The National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has shifted the date for the Bayelsa governorship primary, amidst a court injunction stopping it from using direct mode.
The party said the primary will now take place on 31 August instead of Aug. 29.
The ruling party said this in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu in Abuja on Wednesday.
The party had on July 9 fixed 29 August for the conduct of Kogi and Bayelsa governorship primaries.
While the party has adopted the direct mode of primary for the selection of its candidate in Bayelsa, it is using indirect primary in Kogi.
According to Issa-Onilu, the party has adopted the direct mode of primary in line with the written request of the Bayelsa State chapter and majority of the stakeholders.
”This is in compliance with the decision of the APC National Executive Committee (NEC), which grants state chapters and majority of party leaders in a state the right to decide on the mode of primary they wish to adopt,” the party’s spokesman said.
However, a court injunction by some members of the party, may have complicated arrangements.
The Bayelsa High Court on Wednesday granted an order restraining the party from adopting direct primary in selecting the party’s flag-bearer for Nov.16 governorship elections in the state.
According to the order of interim injunction made by Justice E.G Umokoro , the party’s NEC should refrain from applying direct primaries for the forthcoming exercise pending the determination of the substantive suit filed by some party stakeholders.
Messrs Japan Christopher, Evinson Olotu , Oddu Onyimiebi and Onyimiebi Isaih took the National Chairman of APC and 23 members of his executive and Bayelsa chapter executives to court over the decision to use direct primary for the Bayelsa governorship polls, pending the determination of the substantive suit.
The judge also ordered for an accelerated hearing of the substantive suit and abridged the time frame for the respondents to file their response and counter affidavit to seven days given the timeliness of the matter.
The APC on Aug. 24 screened the immediate past Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri.
Others who were screened by the Mr Ita Isong-led National Screening Committee include a former female Commissioner of Police, Deseye Poweigha, Ebitimi Amgbare, David Lyon and Preye Aganaba.