The Bayelsa State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) sunk deeper in a pool of crisis that has engulfed the party since the last gubernatorial poll that brought back Sariake Dickson of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as second term governor.
Rather than abate, the crisis escalated Saturday when a faction of the party headed by the state’s Chairman, Chief Tiwei Orunimighe, suspended its governorship candidate in the 2015 election, Chief Timipre Sylva alongside four others.
The other four are Joseph Fafi, the party’s senatorial Vice Chairman Central Zone; Fortune Panebi, Publicity Secretary; Tonye Okio, organizing Secretary; and Edison Sogwe – for allegedly conniving with Mr. Sylva, a former governor of the state, to destabilize the party.
A statement jointly signed by the APC Chairman in the state, Timipa Orunimighe and Secretary, Daniel Marlin, said the decision to suspend the five was taken at an emergency state executive meeting of the party after due consultations with its senior officials and elders in the state.
Orunimighe described the decision to suspend Sylva as “painful but necessary” following the pending investigations brought to the party against him.
Sylva was said to have been suspended for anti party activities.
“We have it on good record Timipre Sylva, last week Tuesday precisely, paid a clandestine visit to one of the south-south Governors of the PDP; this is just one of the series of correspondences between them and we find it grossly unbecoming.
It said the action of the former governor was in direct breach of Article 21 under ‘Offences’ in the party constitution which states in section 2, ‘Anti-Party activities or any conduct, which is likely to embarrass or have adverse effect on the party or bring the party into hatred, contempt, ridicule or disrepute’ is punishable.
It also said by trying to form a parallel executive committee, Mr. Sylva’s action “is in complete defiance of Article 21, under offences which states, ‘Factionalization or creating parallel party organs at any level’ is punishable by the extremists of means.”
The party said the former governor’s “antics betrays the present posture of Buhari’s regime which has cardinal virtues of honesty, sincerity and transparency.”
It also accused Mr, Sylva of engaging in corruption, indiscipline and trading of political offices.
“We find it deeply embarrassing his relentless efforts to commercialize political offices.
“Worse still, is that, members of the opposition who vehemently stood against the change ideal and still do not believe in our party’s course are with him on the bargaining table.
“This is not in fidelity with the party’s constitution which states in Article 21, section 1, subsection 3 of the party constitution.
“We have tried on countless occasions to advise him on the dangers of his untoward behaviours, but each time we are faced with threats and insults,” the statement said.
“The party will not tolerate acts of Indiscipline from anyone no matter how highly placed the individual”, the statement added.
Earlier on Friday, Orunimighe and the Secretary of the party,, Marlin Daniel, were suspended by the executive members of the party in the state.
Publicity Secretary of the party, Panebi Fortune, who is among four other persons suspended alongside Sylva described their suspension as a huge joke, saying Orunimighe and Daniel had no powers to suspend them.