NEDU MARK, Yenagoa
Violent clashes occurred at the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bayelsa State headquarters in Yenagoa, as over two hundred aggrieved youths loyal to the state party Chairman, Tiewi Oruminighe confronted the party’s flagbearer in the forthcoming governorship elections in the state, former governor Timipre Sylva and his supporters over the choice of running mate for the poll.
Following the protests the party secretariat is currently under lock and key as loyalists to the party chairman, Tiwei Oruminighe tore up Sylva’s campaign posters.
Tiwei was reportedly promised by Timipre Sylva to be his running mate in the December 5 election., even as Sylva later picked one Wilberforce Igiri as his running mate.
The sudden change in the choice of running mate by Chief Timipre Sylva, angered the youths on Tuesday morning as it sparked off violence along Kpansaia and some streets of Yenagoa.
Igiri, is a former principal and a native of Foropa community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area while Orunimighe hails from Koluama community also in the same local government area.
The new Sylva running mate was described as a cool headed politician with the capacity to get the job done and boasts a humble disposition having been an administrator.
Sylva had in his acceptance speech after the party primary last Wednesday said it would no longer be ‘monkey work, baboon chop’ and emphasised that it would be ‘monkey work, monkey chop.’
The protesters who carried placards accused Sylva of reneging on his promise to Tiwei who they claimed made it possible for the former governor to clinch the party ticket for the forthcoming gubernatorial election.
Some of the placards read, ‘Monkey work, monkey go chop’, ‘Tiwe Oruminighe is the choice of the grassroots, not anybody else’, ‘Why monkey work, bamboo wan chop’, ‘No Tiwe no Sylva’ and ‘Sylva is an ingrate to pick somebody else’, among others.
They vowed to truncate Sylva’s ambition should he fail to run with Tiwei and vowed to sink the party while preventing movement in and out of the secretariat.
One Exodus Ebi, chairman of Yenagoa Ward 11 said they were sending message to the national leadership that Orunimighe remained their choice as Sylva’s running mate.
Jephtha Ikure and Okoro Magbisa also condemned the sidelining of Orunimighe describing it as a case of injustice.
The Timipre Sylva Campaign Organisation declined comment on the issue.
However, in a reaction, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, condemned Sylva’s action, noting that ‘deceit, lies and subterfuge’ were political tricks of the APC candidate over the years.
In a statement by its state secretary, Keku Godspower, PDP accused Sylva ‘of deceiving PDP members into joining APC with promises of the governorship ticket and collected huge sums of money from them without fulfilling his promise.’