Bayelsa APC Suspends Ex-Governor Timipre Sylva
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The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the December 5 election, Timipre Sylva, was on Saturday suspended by the state chapter of the party, further deepening the crisis that has engulfed it since the poll.
Silva was suspended indefinitely along with four others for alleged anti party activities, among other reasons.
The others, Joseph Fafi, the party’s senatorial vice chairman central zone, Fortune Panebi, publicity secretary, Tonye Okio, organizing secretary and Edison Sogwe allegedly conspired with Silva, a former governor of the state, to destabilize the party.
In a statement jointly signed by the state chairman and secretary of the party, Timipa Orunimighe and Daniel Marlin respectively, the APC said the decision to suspend Silva and the others was taken at an emergency meeting of the state executive of the party after due consultations with other senior officials and elders in the state.
A day earlier, in what appeared like a game of musical chairs, Panebi had announced the suspension of Orunimighe, Marlin and the deputy state chairman of the party, Eddy Julius, for alleged misconduct and embezzlement.
However, in their joint statement issued on Saturday, Orunimighe and Marlin said that they took the decision to suspend the five prominent members of the party in the state in order to allow investigation of cases brought against them, including anti-party activities, corruption, as well as an attempt to form a parallel executive committee in the state.
They stated that Sylva was suspended in order “to save the image of the party and restore confidence among members,” adding that the committee that would investigate the allegations against the former governor and “his cronies” would be inaugurated next week.
Among other accusations, Silva was alleged to have visited some South south governors of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, last week ostensibly to commence talks about returning to the party under whose banner he won an election as governor in 2007.
“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,” the party stated, adding that “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(2) of the party’s constitution which states that: “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 accused Mr, Sylva of engaging in corruption, indiscipline and trading of political offices.
The party said it had tried to rein in its governorship candidate in the last guber polls in the state unsuccessfully and was eventually forced to suspend him.
“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,” it said.
“The party will not tolerate acts of Indiscipline from anyone no matter how highly placed the individual.”
Reacting to the announcement of the state chairman of the party a day earlier, the APC said that it was “a classic case of an April fool day joke, noting that by virtue of Article 21 (d) of its constitution, only the national executive committee could suspend the chairman on the recommendation of the South South zonal executive committee.