Yenagoa- Ahead of the November 16 governorship election in Bayelsa State, the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress in the state has been thrown into confusion following the suspension and counter-suspension of chieftains by two factions of the party over allegations of gross misconduct and anti-party activities.
While one faction led by the state chairman of the APC, Jothan Amos, suspended five stalwarts, the other faction controlled by the deputy chairman, Ogeibiri Orubebe, suspended seven chieftains indefinitely.
Both factions carried out the counter sanctions during separate meetings they held in Yenagoa on Thursday.
Among the suspended five officials were the deputy chairman, Ogeibiri Orubebe; legal adviser, Chris Toborowei Olorogun; chairman, Ekeremor Local Government Area, Amasighan Azikiwe; secretary, Olorogun Isaac and Peter Bofini, chairman, Sagbama Local Government Area.
The suspended seven included Jonathan Amos, state chairman; Martins Alabo, state secretary; Peres Oyadongha, Senatorial Youth Leader; Iniekenimi Senator Mitin, LGA Youth Leader Ekeremor; John K. Williams, LGA Organizing Secretary Ekeremor; Osadebe Ezinrin, LGA Treasurer Ekeremor; and Lovely Agwor, LGA Organizing Secretary, Sagbama.
Jothan claimed that the State Executive Committee of the APC slammed them with the suspension based a petition brought before it at an emergency meeting held at the state party secretariat in Yenagoa.
He said the meeting resolved to sanction the affected persons because they were investigated and found culpable of allegations of gross misconduct and anti-party activities.
He noted that after the direct primary election that produced David Lyon as the party’s candidate for the election, all members were expected to cue behind and drop their interests.
Amos said the said the chieftains’ refusal to abandon the pursuit of their personal interest clearly indicated they were against the APC.
The Assistant Organising Secretary of the party, Tari Emberru, who raised the motion for their suspension, maintained that the consistent misconduct by the affected persons undermined the unity.
He said they by their actions also disrespected constituted authority of the party, stressing that they should not be tolerated as they had been called to order several times without success.
Also, the state auditor of the APC, Doumo Ogbomani, a lawyer, argued that the affected persons contravened Article 31, Section A, subsection 7 of the APC constitution, stressing that a house divided against itself can not stand.
However, the deputy chairman’s faction claimed that Jothan and the other six officials were suspended indefinitely for acts of gross misconduct, impersonation and intentionally creating division in the APC.
According to the resolution of Orubebe’s faction made available to newsmen in Yenagoa, the party chairman was accused of “refusal to account for millions of Naira that accrued to the state chapter of the party as administrative charges on National and State Assembly aspirants.”
It added that “Alabo is accused of flagrantly breaching the party’s constitution by presiding over State Executive Committee meetings and inaugurating a purported Disciplinary, Contact and Reconciliation Committees contrary to Article 14(3) 7 of the APC constitution.”
The resolution added that the State Vice Chairman, Bayelsa Central, Fala Etubo has been appointed as Acting Chairman in line with the party’s constitution.
It said, “Pursuant to the report of the State 4-man Disciplinary Committee over formal complaints against various party officials, an Executive Committee Meeting presided over by the State Deputy Chairman, Honorable Orubebe Ogeibiri on October 10, 2019 at the State party Secretariat, the APC resolved that their suspension will serve as deterrent and instill discipline and loyalty among party members.”