agree on a consensus candidate simply because the elections came too soon for the party to put structures required in place.
“Therefore, the party, having previously adopted Senator Diri, could not have gone to the tribunal to complain of unlawful exclusion.”
He also stated that the purported candidate of the ANDP is unknown to the party “as he is not a card-carrying member”, challenging him to produce his membership card “if he maintains this charade.