By Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
Trouble is currently brewing in the Bayelsa State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as stakeholders weekend accused top party leaders in Ogbia, ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s Local Government Area (LGA), of anti-party activities.
The stakeholders under the auspices of the Ogbia PDP Renaissance (OPR), said George Turnah; Chairman of the State Environmental Sanitation Authority, Chief Robert Enogha, House of Assembly member, Mitema Obodor, among others had bought forms for aggrieved PDP members to contest under the platforms of other political parties.
The concerned PDP loyalists said they were raising the alarm in the interest of the party ahead of the 2019 general elections, so as not to play into the hands of the opposition in the state and called on former President Goodluck Jonathan to caution the alleged dissidents.
Aside the trio, they also alleged that a prominent traditional ruler in the area and close ally of ex-President Jonathan were working against the party.
But in their separate responses, Turner and Enogha, said they remain loyal to the party, noting that the accusations were mere tissues of lies.
Chairman of the PDP stakeholders in Bayelsa, Obhioru Mitanoni, on behalf of the concerned PDP faithful, said it was unbelievable that those who had benefitted from the party are the ones sponsoring candidates in other political parties to challenge PDP candidates.
He said following failure by their preferred aspirants to emerge victorious in the just-concluded PDP primaries, Turner and Obordor allegedly purchased nomination forms in other political parties for them.
He claimed that Turnah, a former Special Adviser to the Managing Director of the (NDDC) and Jonathan’s political godson who lost in his bid to clinch the PDP ticket for Ogbia Federal Constituency, was backing one Cleric Awudum for the Ogbia Constituency 2 seat in the State Assembly.
He added that the same forces are propping Nimi Barigha-Amange to contest the Bayelsa East senatorial seat on the platform of the ADC, having lost the PDP ticket to Blessing Ipigansi.
“We want our people to know that the likes of Turner, Obodor, Enogha Ayalla are all guilty of anti-party activities.
These men bought forms for those who lost the PDP primaries to go to other parties to contest against our candidates.
“We are aware that for George Turnah the man he is sponsoring Cleric Awudum in Accord Party has not even resigned his appointment in the Niger Delta University. Everything is being done to ensure he wins the Ogbia constituency two seat. But we are ready for them,” he said.
Leaders of the stakeholders’ group said they decided to make a public statement and put the leadership of the party on notice to prevail on leaders to retrace their steps.
But in a reaction, The Executive Chairman of the Bayelsa State Environmental Sanitation Authority expressed shock “at the extent some desperate and disgruntled elements will go just to score cheap political points”.
He described the statement signed by Mitanoni as the height of sycophancy and lies, wondering how a foundation member of PDP and an active member of the team of Governor Seriake Dickson will be dragged into such an “unthinkable” act.
He expressed total commitment to the party and its leadership and demanded an apology from the group.
Also, Turnah described the said claims as false, stressing that ordinarily, he ought not to have responded to the “cheap allegations against him by unknown persons”.
“ For the avoidance of doubt, I remain committed and loyal to the PDP, despite contesting and losing the party’s ticket for the House of Representatives – in an election which was not free and fair” he said.
He added that he had been the most persecuted member of the PDP by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, and that he ought to be the one complaining for not being given a free and fair election.