A onetime chairman of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) in Bayelsa state, Hon. Sunday Frank-Oputu, has offered reason why the last Saturday ward congress of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the 105 wards of the state was peaceful and orderly, saying the opposition party is ready to defeat the administration of the PDP.
According to Frank-Oputu, though past crisis and violence during congresses were instigated by sponsored agents and bad eggs within the party, the decision by the leaders of the APC to allow voting at the last congress at the ward level and allow the party members to choose leaders led to a peaceful congress devoid of rancour.
Frank-Oputu, who is also a chieftain of the APC and aspirant for the position of chairman of the party come May 18th state congress, told journalists in Yenagoa that the peaceful conduct in the party will also be witnessed during the local government and state congresses of the party.
Frank-Oputu said: “I believe the outcome of the last ward congress was very peaceful. Many of our detractors were expecting violence to erupt but we disappointed them and also won over those who desire to join us in the build up to a vibrant internal democracy. The past cases of violence were instigated by bad eggs who never allowed the party members to participate in the process but write names in the closet of their bed rooms. ”
On the position of the former Governor Timipre Sylva against the alleged wrong issuance of an exparte injunction to a sacked chairman of the APC by a state high Court Judge, Frank-Oputu described the order issued by the court as misplaced and ill advised.
He said though the exparte order given does not stop the ward congress as alleged planned, the decision by the sacked chairman, Chief Tiwei Orunimighe, and the court to grant such order showed they lack proper knowledge of political activities and rules.
He also noted that the order issued by the court was faulty on technical ground and should be disregarded as a failed venture in law.
According to him: “Can anybody plant a dead wood and expect it to grow? The sacked chairman does not understand that he was sacked by over 83 per cent of State Working Committee of the party and ratified after various committees’ reports. First he should have sought the order reinstating him as member of the party before seeking reinstatement as chairman.
“This showed that the judgment was secured on failed ground. Without contesting his suspension/expulsion, he is seeking to be reinstated as chairman. Which party will he preside over? As far as the party is concerned, the exparte order failed and lack locus. It was ill advised and should be disregarded.”
On his ambition to contest the position of the state chairman of the party, he said his interest in the chairmanship position is based on a vision for the setting up of a vibrant opposition built on a solid political party front like the All Progressive Congress (APC).
Frank Okputu said: “If voted to become the APC chairman in Bayelsa, we will build a vibrant opposition that had previously been declared dead in Bayelsa. The present administration will now know that opposition exists not on pages of the papers but in action. As a party, Bayelsans will become the centre of focus and will not allow the present administration to treat them as second class citizens.
“We will ensure that the people of the state are not harassed, intimidated, arrested and jailed unjustly. The Nigerian police and other security agencies will be made to work without fear or skewed influence by the ruling administration. Bayelsa workers will receive political support. And the party will ensure that salaries of workers are paid and those days of draconian sack will be over.”