The decision of a faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa to open a parallel party secretariat in the state has caused a clash among chieftains of the party.
The Bayelsa APC members at the National Assembly under the aegis of the APC Caucus made up of Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo (Bayelsa East), Preye Oseke, member, representing Southern Ijaw in the House of Representatives and Israel Sunny-Goli (Brass-Nembe Federal Constituency) expressed concerns over the parallel party administrative structure.
They called on Hon. Ebierien Itubor-led faction to sheathe their swords and embrace peace in the interest of the party.
But a member of the faction and chieftain of the APC from Southern Ijaw, Sunday Frank-Oputu, waved off the position of the Bayelsa Assembly caucus.
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He described their peace move as “deceitful” and an attempt to cover up grievances of party members in the state against the alleged poor leadership of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva.
Frank-Oputu insiste the National Assembly caucus failed the multitude of aggrieved members when their wisdom and intervention were needed most in the party.
He said: “For me, they are people without conscience. They should hide their faces in shame because these same NASS members cost Bayelsa the victory of our governorship election.
“What was their position then? What did they say when we were supposed to be looking for political solutions to sustain that victory?
“These same people were shamelessly following Sylva and traded with our victory and today APC is out of government. So people should look at these people as toys or boys to Timipre Sylva. So, their statements should not be taken seriously as far as Bayelsa APC is concerned.”
However, the NASS caucus, in a statement on Tuesday, said the call for peaceful resolution of the crisis became necessary following the purported use of Senator Heineken Lokpobiri’s former campaign office as a factional secretariat of the APC.
The statement said the publication on electronic and print media about party members’ displeasure with the leadership of the party in the state was also a serious concern.
The statement said: “It is against this backdrop that members of the National Assembly (Bayelsa State) APC Caucus do hereby state that there are no factions in the APC family in Bayelsa State.
“The Bayelsa State chapter of the APC has Jothan Amos as its Chairman while the leader of the party remains His Excellency, Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, who is ably supported by thousands of Bayelsans across the length and breadth of the state who are comfortable with his all-inclusive disposition for good governance and accountability.
“The Caucus members hereby stress that as it has always been, party men who have the right to be aggrieved at any point, could find expression and ultimately seek redress using legitimate laid-down mechanisms as provided within the party structure in doing so.
“They should not allow external forces to factionalise the party. We urge party faithful to be rather more united in purpose as this is the panacea for bringing about the much-needed democratic dividends to the people.”