Ahead of the September 19 governorship primaries of the All Progressives Congress in Bayelsa State, one of the founders of the party, Chief Perekeme Kpodo, has expressed concern over the “doctoring of the delegates’ list for the party’s primary election.”

Kpodo, who is the factional Chairman of the APC in the state, has accused the party Chairman, Tiwei Orunimighe, of doctoring the list and compelling the delegates to vote for leader of the party and former governor of the state, Chief Timipre Sylva.

He said Orunimighe had been taking the delegates to the house of a chieftain where they were allegedly asked to vote for Sylva and no other person at the primary election.

Kpodo, who decried the development, insisted in an interview in Yenagoa on Sunday that all aspirants in the party should be given level-playing field during the primaries.

He said the idea of forcing delegates to vote for a particular aspirant had foreclosed the chances of a credible primary election in the state.

Kpodo, who was the former chairman of the defunct New PDP, took a swipe at Sylva, alleging that he (Sylva) is a “bad product” and that if the APC presents him as its candidate, the party would lose woefully.

He said, “I want to use this opportunity to advise the delegates not to yield to the manipulation by Tiwei Orunimighe, because as a chairman of a party, he has no right under the Constitution to compel delegates to vote for a particular candidate when you have many candidates.

“It is wrong. That is why some of us started fighting them because we believed then that what is happening now will surely happen. So for us, we are justified – we have been vindicated.

“Our position is that they cannot support one candidate, they should allow the delegates to make their choice. The Sylva they are working for is not a good product in Bayelsa any longer. Let them carry out investigation. Sylva was stoned publicly for atrocities he committed in office. They cannot afford to bring such a person back to Bayslsans.

“He is saying he served one tenure, remaining one. Even for the one he served, he was supposed to thank God that he had the opportunity to serve one tenure. How did he come about serving one tenure? He is supposed to think about all this and go home and relax.”

Kpodo said, “We got the information that Orunimighe carried delegates to a chieftain’s house and that is exactly what he has been doing, persuading and compelling the delegates, but some of them have been complaining. What they have done now is to change the delegates list to suit them because of hidden agenda and that is why they refuse some of us, who are supposed to correct some of these problems to hold any position. They blackmailed us.”

Kpodo called on the national leadership to intervene in the matter and ensure that delegates were given free hands to choose candidate of their choice.

When contacted, Media Officer to Orunimighe, Mr. Alawoei Opukume, lambasted Kpodo, saying he is not a member of the APC.

He said Kpodo was neither a member of the party nor an aspirant, wondering on what premise he was talking.

Opukeme described Kpodo as a blackmailer and rabble-rouser who was bent on seeking relevance even though he had since been expelled by the party for anti-party activities.

“As far as we are concerned, Kpodo is not an APC member. He is simply an impostor and does not have any atom of integrity,” he said.