Sylva’s Disqualification: INEC Must Abide By Court’s Ruling, Bayelsa Stakeholders
TOYIN ADEBAYO, ABUJA
Timipre Sylva, a candidate for the All Progressives Congress (APC), has been barred from running in the governor’s race in Bayelsa State scheduled for next month.
The Bayelsa Democratic Coalition, a group dedicated to promoting open and peaceful government in the state, has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to respect this ruling.
In a press release made available to journalists in Abuja, the Coalition’s coordinator, Orama David, praised the court’s ruling and referred to it as a triumph for democracy.
He claimed that with Sylva’s disqualification, there are promising indications that the governorship election will be peaceful, free, and fair in contrast to the 2019 election, which was adjudged as one of the most violent in the State.
He said the decision has not only upheld the principles of justice and the Constitution, but is also seen as a “crucial step towards ensuring a violence-free and credible governorship election in our beloved state, considering the palpable fear of violence, that the earlier participation of Mr. Timipre Sylva, as the candidate of APC has brought into the process.
The statement reads: “We commends the recent ruling by the Federal High Court disqualifying Mr. Timipre Sylva from the governorship race in Bayelsa State. This landmark judging by his antecedent in previous elections in the state, particularly in 2015, adjudged by many observers to be the deadliest and most bloody in the annals of elections in the State.
“The Federal High Court’s verdict has reaffirmed our faith in the judicial system and its commitment to upholding the rule of law. We believe that this ruling is a significant milestone, not only in the journey towards a better, more accountable, and violence-free democratic process in Bayelsa State, but removals the spectre of hijacking the will of the people.”
David said the disqualification of Sylva is in line with the Constitution and represents victory for electoral integrity in the country.
He said: “Our group recognises the importance of free and fair elections as the cornerstone of a thriving democracy. The disqualification of Mr. Timi Sylva from the governorship race, in line with Constitutional imperatives, represents a victory for electoral integrity and sends a clear message that the democratic process in Nigeria is built on principles of fairness, transparency, and the rule of law.
“We call on all stakeholders, including political parties, candidates, and the electorate, to uphold the spirit of peaceful and violence-free elections. We urge every Bayelsa citizen to contribute positively to the electoral process, ensuring that our state’s future leadership is determined through issue based campaigns and ballots, not intimidation and bullets.
“As we approach the forthcoming Governorship Election in Bayelsa State, we encourage INEC, all parties and candidates to respect the court’s decision that Chief Slyva is disqualified, conduct their campaigns within the bounds of the law, and work collaboratively to create an atmosphere of peace and security for the electorate.“As an organisation, we are committed to monitoring the electoral process, promoting transparency, and supporting initiatives that guarantee a peaceful and violence-free Governorship Election, in our state.”