The Bayelsa State chapter of the All Progressives Congress has dissociated itself from a letter purportedly written by ex-governor of the state, Timipre Sylva, seeking federal appointments.
The party also demanded the resignation of the Minister of State for Agriculture, Heineken Lokpobiri, whom it said, did not represent its interest at the federal level.
The Chairman of the Bayelsa State chapter of the APC, Chief Timipa Orunimighe, said this at a press conference at the party’s National Secretariat in Abuja on Wednesday.
Orunimighe, who was flanked by members of the party’s state executive committee members, said the party was left with no option but to bring their case to the party’s national secretariat after attempts to resolve the issues internally failed.
He alleged that Sylva, who is regarded as a party leader in the state, had arrogated to himself power that he did not possess.
The party chairman added, “Timipre Sylva wrote a letter on his personal letterhead to the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation with a list of people with their CVs for appointments without consulting the party.
“For that kind of communication, the party leadership, after due consultation, writes such letters on the party’s official letterhead but this was not the case.
“We also ask the Minister of State for Agriculture, Heineken Lokpobiri, to resign because he is not in tune with the policies and programmes of the APC administration.”
He explained that the party had approached the minister at its formative stage, adding that it even offered him its ticket to contest (the state governorship election), saying the then National Assembly member turned down the party, arguing that the APC lacked the capacity to win elections.
The chairman said it was a sad day for the party when Sylva, for reasons best known to him, pushed for Lokpobiri’s nomination and subsequent confirmation as a minister to work in an administration formed by a party he never believed had the capacity to win elections.
The chairman also accused Sylva of trading with slots allocated to the state chapter of the party.
He said the party’s national leadership had assured the state executive that it would look into the matter and ensure justice was done.
When contacted, Sylva, who was the party’s candidate in the last governorship election in the state, dismissed the party chairman’s allegations as a non-issue.
He alleged that Orunimighe was simply venting his frustrations for failing in his bid to corner the ministerial slot for himself.
Sylva accused some members of the state executive of the party of being interested in promoting their personal interests rather than the collective interest of the party.
The ex-governor added, “When the ministerial slot came, the chairman told me he wanted to be a minister and he is not qualified to be a minister.
“His only experience in Nigeria is that he had been a local government chairman and I made him the local government chairman.
“I told them that the people, who are joining us, we need to give them a sense of belonging and so, Heineken was nominated. We also looked at the spread in the state.
“I was contesting governor from the East; he, as the Chairman, is from the Central and Heineken is from the West, and so, I felt we should take somebody from the West to be a minister and Heineken became a minister.”
Sylva accused the party chairman of hobnobbing with the ruling Peoples Democratic Party in the state, alleging that soon after the APC lost the elections in the state, the state governor allegedly gave Orunimighe an undisclosed amount of money.