The two contending factions of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Bayelsa state have, again, conducted two state parallel congresses in a peaceful manner without bloodshed and violence with two state executive committee of the party emerging.
The congress held by the faction of the party led by the former Governor Timipre Sylva and the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri took place at party secretariat with the emergence of Comrade Jonathan Amos as chairman, Ogeiburi as Vice Chairman and Alabo Martins as Secretary.
The state congress was supervised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the chairman of the state congress!/Appeal Committees of the party, Col.Ahmed Buswan.
The faction led by a former acting Governor and former Speaker, Rt. Hon. Nestor Binabo held a parallel congress at the Azikoro primary school along the Azikoro village road of the state capital and supervised by the INEC and the Secretary of the state congress/Appeal Panel Committee, Ambassador Sunny Abate.
A parrallel State Executive Committee of the Party also emerged with Deacon Joseph Fafi as chairman. Fafi was the immediate past acting chairman of the party.
Both were, however, well attended and conducted under tight security.
It was gathered that the parallel congresses held in Yenagoa by the APC was due to the disagreement on a shift to Monday to avoid division. The disagreement also led to one faction grabbing the secretary and the other grabbing chairman of the supervisory committee.
While the Sylva faction grabbed the chairman of the committee, the Nestor Binabo faction grabbed the Secretary and members of the committee with the congress materials.
While briefing newsmen after the conduct of the parallel congress, Rt. Hon. Nestor Binabo and the Secretary, Ambassador Sunny Abate denied knowledge of the Sylva’s state congress held at the secretariat.
He said: “The process was completed and well attended. I thank the party members and stakeholders for conducting themselves peacefully.”
Also at the congress held at the party secretariat, voting was done peacefully with adoption of affirmative votes to endorse the decision of the stakeholders of the party. .
While speaking, Chief Timipre Sylva Senator Heineken Lokpobiri accused the Seriake Dickson administration of squandering a whooping N1.8tn in six years.
Sylva, who is the state leader of APC, told party members that APC is a party formed to look after the needs of the masses, saying that unfortunately, the government in Bayelsa is a kleptocracy.
He said: “Over N1trn, nothing to show for it. I came into Bayelsa State yesterday, the darkness I saw, I have not seen it in the darkest place around. What is happening in Bayelsa State? The stench from the garbage I could not believe it. Now on top of over N1trn, the government has borrowed another N800bn, yet it cannot pay salaries, it is sacking people.
“What is happening in Bayelsa State? Now, on top of all this, this government has also received about $164m from Paris Club refund, yet this government is owing another $216m.
“Are we going to continue to have a state like this? A state that has made it a state policy to impoverish the people; a state that has decided to make hunger a weapon of war against its own people. Where are we going?
“Only the APC can change this situation. Only the APC can help Bayelsa state to get out of the mess that we find ourselves. This congress we are doing today is the early process of salvaging this state from this imminent disaster and calamity that is awaiting us.”
He thanked members and leaders for the peaceful conduct of the ward congress, of the local government congress and now the peaceful conduct of the state congress.
On his part, Senator Lokpobiri said there is no alternative to the APC, noting that the party stands against corruption.
He noted that Bayelsa had got about N1.8tn in six years, yet the same government had taken loans of about N800bn without anything to justify the huge amount.
The minister said: “This is the opportunity to tell the good people of Bayelsa that there is no alternative to APC. APC stands against corruption. Bayelsa today has got over a trillion naira in six years.
“The government has taken loans of over N800bn and all of us come from the smallest state of Nigeria. I want you to reflect from this moment, what has been done in your community, what has been done in your local government that can justify N1.8trillion. What Bayelsa has got, all the 19 northern states put together by way of allocation have got less than that in six years.”
“That is why I said it is only we Bayelsans that can save ourselves from this poverty; it is only we Bayelsans that can save ourselves from this oppression, it is only we that can save our jobs. Everyday, we hear about job losses in the state.”