Bayelsa APC In Disarray As State Chairman Fights Sylva Over Running Mate Ticket


All seems not to be well with the All Progressives Congress in Bayelsa State as the governorship candidate of party, Chief Timipre Sylva, and the State Chairman Tiwe Oruminighe, are quarrelling over who should be Sylva’s running mate ahead of the December 5 governorship poll.

According to reports, Oruminighe is fighting to be his running mates and was alleged to have gathered youths loyal to him to protest at the party’s secretariat on the Yeni-Zuegene, Mbiama-Yenagoa Road.

It was gathered that the protest was provoked by a serious indication that Sylva had abandoned Oruminighe to pick a retired head teacher, Mr. Wilberforce Egiri, as his running mate.

Oruminighe hails from Koluama in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area and Egiri is from Foropa, in the same local government.

The party chairman has been a political ally of Sylva and said to be the brain behind his victory as APC’s flag bearer.

They destroyed billboards, banners, posters and other campaign materials bearing Sylva’s portraits and name urging Oruminighe to work with Sylva ahead of the December 5 election.

The protest caused tension in the area, leading to the deployment of armed policemen to forestall an escalation of the situation and a breakdown of law and order.

The secretariat temporarily shut down to avoid an invasion of the offices by the aggrieved youth.

The pro-Oruminighe youths, who carried placards bearing various inscriptions, said APC would cease to exist in the state, if Sylva denied the chairman the slot to suggest a running mate.

One of the protesters, who identified himself as the Chairman of the ward chairmen, Mr. Jefta Ikuruel, said the protest was meant to warn the party against sidelining Oruminighe.

He said Oruminighe was the choice of the grassroots, adding that without the chairman as a running mate, Sylva and APC would not win the election.

Also, APC Chairman in Ward 11, Mr. Exodus Ebi, said Sylva was violating a sealed agreement that he would pick Oruminighe as his running mate.

Ebi said: “All the ward chairmen unanimously agreed that Oruminighe will be Sylva’s running mate. Oruminighe is the only man who can reach the grassroots and it is because of him we are making sacrifices; it’s not because of Sylva. He (Sylva) should give us Oruminighe.”

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