The Labour Party Governorship Candidate in the upcoming Bayelsa State guber election, Udengs Eradiri, has claimed that the state chairman of the Labour Party in Bayelsa has been against him since the beginning of his campaign.
He also accused the Chairman of collecting a sum of N100 million from the governor of Bayelsa State, Duoye Diri.
In an interview with ARISE NEWS on Thursday, Eradiri spoke on the reason for his absence from the signing of the peace accord ahead of Saturday’s election as he said, “First, I was not invited. My party in Bayelsa is working for the PDP, so, if you send them information, they will hoard it, especially if it will give me a mileage. I had known that since, so it didn’t bother me. However, I didn’t miss anything. I went for campaigns.”
Expatiating on the issue, he said, “The issue of the peace accord, I didn’t get a letter. Usually, they notify your party, but you see my party chairman, just yesterday, they did a press conference after collecting a hundred million naira from the governor, they started sharing formulas, started creating problems. People like us, I knew from day one.
“[He collected] One hundred million naira, and said he sent fifty million naira to national though the national denied it. And then, the sharing of the other fifty million naira started bringing argument, they went to organise a press briefing that they have decided to support Duoye Diri. The party chairman is an appointee of the governor. Right from day one, I knew, and I had blown this alarm before that these people are not working for me, and when I go to campaign, I tell Bayelsa people, it’s only the state woman leader that goes with me. The rest have given me conditions- I should bring so-so amount. I don’t have that kind of money. I didn’t come here because of money, I came here because of the issues that affect my people, and so far so good, I have been supported by my friends and my business”
Eradiri then said that he has reported the issue to the National Chairman of the LP and raised a publication to that effect, saying that the party is dealing with the issue.
He further claimed that “some of those who signed that peace accord have been consistently, from 2015, involved in elections that have been violent and people have been killed. As I speak to you, people are being killed in Bayelsa, arms are being stockpiled.”
“There is a particular militant who is close to the PDP government, an ex-militant who at a point was living in government house… “I have called the security agencies, some of them are aware of it. They are stockpiling arms to intimidate voters, to say if you are not voting for a particular party, you will not vote here, we will kill you, we will do this,” he said, saying that he hopes that the security agencies work to solve this matter.
Reacting to the accusation that he assaulted a person who was live in a radio station when he was the president of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Eradiri said that discipline is part of the responsibility of the IYC, and that at that point, there were a lot of erring members. He said that he himself did not go into the radio station, that the IYC’s machinery for discipline did what was necessary to do at that time. He said that the individuals were not beaten up, they were “disciplined.”
He said, “The IYC has a way of disciplining erring members, and when they went ahead to further, even when there was a court going on, I had to institute the disciplinary machinery of the IYC, and that disciplinary machinery saw to the end of that nonsense.”
He was then asked whether corporal punishment was allowed in the IYC, to which he responded in pidgin English, “We dey beat. The Ijaw Youths beat.”
Reacting to the statement that was made by Joshua Maciver which was said to incite violence, Eradiri said, “I feel sad about the statement that was credited to Joshua Maciver. I think that sometimes, emotions make people not control the kind of rhetoric that they use. That alone has removed a lot of mileage from the support that they used to have.
““For me, I feel sorry for the governorship candidate who didn’t do a proper consultation before he went ahead to pick the person of Joshua to be coming up in public to make such statements. You saw the statement he made with respect to his incarceration. For me, I thought that that was very irresponsible for anybody to say, let alone, a deputy governorship candidate. I condemned it in totality that you call for such violence when so far so good, Bayelsa elections or not until recently have been seemingly peaceful.”