Three hundred and fifteen ad-hoc delegates have successfully emerged from the Friday Ward Congress across the 105 wards and eight Local government areas in Bayelsa State.
The final collation of the results presided over by the Committee Chairman and Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, started around 10pm at the State Secretariat of the party in Yenagoa and terminated in the early hours of Saturday.
The successful delegates included at least one woman per ward.
All the Ward Electoral Officers, Local government Monitoring/Returning Officers reported that there was neither violence nor disruption of any kind in their areas of jurisdiction.
They expressed joy that the general conduct of the exercise was peaceful at the grassroots as against the early hours attempt by some supporters of certain aspirants to disrupt the election.
Addressing party stakeholders at the end of the exercise, Governor Umahi appreciated their cooperation and enjoined them to continue to nurture unity in the party and show respect to the leaders of the party in the State.
He assured them that he would consult widely with the leaders and major stakeholders of the party to ensure reduction in the number of aspirations before the September 3 gubernatorial primaries.
The number of aspirants was put at 21.
Umahi noted: “We have conducted this election as transparent as possible.
“We entertained few complaints at the beginning of the exercise, which we solved to the satisfaction of all the aspirants and party people.
“We have followed the rules and so we wish to close this exercise and we leave you in peace and we ask the party Chairman to work with the leader of the party and father, the former President, and, of course, our dear Governor, the leader of the party in the State.
“I will try to meet with the stakeholders to see how they can trim the number of the aspirants before the primary election of 3rd September.
“It is very highly advisable.
“I wish you well and I know that if you bond together as a very united family of PDP, we will surely win the next election as we have always done.”
Recall that a protest by some key members of certain aspirants nearly marred the congress in the morning.
Prominent among the protesters were members of the Campaign Organisation of the former Chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Timi Alaibe.
The group, led by Chief Tiwei Orunimighe, Hon. Bananas Endure and Hon. Vivian Ere, a former member of the State House of Assembly, alleged that the state Chairman of the party had presented to the Committee a list of electoral officers different from those nominated by the party members in order to offer undue advantage to the Restoration Campaign Organisation, with a candidate allegedly endorsed by Governor Seriake Dickson.
They called for cancellation of the congress on the ground that they have lost confidence in the process.
The Chairman of the Congress Committee, Governor Umahi, had allayed their fears, restating his earlier vow to conduct a very transparent exercise.
He emphasized that anymore calling for the cancellation of the congress at that stage does not mean well for the State, warning that any attempt to cause any form of violence would tantamount to cancelling the entire process.
He further urged all the concerned parties to work in harmony to ensure that the State does not get into the hands of the wrong party with its resultant consequences.
Meanwhile, Yenagoa, the State Capital, from the early hours of Friday witnessed heavy presence of joint security personnel preparatory to the congress.
Security road barricades were noticed in certain flash points, especially roads leading into and across the party Secretariat.
Supporters of aspirants chanting solidarity songs clustered the gate to the secretariat obstructing ease of entrance and exit, while making uncoordinated demands on the committee.