By Osa Okhomina,Yenagoa
There was pandemonium in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital following the angry protest by members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) against the decision by the National Working Committee (NWC) to suspend and expel the state chairman, Chief Tiwei Orunimighe and two others over alleged anti-party activities.
The protesters, who described the purported suspension and dismissal of the party chairman as “misinformation”, insisted that the embattled Chief Tiwei Orunmighe, remains the state chairman of the party.
In a protest yesterday led by the APC’s 105 wards chairmen, the eight local government chairmen, women, youths and elders of the party, the protesters, accused the national leadership of the party of aiding and abetting illegality, insisting that the APC was ‘not for sale’.
Among the notable members of the party who spoke during the protest include a former senatorial vice chairman of the party, Chris Alogoa, a former leader of the party, Livinus Opuakpa, the chairman of all the local government chairmen, Phil Erepade and Jephthah Iyekoroghe.
According to Livinus Opuakpa, “It was unfortunate that the party find themselves in such situation, especially at this critical time when they should be preparing for 2019 and 2020.”
He said, “There is need to join this vanguard to forestall this misinformation that is making the round because it is unfortunate that we find ourselves in this situation at this critical time when we should be preparing ourselves to win elections come 2019.
“Unfortunately, the national committee that has taken this decision to suspend our constitutionally elected chairman, secretary and the deputy, if they have done so; must have been misinformed deliberately by those who are seeking the soul of this party, to see that they trade with it, destroy it so that we will go nowhere as far as APC elections are concern in this state.
“We are here on a protest to tell Bayelsans that APC has no crisis, there is no body suspended until otherwise proved constitutionally. So here we are telling Bayelsans that APC is not for sale, there are some that are out to take the soul of this party and trade with it and we will resist with all legal and constitutional strength at our disposal.”
While accusing the former governor of the state, Chief Timi Sylva and the Minister of State for Agriculture, Heineken Lokpobri, for fueling the crisis, they insisted that Lokpobri must go as he had no membership card.
They alleged that the party lost the last gubernatorial election in the state because the former governor, Sylva, has no integrity and warned that any attempt to hijack the party from the founding members will be resisted with everything at their disposal.
Iyekoroghe said, “I stand on the ground of the 105 ward Chairmen in Bayelsa State APC that there is nothing like suspending the state chairman, Chief Tiwe Oruminighe. If there is anything like that, due process must be followed.
“The executives of the Bayelsa APC led by Chief Tiwei Orunmighe, remain. No letter from the national body, no phone call, we read about it on the social media, so the purported suspension cannot hold.”
“On behalf of the 105 ward chairmen, Heineken Lokpobri must go because his ministerial appointment was stolen from the founding members of the party in the state. And from the inception of his appointment, he has been using it to destroy APC, alongside with the acclaimed leader, Sylva.”