By-elections: PDP panel stops four senatorial aspirants in Bayelsa


The National Screening Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party for the by-elections in the Central and West Senatorial Districts of Bayelsa State has disqualified four aspirants over alleged irregular tax clearance, membership dues, anomalies in documentations, among other issues.

Those stopped from contesting the two vacant senatorial seats are a former Secretary to the Bayelsa State Government, Gideon Ekeuwei; former Speaker and current Majority Leader of the House of Assembly, Monday-Bubou Obolo; former state Chairman of the party, Charles Ambaiowei; and a party chieftain, Igo Goin.

The PDP panel, led by Muraina Ajibola, on Saturday, received nomination forms from six senatorial aspirants with only one for Bayelsa West Senatorial District while five were for the Bayelsa Central Senatorial District.

But at the end of the screening exercise, the committee cleared former Governor Seriake Dickson as the only aspirant for Bayelsa West and Cleopas Moses, a former Chairman of PDP in Bayelsa, for Bayelsa Central.

The other four aspirants were disqualified by the committee.

Top party sources close to the panel claimed that the disqualification was due to non-possession of valid PDP membership cards, non-payment of membership dues, irregularity in names on certificates, irregularity in court affidavits to irregular payment of taxes.

According to one of the sources, who did not want to be mentioned, most of the disqualified aspirants only hurriedly rushed to obtain their three-year tax clearance about two months ago, a development that indicated that they allegedly evaded tax payment for two years.

The source stated, “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.”

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