Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The crisis rocking the Bayelsa State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has continued despite efforts to broker peace by the party’s national Chairman, Chief John Odigie Oyegun.
Oyegun met with two warring factions in state along with their political leaders, former governor of the state, Timipre Sylva and APC deputy spokesperson, Comrade Timi Frank, at a closed door for hours yesterday but could not reach an agreement.
Rather the matter took another dimension as ward chairmen in the state took a protest to the national secretariat of the party in Abuja, asking the leadership of the party to correct the alleged manipulation of political appointments by Sylva.
The ward chairmen while staging a protest at the APC national secretariat also told Sylva not to retire from politics with all the political appointments meant for the APC members in the state.
The protesters who were seen carrying placards with various inscriptions like” “Lokpobiri says APC is Boko Haram,” “Bayelsa APC says in Tiwei we trust,” “Lokpobiri must go,” among others, however, were not allow into the party’s secretariat.
While addressing journalists, the APC chairman of the ward chairmen, Jephta Iyekuruwe, said: “We are here for a simple project, which is, we are not here to fight our leader, APC governorship candidate in Bayelsa State.
“Five executive chances were given to APC Bayelsa State in order to strengthen APC, because for now we don’t have a governor to take care of the party and by the special grace of God, Presidency through the national secretariat gave this five executive chances to Bayelsa State, but at the end of the day, our candidate, Sylva cornered all of them, used his own letter headed paper and sent five names without consulting the state executive led by Chief Timipa Tiwe.
“So based on that, as ward chairmen of Bayelsa State APC, we have laboured from inception of the APC, we were tagged the Boko Haram party and supporters of Boko Haram party by some of the PDP people because the then President of Nigeria was from Bayelsa.
“We were told that our candidate, Sylva said he is retiring from politics. If he is retiring from politics, he shouldn’t retired with our five chances, because we want to use this five chances to strengthen APC Bayelsa State to take us to the promise land of Bayelsa State.”
Iyekuruwe, however, debunked the insinuations that Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, was sponsoring the crisis, saying, “there is nothing like Dickson sponsoring APC. I have rightly explained that five chances are given to the party and we don’t have a governor, nobody, care of the party.”