Bayelsa:Choice Of Running Mate Tears Sylva, APC Boss Apart | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Bayelsa:Choice Of Running Mate Tears Sylva, APC Boss Apart

Posted: Oct 6, 2015 at 3:34 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)
By Igoniko Oduma,Yenagoa

The political relationship between the flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva, and the state chairman of the party, Tiwei Orunimighe, has  been hit by crisis of confidence over the choice of running mate in the December 5 governorship election in the state.

Some APC supporters believed to be Orunimighe’s loyalists on Tuesday besieged the APC secretariat in Yenagoa to protest speculation that Sylva had dumped him and picked another person as running mate.

The placard-carrying supporters accused the former governor of reneging on his promise of running with Orunimighe, whom they claimed ‘cleared the way’ for Sylva to emerge as candidate at the party’s primary election on September 30,2015.

Daily Independent gathered that Sylva had reportedly settled for a retired school principal, William Egeri, from Orunimighe’s community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state, to be his deputy.

The protesting supporters, drawn from wards and local government areas of the state, threatened to work against the party unless Sylva dropped Egeri.

In anger, the protesting loyalists destroyed Sylva’s billboards and posters in major places in Yenagoa and insisted that if Sylva failed to run with Orunimighe, he should forget his ambition of returning to Government House.

They also shut down the state secretariat to prevent people from entering and coming out, maintaining that Orunimighe had worked so hard for the party’s survival and that he should not be used and dumped by the party.

Some of the placards carried inscriptions like, “Monkey work, monkey go chop”, ‘”Tiwei  Oruminighe is the choice of the grassroots, not anybody else”, “Why monkey work, bamboo wan chop”,  “No Tiwei, no Sylva’, “Sylva is an ingrate to pick somebody else”.

Speaking during the protest, Chairman, Ward 11, Yenagoa Local Govsrnment Area, Exodus Ebi, said by the protest, they were sending a message to the party’s national  leadership that Orunimighe remains their choice as running mate to Sylva.

Ebi claimed that the party chairman had worked hard enough for the party and he should be compensated with the position.

“We want to tell the party’s national leadership that if Sylva turns down Tiwei Orunimighe as his deputy, we will work against his candidacy. We do not mind jumping into the ship of the opposition.

“Enough of this nonsense. Before the whole struggle began, Sylva had prepared the mind of the man  that he would run with him.

“Now that he has emerged, he is giving flimsy reasons that Orunimighe is ambitious. What does he mean by that? Is there any man without ambition?  Tiwei is our choice and anything to the contrary will not be accepted”, he said.

Also, Chairman of all the Ward Chairmen in Bayelsa, Jephtha Ikure, described Orunimighe as the pillar of the party.

He said the demonstration was fueled by the injustice being suffered by the state chairman.

Another protester, Okoro Magbisa, said the protest would be sustained until Sylva reverted to the original plan to run with Orunimighe.

“Changing the rules of the game in the middle of the game cannot work. We are insisting that Sylva rescind his decision in the interest of party unity, justice and fair play.

“Going to choose  his running mate from a person who I don’t know whether he is a party member cannot work, except they do not want APC to win this state.  We are ready to defect to the opposition if this injusice is not corrected quickly”, he said.