The Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party, ANDP, the political party on whose petition the Bayelsa State Governorship Election Tribunal sacked Governor Douye Diri, has distanced itself from the election petition.
A faction of the party has emerged, saying it has no hand in the petition filed by King George, its governorship candidate.
The faction is led by the National Publicity Secretary, Fortune Oyadoghan, the State Publicity Secretary, Charles Krotezi and the State Secretary, Pastor Sapiere Obi Euduakakpo.
According to them, the ANDP had no governorship candidate in the November 16 governorship election but instead adopted Diri, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
They said the tribunal’s verdict that ordered for a fresh election within 90 days in the state because of the exclusion of the ANDP came as a rude shock.
They further denied conducting a governorship primary and agreeing on any candidate.
Pastor Euduakakpo read a press statement on behalf of the state chapter of the party at a press conference held at the Secretariat of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Yenagoa on Saturday.
The statement read in part “At the time of the said Governorship elections, the ANDP was still in its formative stage and yet to create the important 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 aspiration of the party.
“In that consideration, we met and agreed to support the candidature of Governor Douye Diri.
“It is equally important to mention that the purported candidate of the ANDP is unknown to the party as he is not a card carrying member.”
They challenged King George to produce his membership card of the party if he insists on the charade, adding that indeed, the best of their knowledge, he is the chairman of another political party
Recall that the Supreme Court had declared Diri and the PDP winner after ruling that the APC Deputy Governor-elect, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, presented a forged certificate.
But the State Election Petition Tribunal on Monday ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a fresh poll.
It declared that INEC wrongly excluded the Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party (ANDP) candidate.
Meanwhile, Diri had directed his lawyers to appeal the judgement.
Diri stated that he has implicit confidence in the judiciary and would triumph.