The Bayelsa Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may have been embroiled in a fresh crisis as the remaining aggrieved leaders in the party are seeking to remove the acting Chairman, Chief Serena Spiff-Dokubo, before the party’s primary election.
The leaders, who formed a splinter group, the PDP Unity Group (PUG), were said to have insisted that Dokubo was not qualified to hold the position.
Many stalwarts of the party, former political office holders and the party’s state Chairman, Col. Sam Inokoba (retd) have been deserting the PDP for the All Progressive Congress (APC).
The PUG is an anti-Governor Seriake Dickson’s group comprising mainly governor’s former aides who were controversially sacked and other party leaders not disposed to Dickson’s second term bid.
It was gathered that a meeting organized recently in Government House, Yenagoa, to resolve the impasse between the PUG and Dickson ended in a deadlock.
Members of the PUG led by its Coordinator, Mrs, Marie Ebikake, were said to have rebuffed all entreaties from Governor Seriake Dickson to sheathe their sword.
Ebikake and her group were said to have argued that Dokubo hails from a different zone (Bayelsa East) from the former chairman, Inokoba, (Bayelsa Central) contrary to the provisions of the party’s constitution.
Besides they were said to have pointed out that Dokubo despite parading himself as the acting chairman is also an employee in the state’s judicial service commission against the provisions of the party law.
Signs that the meeting ended in fiasco emerged yesterday following the decision of the group to send a petition to the Acting National Chairman of PDP demanding immediate removal of Spiff-Dokubo.
Copies of the letter signed by Ebikake and the group’s Secretary, Bokolo Bonsome, were sent to the Acting Chairman of PDP’s Board of Trustees and the party’s South-South Vice-Chairman.
The group in the letter said the appointment of Dokubo as the acting chairman of the party was illegal and a nullity from the beginning.
Quoting from Article 14.5 of the PDP constitution, the group posited that Dokubo was not supposed to have been appointed the acting chairman.
The Article said: “Where a vacancy occurs in any of the offices of the Party, the Committee shall appoint a substitute from the zone where the officer originated pending the conduct of election to fill the vacancy”.
The group explained: “By the current subsisting zoning arrangement of party offices in Bayelsa State, the State Chairmanship position is zoned to Bayelsa Central Senatorial District while the State Deputy Chairmanship position is zoned to Bayelsa East Senatorial District.
“The occupants of these positions until recently are Col. Sam Inokoba (retd.) (Bayelsa Central) Chairman and the Deputy Chairman was Chief Nyanayo Tubo (Bayelsa East).
“Before the unilateral and arbitrary appointment of Chief (Barr) Serena Dokubo-Spiff, we have it on good authority that Governor Dickson forced Chief Nyanayo Tubo to resign from his position as Deputy Chairman to contest election into the State House of Assembly, An election he lost scandalously to the APGA candidate for the State House of Assembly.
“The subsequent replacement of Barr Serena Dokubo-Spiff is considered an illegal and unilateral imposition on the Bayelsa East Senatorial District as it is clearly ultra vires, the provision of Article 14.5 of the constitution of the Peoples Democratic Party.
“Consequent on the above and being guided by the provisions of our party’s constitution we state that the nomination of a candidate to replace the former State Chairman Col Sam Inokoba (Rtd.) can only be validly conducted by the party’s stake holders from the Bayelsa Central Senatorial District.
“This submission is premised on the fact that the chairmanship position is zoned to the Bayelsa Central Senatorial District. Furthermore the office of the Deputy Chairman which is originally zoned to and occupied by somebody from the Bayelsa East Senatorial District can only be validly replaced by a nominee from the stake holders of that Senatorial District.
“It is pertinent therefore in the interest of justice to allow stake holders from the Bayelsa East Senatorial District to nominate a credible person to replace the former State Deputy Chairman who had resigned his position to contest election.
“We wish to emphasize that our continued insistence in doing what is right is for the overall interest of the party. As a group, we nurture no ambition but are committed to ensuring that the PDP triumphs in the December 5, governorship election.
“We therefore wish to appeal with all sense of humility and candour, that the speedy resolution of these demands will re-assure our party faithfuls and supporters of the commitment of the national leadership to an open, credible, and transparent conduct of party congresses for the forthcoming gubernatorial elections, which is a panacea to our party winning the forthcoming governorship election in the state.”
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