The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Screening Committee has cleared the immediate past governor of Bayelsa state, Hon Seriake Dickson to contest the forthcoming senatorial elections in the state.
The Screening Committee also declared four other senatorial aspirants from the Bayelsa Central ineligible to contest the elections over alleged irregular tax clearance, membership dues, anomalies in documentations and sundry issues.
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The disqualified aspirants include Monday Bubou Obolo, former speaker and current Majority Leader of the House of Assembly; former Secretary to the Bayelsa State Government, Gideon Ekeuwei; former state chairman of the party, Charles Ambaiowei and Igo Goin.
The Muraina Ajibola-led screening panel from the PDP National Secretariat had recieved nomination forms from six senatorial aspirants with only one for Bayelsa West and five for Bayelsa Central.
The Committee cleared former Governor Seriake Dickson who is the only aspirant for Bayelsa West and Chief Cleopas Moses, a former Chairman of PDP in Bayelsa State for Bayelsa Central, while disqualifying four other aspirants.
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Different grounds were used in disqualifying the aspirants, ranging from non-possession of valid PDP membership cards, non-payment of membership dues, irregularity in names on certificates, irregularity in court affidavits and irregular payment of taxes.
A source who sought anonymity stated thus; “Imagine, some of the aspirants had no valid PDP membership cards; no passport photographs on some cards. Also, the party must be careful when nominating candidates with multiple names on their certificates.
“Then, for three years, they were not paying taxes. They didn’t pay in 2018, 2019, and now, because they want to contest, they rushed to pay. They have broken the law already.
“They are also not smart enough even if they want to cheat the system. The evidence of payment of tax clearance for three years reflecting payment was done in one day this year.”
According to the source, it became difficult for the Committee to wave the provisions of the PDP and Nigerian constitutions on requirements for eligibility, stating that the disqualified aspirants should blame themselves and not anyone.
“The only option available to them is to proceed to the Screening Appeal Panel to disprove the earlier report of the screening,” the source stated.
Meanwhile, supporters of some of disqualified aspirants staged a peaceful protest during the week, calling on the Screening Committee to revoke it’s decision.