More trouble for APC as Bayelsa government moves to eject party from secretariat
More trouble looms for the Bayelsa State chapter of the All Progressive Congress (APC) as the state government yesterday began moves to eject the party from its secretariat along Chief Melford Okilo expressway in Yenagoa, the state capital.
According to the state Solicitor General and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Preye Agodah, the move became imperative as a mishandling of development regarding the property could led to a break down of law and order if not properly and promptly addressed.
The crisis rocking the state chapter of the party deepened, as the expulsion of three executive members, including Tiwie Orunimigha, the state Chairman, by the national secretariat has created factions within its fold.
The state government, in a bid to safeguard its property, in a letter to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), through the state Commissioner of Police, urged the Police boss to use his good office to prevail and order the APC to relocate their secretariat, as it (government) was determined to take possession of the property.
Addressing newsmen yesterday in Yenagoa, Agodah said copies of the letter have also been sent to the APC national secretariat and other relevant agencies.
He said the property, which belongs to the state government, was acquired in 2010 from Chief Ipiganzi Izagara, renovated and used as Government Guest House.
“The assessment, valuation and discussion towards the acquisition of the property was handled by the Executive Secretary of the Capital City Development Authority, the then Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Opuala Charles, and the former governor, Chief Timipre Sylva”.
“The property was duly paid for and the government took possession of the property as owner and the keys were handed over to the state government by Izagara,” he stated.
Agodah explained that while the present administration of Governor Seriake Dickson paid N23million, after an initial payment of N20million by the Sylva government, had used the property as a guesthouse and later as presidential campaign office.
He stated: “However, to the utter consternation of the government, the APC, Bayelsa state chapter, on July 17, 2015, forcefully broke into and gained entry into the premises of the already acquired and renovated government property and took illegal possession of the said property as their party secretariat and campaign office.
“Though the state government went to court and obtained an interim order on APC to vacate the premises, but the party refused to obey the court order and have been using the property since then.”
Agodah said the state government has restrained from forcefully ejecting the party from the premises for long in order not to heat up the polity, but the recent crisis within the party necessitated the quit notice order.
He said: “At the moment, the APC, Bayelsa State chapter, is in deep crisis, with opposing groups forcefully and intermittently taking possession of the property from each other.
“The property that government did not only pay for with the common patrimony of the people, but also renovated at great expense, is now in danger of being vandalised by opposing APC thugs, to the detriment of the interest of the government and people of Bayelsa State.”
When contacted on phone, the state APC Publicity Secretary, Mr. Panebi Jones, promised to respond to the issues raised by Agodah, which was not forthcoming at press time.