Condemnation has continued to trail the thursday evening suspension of the former Minister of State for Agriculture and rural development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri and twelve others by the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State.
According to the State Publicity Secretary of the APC, Doifie Ola Buokoribo,Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, the former member of the President Buhari campaign Council, Engr.Preye Aganaba and eleven other chieftains of the party over alleged anti-party activities.
Other chieftains of the Party suspended include the State Deputy Chairman, Orubebe Ogeibiri, a Former Member of the Federal House of Representative and the Director-General of the Lokpobiri Governorship campaign organization, Hon. Wraman Ogoriba, a former member of the Board of Trutee of the Party, Hon.Perez Peretu.
Also suspended are the former State Party Chairmanship aspirant, Hon. Sunday Frank-Okputu, a former House of Representative aspirant, Hon. Osom Blackson, Samuel Aredeh, Ebierein Falla Itubo, Pius Otia and a former Publicity Secretary of the Party, Hon. Fortune Panebi.
Buokoribo, in the statement, stated that the suspension of Senator Heineken Lokpobiri and twelve others followed the recommendation of the fact finding and disciplinary committee inaugurated on 31st of July,2019 and in accordance with article 21(B) and (D) of the APC constitution 2014(as amended).
According to the Statement,” the committee objectively looked into the several allegations of anti-party activities leveled against them that ran contrary to the provision of the APC constitution, morally and good conscience which brought about great electoral misfortune for the party.”
But a Chieftain of the APC from the Southern Ijaw Local Government Council and one of the suspended party members, Hon. Sunday Frank-Oputu described as “laughable and Illegal” the reported suspension of Senator Heineken Lokpobiri and twelve chieftains of the party over alleged anti-party activities.
He described those who purportedly signed the suspension order as among those suspended last year that are members of the factions loyal to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva.
According to Hon. Frank-Oputu, the duo of the purported Chairman of the Party,Jothan Amos and Secretary, Alabo Martins had last year been suspended over alleged N2 million fraudulent withdrawal of party funds without approval from the State Executives of the Party.
Hon. Sunday Frank-Oputu, who was among those purportedly suspended,in response to the development,said “the announced suspension is shameful and laughable because Sylva and those who sign the suspension order were suspended over fraud. I had exposed them with a copy of the counter bank checks used to perpetuate the fraud without recourse to the Party exco.”
“But the embattled National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole with his known impunity however did not take action because of his illegal and unholy deal with Timipre Sylva. And now they have come up with a clueless claim of suspension. When did they set up a disciplinary committee? when were those purportedly suspended called to appear before the fake committee? It is an illegal suspension and the people should discountenance it.”
‘I don’t even know which party they are talking about.Is it the APC in Okpoama?or is it the one in his bedroom in Abuja. All genuine members of the APC in Bayelsa should remin calm.Sylva is no longer the leader of the Party.”
Frank-Oputu however announced that the State Executive of the Party purportedly led by Jothan Amos is illegal and unknown,” They don’t have the power of the State Executive committee. The original State executive Committee is with us.And Senator Lokpobiri is the new leader of the APC in Bayelsa.”
The Chairman of Ward 8 in Ekeremor main town in Ekeremor Local Government area of the State, Hon. Japan Christopher, described the suspension of Senator Lokpobiri as null and void,’ it can not stand anywhere within the party.
Hon. Japan Christopher, confirmed that Ward 8 of the APC in Ekeremor Local Council area is where the Senator, Heineken Lokpobiri comes from, and that those who purportedly sat and concorted the suspension order,’are joking and have no powers to suspend Lokpobiri.’
‘He said ‘upon hearing the news on Thursday, we called a meeting of the ward 8 Executives and after close deliberation,’we have passed a vote of confidence on Senator Lokpobiri. He is a credible leader at the ward,local government and National levels. He operates an all inclusive style of leadership.’
The ward Chairman also pointed out that instead of involving the ward chairmen in the purported deliberations which they claimed led to Lokpobiri alleged anti-party activities, they sat in an hotel and write a suspension order. We reject it and declare from the ward level that the suspension order is illegal.’
Japan Christopher call on APC faithfuls in the stat to remain calm and treat the purported suspension order issued by a few disgruntled elements as ‘null and void’