Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
A faction of the state executive of committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State has distanced itself from the Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Timi Frank.
The faction loyal to the former state governor and APC governorship candidate in the last election, Timipre Sylva said the crisis in the state chapter of the party was being sponsored by elements of the Peoples Democratic Party with the aim of destroying the party in the state.
Speaking on the alleged role of the APC deputy Spokesman in the brewing crisis in the State Organising Secretary of the party, Tonye Okio, said Timi Frank has never participated in the politics of the state and as such cannot claim to be one of its leaders.
Okio said: “Timi Frank is from Bayelsa State by birth. But politically, he is not from Bayelsa because the position he is occupying was not zoned to our state.
“I was at the national convention and the position zoned to Bayelsa was ex-officio. The position of Deputy National Publicity Secretary was zoned to Sokoto. It was the former governor that prevailed on the candidate from Sokoto to step down and give the position to him for peace to rein.
“He has never participated in the politics of the state and I am not sure he even know where the state secretariat of the party is located”.
The APC faction loyal to Sylva also said even though Frank was a Bayelsan by birth, he was politically not a Bayelsan as he was not representing the state in the national leadership of the party.
He alleged that the governor is eying to join the APC and as such sees Sylva as a rival that must be pushed aside.
The factional state Chairman of the party, Joseph Fafi and Organising Secretary, Tonye Okio in a statement issued at the weekend on the outcome of a meeting with the national leadership of the party, said the suspended chairman was not fighting for the interest of the APC in Bayelsa State, adding that “he has been fighting to be the Executive Director, Finance of NDDC, he wants to be the Chairman of local content board and wanted to be Deputy Governor”.
He said further that leadership of the party in the state had already submitted a petition to the national leadership of the party who has promised to look into their allegations.
Fafi said: “We came here to see the national leadership and brief them on the happenings in Bayelsa state APC. What is happening is unfortunate. We have suspended the state Chairman and we are here to explain to them the procedures we took.
“The state chairman stands suspended pending the rectification by the national leadership. For the suspended deputy Chairman and state secretary, they also stand suspended and we have the power to do that and the national secretariat is pleased with our explanation.
“There are unseen hands waiting to crush the APC in Bagelsa state. In fact, Dickson is the one using the suspended chairman to destabilise the party in the state. We have evidence that he has been collecting money from Dickson.
“Their airm is to first destroy the party and its leader in the state, Timiprieye Silva before coming in so that he will take over the party structures. We are going to resist this,” he said.