Crisis in Bayelsa chapter deepens

By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

As the process leading to the national convention of the All Progressives Congress (APC) reaches advanced stage, some key members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) yesterday appeared before the Screening Appeal committee headed by the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha.

Among the NWC members who were at the Imo State Government Lodge in Asokoro, Abuja, to defend themselves against petitions filed against them, were the National Organising; Secretary, Senator Osita Izunaso, National Auditor, George Muoghalu, and the National Vice Chairman (South-east), Emma Eneukwu.

Speaking to THISDAY on the  telephone yesterday, Muoghalu said they have gone to meet with Screening Appeal committee to respond to issues raised against their bid to re-contest for their positions at the Saturday’s national convention.

Although, Muoghalu did not state the details of the petition against them, THISDAY learnt that there was a general petition against all the member of party’s NWC seeking reelection at the next convention.

At the commencement of its sitting on Saturday, Okorocha had told journalists that there was a general petition “as to whether members of the NWC can be judged in their own case having supervised the congresses and now coming to present themselves for election.”

However, Muoghalu, who spoke for his colleagues, dismissed the petitions as frivolous.

Muoghalu said he would not want to comment on the petition against him until outcome of the appeal committee’s assignment today.

But another member of NWC who did not want his name mentioned said: “The waiver that was given to us was a decision of the National Executive Committee of APC and it wasn’t given me alone.”

Meanwhile, the crisis arising from the APC congresses in Bayelsa State is yet to abate as a faction of the party led by Joseph Fafi has accused the former Bayelsa State Governor, Chief Timipre Sylva, of lying against them.

Following  allegation made by Sylva that he was betrayed during his governorship election in 2015 by  the state executive of the party, the faction said there was no truth in the allegations, describing Sylva as a “serial loser.”

The group which also had the backing of the former acting governor of Bayelsa State, Hon. Nestor Binabo, said it viewed with utmost disappointment the comments credited to Sylva where he described APC state exco and the people as “rats.”

In a statement signed by the spokesman of the faction, Christopher Abarowei, it said the former governor’s naivety exposed “him to recurrent and avoidable catastrophic defeats” in the 2015 governorship poll.

“It is on record that these  people Sylva ignominiously referred to as rats facilitated his victory in 2015 governorship primary when it became clear to the blind and audible to the deaf that he has lost consensus of the party.

“We want to also point out that Sylva withdrew in his quest to be the national chairman of our party when it became clear to him that he has lost to party consensus. His naivety exposes him to recurrent and avoidable catastrophic defeats in the polls,” It said.