The crisis in the Bayelsa state chapter of the All Progressives Congress APC took another twist Sunday as a faction of the state executive committee of the party announced that the state governor, Seriake Dickson, is scheming to join the party.
Hence, to pave way for his easy acceptance and to become the leader of the party in the state, the governor has resorted to fighting his predecessor, Timipre Sylva who is considered as the current leader of the party in Bayelsa, the faction alleged.
He alleged that Gov. Dickson is scheming to join the APC and as such sees Sylva as a rival that must be pushed aside.
Meanwhile, the faction has also dissociated itself from the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of APC Comrade Timi Frank.
State Organising Secretary of the party, Tonye Okio whose faction is apparently loyal to the former state governor and APC governorship candidate in the last election, Timipre Silva, said the crisis in the state chapter of the party is being sponsored by elements of the Peoples Democratic Party with the aim of destroying the party in the state.
He said Mr 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, Timi Frank 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 reign.
“He has never participated in the politics of the state and I am not sure he even knows where the state secretariat of the party is located”.
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 that 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 Bayelsa state has 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. Infact, Governor Seriake Dickson is the one using the suspended chairman to destabilize the party in the state. We have evidence that he has been collecting money from Dickson.
“Their aim is to first destroy the party and its leader in the state, Timipre Silva before coming in so that he will take over the party structures. We are going to resist this,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Bayelsa state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has called on its governorship candidate and the former governor of the state, Chiwf Timipre Sylva, to close ranks with the state executive by giving them deserving respect and also ensuring he works with them.
In a statement signed on Sunday in Abuja by the APC state chairman and the Secretary, Chief Timipa Tiwei Orunimighe and Comrade Daniel Marlin respectively said bringing the name of governor Dickson into the lingering crisis in the state “is a way to blackmail the state executive in the eyes of the national leaders of the party and also deflect people’s attention from the real issues.
The party also debunked reports that they were working for the Gov. Dickson, as part of his plan to decamp to the APC, saying they never believed in the ideals of the governor.
“Sylva should respect and work with the state executives, carry them along and work with other stake holders. We reckon that is not too much to ask for. It has nothing to do with Dickson.
“Rather than do the right thing he is wasting resources on cheap blackmail and outright-lies about the true situation of things in the state. A simple intra-party affair that can be resolved by getting all parties on a round table has been difficult for Sylva to do.”
The statement accused the former governor of “being the one who has notoriously kept fraternizing with leaders of the opposition parties. His federal appointment nominee lists reflects this fact as most of the names were, until recently, staunch members of the PDP and habitual critics of President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR. It is clear to the general public that Chief Sylva’s desperation is getting the better of him.
“He has resorted to deception, warping of facts, spinning of half-truths and wild lies. We have known him right from the period he was made co-chairman of the Presidential inauguration committee when he allegedly sold the invitation cards to some members of the unsuspecting public. Since then he has maintained a streak of ghoulish political deals that has constantly rocked the integral base of our party.
“We admonish him to refrain from his current campaign of calumny and advise both the general public and party faithful to be in their most guarded state when dealing with him. We also affirm that he remains suspended till the report of an ongoing investigation.”