APC Crisis: Alaibe Overthrows Timipre Sylva

By Okonkwo Ilodibe Esq, Reporting For Political Watch

Bodise Wilson wrote: Opokuma-born Timi Alaibe may emerge as the APC Gubernatorial candidate while an Ambassador Felix Oboro will be adopted as the Party Chairman.

Now that the governorship election time table has been fixed for Dec. 5th, 2015 the public have the right to know the Chairman of APC and the candidates

1. Some people attribute it to the fact that the All Progressive Congress is an amalgamation of several odd political Parties such as CPC, ACN, the Labour Party and the splinter faction of the PDP; one finds it difficult to fathom the extent to which the APC is frequently embroiled in crisis of leadership and crisis of confidence. If the news making the rounds is anything to go by, the leadership of the APC in Bayelsa State might have changed hands.

2. In a stakeholders meeting held in GRA, Port Harcourt – in the residence of one of the APC stalwarts a couple of days ago, the final decision that the former Governor Mr. Timipre Sylva was not contesting led to the argument that he could not control the Party structure. One of the key resolutions taken was the adoption of the Opokuma-born Timi Alaibe as the Gubernatorial candidate while an Ekeremor Chief (name with held) was adopted as the Party Chairman. It was also resolved that a delegation should be sent to the APC National Working Committee and the Chairman of the Party Chief John Odigie-Oyegun to accept this group as the legitimate and authentic APC Chapter of the Party.

3. This writer tried to confirm with Chief Timipre Sylva if he was consulted, but a stalwart of APC close to him disclosed that since Timipre Marlin Sylva declared that he would not contest, it would be proper to present a strong candidate that will wrest power from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party. He was not opposed to the emergence of Timi Alaibe as the governorship candidate but queried why such a thing will happen without proper consultation. According to the Party faithful, the action of the Timi Alaibe Group amounts to hijacking the APC Party structure. “Timipre Sylva is the leader of the APC, and any attempt to supplant him will be resisted”, he said!

4. Already, there has been a brewing crisis as to who is the authentic Chairman of the APC. One faction of APC claims that Chief Tiwei Orunimigha has been replaced with Richard Kpodoh because Tiwei is permanently resident in Abuja and it is anomalous for a self-styled Chairman not to hold an EXCO meeting for 18 months. They also accused Tiwei of refusing to open a Bank Account and that he has refused to account for the sum of N248 million belonging to the Party. Another faction of the Party asserts that Chief Tiwei remains the Chairman in spite of the gross misconduct allegedly committed by him. This is a subtle way of admitting the damning allegations levied against the former embattled Chairman of APC Chief Tiwei Orunimigha. Could the allegations against Chief Tiwei Orunimigha may be true? I asked!

5. All attempts made by this writer to confirm with Mr. Tiwei Orunimigha and Chief Richard Kpodoh proved abortive as their lines were permanently switched-off. Whereas, APC appears to be towing the slippery slope of failure in terms of grassroots support, the Party is yet to grapple with the issue of who the authentic Chairman of the Party is in Bayelsa State, allegations of corruption and factional interests are also dividing the Party.

6. The third dimension of the challenges facing the Party is just emerging. It is no less troubling that a political Party that is struggling to have a foothold could be so embroiled in crises of confidence about embezzlement of funds and anti-Party activities. The Timi Alaibe faction may be a hard nut to crack because of the robust experience of the political gladiator and the caliber of his followership. A man who claimed anonymity said Alaibe is more acceptable and credible than Chief Timipre Sylva in terms of their pedigree, performance and followership. Ultimately, most pundits believe that the Sylva-led faction might concede defeat and collapse into the Alaibe camp. If that happens, the former occupant of Creek haven may be taking instructions from the stronger camp- the Alaibe-led Camp, which has fingered Ambassador Felix Oboro as Chairman, barring any last minute change of intentions, while a prominent Senator from Nembe may be Alaibe’s running

7. Political Watch believes that in the weeks ahead, the alignments and counter alliances would have taken shape and Bayelsans should be able do fairly accurate political permutations as to the political future of the State. My gesticulation is that the Alaibe faction, which is supported by some past political leaders and even some serving politicians in the Restoration Administration holds the ace but as events begin to unfold, time is the only thing that can tell the direction of the wind, but certainly the Port Harcourt Round is capable of changing things permanently for the APC as far as the governorship elections in 2016 are concerned.

9th July, 2015

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