*As TAN Hijacks Bayelsa APC, To scheme out Slyva’s faction for Governorship Ticket
Facts are beginning to emerge over the recent defection of the former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC), Mr. Ndutimi Alaibe, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, Col. Sam Inokoba, (rtd) and others to the All Progressives Congress, (APC).
Findings by a socio-political group; Bayelsa for Good Governance, revealed that their decision was aimed at escaping the sledge hammer of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), noting their activities while in office as public/political office holders.
This was contained in a statement signed by its chairman, Mr. Perefini Ebiye and made available to newsmen in Yenagoa.
The statement revealed that the EFCC is beaming its searchlight on the activities of Alaibe as the Director of Finance and Managing Director of NDDC, Senator Lokpobori, as former Chairman of the Senate committee on sports and Col. Inokoba as the former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), Bayelsa state.
According to the statement, the EFCC, in line with President Muhammadu Buhari zero tolerance for corruption is investigating the activities of these set of people while in office and if found culpable may be charged to court.
The allegations against Alaibe, according to our findings include the disappearance of the sum of N19 billion earmarked for the completion of some key NDDC projects which he diverted and used part of it to fund the third term project of former President, Olusegun Obasanjo. In the case of Retired Col. Sam Inokoba, the former Bayelsa State PDP Chairman, he is scheduled to keep a date with the EFCC over the misappropriation of party’s funds, following a petition written by some party stalwarts and made available to the anti-graft agency.
Senator Lokpobiri on his part was alleged to have misappropriated the sum of N5 billion regarded as funds earmarked for the development of key projects in his constituency being the senator representing Bayelsa West senatorial district between 2007 and 2015.
Sensing the danger ahead, the affected politicians decided to defect to the All Progressives Congress, (APC) in order to escape the sledge hammer of the anti-graft agency.
Meanwhile, the impending implosion in APC in Bayelsa State as earlier predicted by political pundits is already creating ripples in the party, as TAN group which is the backed by former First Lady Dame Patience Jonathan, is set to dislodge the APC faction led by former governor Sylva in picking up the governorship ticket. The power game and quest as to who will clinch the APC governorship ticket to fly the party’s flag in the December 5governorship election is generating a lot of tension in the state. It is said that almost every one who decamped in last Saturday’s mega rally have governorship ambitions.
According to a reliable source, the APC in Bayelsa will have a huge task in choosing its flag bearer owing to the number of persons within its fold who are nursing governorship ambition. If the party fails to conduct a transparent primaries to pick its candidate, that will automatically affect its chances at the polls.
The source further went to say that with the backing and influence of former First Lady, the TAN group has succeeded in hijacking the party structure from Timipre Sylva, who is regarded as the leader of the party in the state. While the former First Lady through TAN is backing the emergence Senator Heineken Lokpobiri as APC governorship candidate with the choice of Werinipre Seigbarugu as his deputy, the former governor, Timipre Sylva on the other hand is said to be favourably disposed to the candidacy of Nestor Binabor, former acting governor and Speaker of the State House of Assembly. There are also speculations that he is backing Warman Ogoriba for the position of deputy governor.
A third group led by former NDDC Managing Director, Timi Alaibe, is also lobbying the party leadership at the centre to back him to clinch the governorship ticket. Unconfirmed report says he has the tacit support and backing of Bola Tinubu, a key leader and chieftain of the party.
Political observers in Bayelsa argue that the mantle may fall on Alaibe, following his solid connection and wide contact especially with key stakeholders and top leaders of the party at the centre.africanexaminer.