The All Progressives Congress, APC, Bayelsa State Chapter has taken a swipe at the Elders Group, led by Chief Edwin Clark, over its position on the lingering political crisis in the Niger Delta region, describing the stance as biased, myopic and unpatriotic.
In a statement signed by the Publicity Secretary of the APC, Bayelsa Chapter, Doifie Buokoribo, the elders were accused of jumping to conclusions over the political situation in the zone and taking uncovered side with the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in its recently released statement said to be dripping malice and prejudice
The Elders had accused former Governor Timpire Sylva and the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi of being responsible for the crises in both Bayelsa and Rivers States respectively.
But Buokoribo countered the claim, saying it was a desperate position taken by a group apparently working for their self interests:
The attention of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bayelsa State Chapter, has been drawn to a statement by the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum entitled, “On Danger Signals From Rivers And Other States.”
In the statement signed by Chief E.K. Clark (PANDEF Leader); Chief Ayo Adebanjo (Afenifere Leader); Chief John Nwodo (President General, Ohaneze); and Dr Pogu Bitrus (President, Middle Belt Forum), they seemingly expressed concern about the situation in Rivers State over last Saturday’s elections.
They then added:
“There has been a spill over of the Rivers situation to Bayelsa State where Mr Timpire Sylva of the ruling APC has also been alleged to be terrorising residents with impunity.
“We call on the President to call Messrs Amaechi and Sylva to order and restore normalcy so that the electoral process in Rivers State in particular can be concluded.
“Indeed, if we are a Republic governed by law, Mr Rotimi Amaechi and Mr. Timpire Sylva should have been arrested by now for the wanton violence they have instigated.”
This statement clearly drips malice and prejudice.
Our party finds the statement offensive, unwarranted and disgraceful. Like most Nigerians, we know it as a matter of fact that these are partisan elders on the side of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). During the Presidential Elections, this group openly supported and campaigned for the defeated PDP Presidential Candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. These elders do not represent the interests of the ethnic nations they purport to speak for. They are only representing their pockets. And they have since made clear who is lining their pockets.
In the specific case of Bayelsa State, if anyone needs to be called to question concerning the elections, that person is Governor Henry Seriake Dickson. The governor and his party, the PDP, were the ones that unleashed war and terror on our suffering people. And they were the ones spreading fake news to incite violence and try to cover up their evil activities. They were so wild and uncontrolled that even the military had to issue a statement a few days ago to call Dickson and the PDP to order. That statement was widely publicised by the local, national, and international news channels. It is surprising that the forum did not read such a crucial statement before reaching the conclusions in their statement. They just decided to pick and choose those to slander.
But the thinking public knows Sylva is an innocent man. He is a man of peace.
Besides, as elders one would have expected the endorsers of that statement to reach out to Sylva and hear from him before releasing their statement. This is more so as, even by their own admission, the APC leader has only “been alleged” to do the things they referred to, and those making the allegation are known partisans in the said political contests.
But, alas, the elders have been so compromised that they are determined to deny their target even the right of fair hearing. With elders like Clark and his group, it is not surprising that our communal governance structures have become comatose. The elders in the Clark group are a disgrace to the South and the Middle Belt. And the earlier responsible people in the region begin to dissociate themselves from the group’s divisive prejudices, the better for the South and Nigeria.
By Gboyega Adeoye