Sylva’s suspension ‘laughable’, says APC
Party leadership keeps mum
As the crisis in Bayelsa State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) continues, a chieftain of the party in the state, Fortune Panebi, has described as laughable and a ‘joke of the decade’ the purported suspension of former governor, Timipre Sylva and four others by also an allegedly suspended state chairman, Tiwei Orunmighe.
Panebi, who is the state Publicity Secretary of the party and one of the four members purportedly suspended alongside Sylva by the faction led by the state chairman, Orunmighe, said the chairman and the secretary who reportedly signed the letter have no constitutional right to do so.
Meanwhile, efforts by The Guardian to get a reaction from the APC national leadership proved futile as neither the national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun nor the party secretary, Mai Mala Buuni, answered calls put to them.
“They have no right because the chairman who had been suspended by over 25 out of the 35 members of the State Working Committee (SWC) cannot suspend anybody. He stands suspended. He and the secretary cannot alone form the state executive committee. It is laughable and a joke of the decade,” Panebi stated during a telephone interview with The Guardian.
Speaking on ways to end the present crisis in the party, Panebi said the party had set up an investigation panel to look into the allegations of financial recklessness and gross misconduct against the state chairman and the secretary.
He said: “We are not at war with anybody. What we did was to find a way forward for the party in the state and we followed due process as enshrined in our party’s guidelines and constitution.”
It would be recalled that the crisis rocking the party took a turn for the worse yesterday when Tiwei Orunmighe and Secretary, Martin Daniel, announced the suspension of the leader of the party and governorship candidate, Chief Timipre Sylva.
The Orunmighe’s faction also suspended four executive members of the party – Joseph Fafi, Edison Sogwe, Panebi Fortune and Tonye Okio – accusing them of conniving with the former governor (Sylva) and destabilising the party by publishing an illegal statement.
The move by the embattled chairman to suspend Sylva and the four members came just a day after some members, comprising over 25 members of the state executive committee, handed an indefinite suspension on Orunmighe, his deputy, Eddy Julius and the Secretary, Martin Daniel.
The trio of Orunmighe, Julius and Daniel were on Friday suspended over alleged cases of gross misconduct, financial embezzlement and anti-party activities.