The crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State is worsening by the day as the governorship candidate, Timipre Sylva, has impressed it on the Inspector-General of Police, Sunday Arise, to order the immediate arrest of APC state chairman, Tiwe Orunimighe.
Recurring protests at the party secretariat, it was gathered, is the basis for the arrest as Orunimghe is believed to be the person behind the protests and Sylva has moved fast to put a stop to it.
Since Sylva named an 80 year old retired educationist, Wilberforce Igiri, as preferred running mate, there had been protests at the APC secretariat allegedly sponsored by Orunimighe, causing faceoff between him and the candidate. Orunimighe as party chairman was said to have been promised the slot of running mate by Sylva but later reneged.
According to a reliable source, Sylva’s request for the arrest of Orunimighe was contained in a letter to the IG, stating the repeated protests, destruction of properties at the party secretariat and the danger to public peace.
The party chairman was also accused of planning to further sponsor a mass protest against the candidature of Sylva, purportedly on the premise of anti-corruption protest to call for the former governor to be dropped as candidate.
It was claimed in Sylva’s letter that the planned protest was a decoy to disturb the peace in the state and why the IG has to move against the chairman forthwith.
“What is playing out is normal in politics. Sylva is only engaging in power show. You recall Sylva promised Tiwe the deputy slot but why not fulfill his promise? So you can see that Tiwe is only protesting that action and it will surely continue no matter the call for arrest. His deadly boys, about 1000 armed boys, are slated for the planned protest and it will be difficult for anybody to stop it because of their leader, Tiwe,” a source disclosed.
However, supporters loyal to Tiwe have debunked Sylva’s claim, saying that the planned protest would be peaceful and mainly to call on the EFCC and President Buhari to stop the APC from fielding Sylva as candidate in the December 5 governorship election in Bayelsa State.
They stated that their concern was in the interest of the party as fielding Sylva in their estimation will spell doom for the party at the polls.
Another source among Tiwe’s supporters, however, informed our reporter that the objective of the protest was also to checkmate Sylva as he was said to be “desperate” to rid Tiwe of his chairmanship of the party in the state.
“We are prepared to resist every move to short-change our chairman after all he (Tiwe) has done to support Sylva in clinching the governorship ticket”, the source claimed.
Meanwhile, a faction of APC supporters loyal to the governorship aspirant, TimI Alaibe, was said to have indicated interest in supporting the PDP candidate, the incumbent Seriake Dickson.
It was gathered that the faction told party leaders at a recent meeting that its action was necessitated by the emergence of Sylva as candidate which, it claimed, had effectively shut out other key interest groups in the race.
“Now that the APC has succumbed to Sylva, Bayelsans have a right to wonder whether this is the kind of change the party promised Nigerians. And if not, whether the welfare of Bayelsans is of no consequence? Why must the APC now seek to restore Bayelsa to a state of anarchy where warlords now have full reign?” he asked.
While awaiting the worst, Oruminighe and his supporters are believed to be on top of the protest plan to hold in Yenagoa, the state capital early next week.
Among inscriptions on their already prepared placards which our reporter saw were issues on Sylva as liability to the APC, bothering on lack of performance in his 5-year sojourn as governor, diversion of money for civil servants salaries, N300 billion World Bank Agric loan, N3 billion MDG funds, N125 billion bond wastes and a legacy of high profile debt.
Special Assistant to the
Governor of Bayelsa State
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