A chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State, Hon. Sunday Frank-Oputu has offered reasons why the State High Court stopped the conduct of last Saturday ward congresses of the Party following the prompting of three aggrieved Party members in the state.
According to Frank-Oputu, though the Court has fixed August 9th for hearing into the substantive suit, the three aggrieved party members who dragged the party to court were denied opportunity to procure forms to contest and disallowed to participate in an enlarged meeting needed by party stakeholders to decide mode of election for the congress.
Hon. Sunday Frank-Oputu, who is a chieftain of the APC from Southern Ijaw Local Government and loyal to the Hon. Ebierien Fala Itubor faction of the party, while commenting on the aborted ward congress in the state, described the action of the aggrieved party members at approaching the court as legal and commendable, “I am happy and also disappointed at the same time.
We are in a political space, to the best of my knowledge if we must practice democracy as it is, we need to follow the lead and principles of every process.”
“The processes to the congress was very clear. Every state were expected to go back home with their leaders to hold an enlarged stakeholders meeting to decide on which mode of congress to be applied. It is either to go for normal open direct congress that is been done or we adopt consensus. But in Bayelsa APC, Chief Timipre Sylva refused to call for any stakeholders meeting rather they decide the mode of the congress in his house.”
“The plan by him and his cohorts was to come with a prepared list of ward executives and go back to Abuja that the Bayelsa APC executives were elected in a peaceful manner. But some members of the party insisted that such charade will no longer be allowed. They are members of the Party that bought forms to contest for the ward executive positions. Hence they approached the court to stop the faulty process. I want to thank these persons specially for doing the needful”.
Frank-Oputu noted that though he had wanted to approach the Court to stop the congress but stopped aawhen he discovered that the aggrieved contestants for ward executive position had approached the court, “We want to assure Nigerians, and Bayelsans in particular, that the process of the Congress that Sylva wanted to follow was wrong because there had been no stakeholders meeting before any Congress could be done in Bayelsa. I think there is in need for an enlarged stake holders meeting in which everybody in APC must attend and decide which mode of congress to take. Everybody must participate in the process to determine the mode of congress.”
“We are all members of the APC in Bayelsa and we have about three contending groups in the party. And all these groups have bought forms to contest for various position at the ward, local government and state executives. The question is, won’t all these persons be allowed to contest? They must be very clear on it until that all these persons who bought forms to participate in congresses are all called together and we agree in harmony, that yes’ the Congress is by consensus. if not, you are infringing on those peoples’ right. For me , it is very clear and we will not take chances this time around that the right thing must be done.”
He also warned the public and teeming party members to discountenance any blame game allegedly being planned by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva and his loyalists,”Sylva always play the blame game. The public should beware. He is always busy blaming the Minister of Transport, Chibuke Ameachi for his problem. At the end of the day, he’ll now say Amaechi is the one sponsoring us. He will rather say this other person sponsoring us. Mr A or Mr B will be putting the blame on others. But refuse to acknowledge the fact that he is the problem of APC over the years. So, I want to call on the general public to discountenance any allegations that will come from Sylva over this crisis.”
“Sylva is the one that is sponsoring people in different states to cause problem in the region particularly in river state. We all know what he is doing against Amaechi in River state but at no time had Amaechi come out to blame him for being the one sponsoring anything. But Sylva will always, whenever anything that happen in Bayelsa, blame others”
On threat of sanction against those who approached the Court to stop the ward congress in the state, Hon. Sunday Frank-Oputu dismissed the threat as “unnecessary”, “I don’t think anything of such will happen anywhere. As far as I’m concerned anybody exercising his right as a party member has the right to do so. And this party national in question had never give room for from anywhere to discuss and resolve issues at any given time. So, they have failed on their own”.
So, as far as Ii am concerned, APC is In the crossroad and anybody discussing issues of PAC should be notified that the party is at a crossroad and that we must do the things right to be able to come together and win the 2023 general elections that are by the corner”.