By Akam James, Yenagoa
Accusations and counter-accusations have continued to trail the Tuesday governorship primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Bayelsa State over alleged manipulation of delegates.
The state chairman of the party, Moses Cleopas, had in a press statement on Sunday accused one of the aspirants, Chief Timi Alaibe of causing fake credit alerts of N1 million to appear in phone numbers of delegates, an alleged action that he described as desperate to hoodwink the delegates..
According to him, some of the delegates have started receiving the fake alerts with a promise that they can access it by Wednesday this week after the fate of the aspirants would have been decided by them.
The PDP chairman called on anti-graft agencies to investigate the issue and make those behind it to face the long arm of the law.
While in a swift reaction, the Alaibe Campaign Organisation, has threatened to sue the party chairman over the claims.
In a statement by its Administrative Secretary Professor Seyeifa Brisibe, the Alaibe Campaign Organisation said: “We believe this is dirty politics taken too far. Someone does not need to go to this extreme just to win an election”
It added: “We have been informed of a damning statement issued today by the Bayelsa State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Cleopas Moses, to the effect that our Principal, Chief Ndutimi Alaibe and another aspirant, Kenebi Okoko, were sending fake bank alerts to some delegates in a bid to buy their votes in the forth-coming primary election of the PDP”
“As a campaign organisation, we find it difficult to believe that this extremely criminal allegation is coming from the chairman of PDP in Bayelsa State. We assume that there is a mistake somewhere. How would any reasonable person wake up to utter this kind of evil allegation against responsible fellow human beings?
“While we allow our lawyers to study the legal implications of this obviously irresponsible and careless allegation, we need to state that there is no truth in it whatsoever. The burden is on those making the allegation to provide evidence when the time comes.
“We had promised from the beginning to run a decent campaign for this race. And we have not deviated from that promise. We have been irresponsibly attacked and rubbished. But we choose to keep our sanity by focusing on the campaign and not allowing anybody to distract us. We believe that politics is a game of superior ideas and not a-do-or-die affair.
“Our Principal has been called names. His reputation has been dragged in the mud by those who are bent on scoring cheap political points. Issues bordering on terrorism have been raised against him. And today, he is being accused of engaging in acts that violate both local and international laws. His silence has been misconstrued as weakness and a victory for those on the offensive.
“Let it be clear to whoever is behind this gutter politics that Timi Alaibe has an impeccable reputation both in private and public service.
“Accusing him of a criminal activity as though it were a child’s play is unacceptable and is not going to be ignored. He has a name to protect and will not allow anybody to soil that name. The law must take its course. This is a deliberate falsehood that must be challenged.”