Protesters shut down APC secretariat in Bayelsa •Reject Sylva’s choice of running mate
Tribunal upholds Mark’s election
Fresh crisis has hit the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State, few days to the commencement of campaigns for the December 5 governorship election in the state.
Angry members of the party, yesterday, shut the state’s secretariat of the party in protest against the choice of the running mate to Chief Timipre Sylva, the party’s gubernatorial flag bearer.
It was gathered that the campaign organisation of Sylva had secretly picked a retired principal and one time governorship aspirant in the old Rivers State, Chief Wilberforce Ikiri, as the candidate’s running mate.
The protesters described the campaign organisation’s action as a violation of the ‘gentleman’s agreement’ entered into by Sylva and the chairman of the party in the state, Chief Tiwei Oruminighe, to run together.
The development was said to have angered supporters of Orunimigha, who staged a protest march, demanding that Oruminighe be nominated as running mate.
While Ikiri came from Foropa community, Orunimigha was from Koluama community, all in the Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state.
The supporters of Orunimighe, during their protest at the party’s secretariat in Yenagoa, alleged that Sylva has reneged on his promise of running with Orunimighe, whom they claimed made it possible for him to emerge as the candidate of the party at the primary election.
The protesting supporters, drawn from wards and local government areas of the state, have vowed to work against the party, instead of allowing Sylva’s preferred choice to sail through.
They destroyed Sylva’s billboards and posters in major places, threatening that if Sylva failed to run with Orunimighe, they vote against him in the election.
Daily Trust gathered from some associates of Sylva that the nomination of Ikiri was due to the strong political message it carried.
One of the associates said: “The man is cool headed and a strong politician that can get the job done. He can interact with elders and the youths with a clear humble disposition. He will not be power drunk and he is a technocrat. Also, he is a good administrator as a former principal.”