From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Less than 72 hours after it announced the suspension of three principal officers of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State, there was more trouble for the embattled suspended chairman of the party in the state, Chief Tiwei Orunimighe, as he has been expelled from the party.
Also expelled along with Orunimighe over allegations of romancing with the Peoples Democratic Party( PDP) were the former Vice- Chairman, Hon. Eddy Julius and the secretary, Mr. Marlin Daniel.
This was even as the party claimed that the APC was not in crisis in the state.
Orunimighe, his erstwhile deputy, Julius and former secretary, Marlin Daniel, were sacked from the party following allegations of anti-party activities after they had beeninvestigated by the South-south recommendation Zonal executive committee and recommended for expulsion.
Security agents had taken over the party secretariat following reports that the trio have been suspended by the National Working Committee ( NWC).
However, in separate letters to Orunimighe, Julius and Daniel over the weekend with reference number APC/NDQ/552/31/017/002 and signed by the National Secretary of the party, Hon. Mai Malla Buni, it was stated that the trio had been expelled from the party.
Buni disclosed in the letter that the NWC had adopted the recommendation by the Zonal Executive Committee “which deliberated on the Report of the Disciplinary committee that investigated your anti-party activities in Bayelsa state to the effect that you be suspended and ultimately expelled from the party”
It directed Orunimighe specifically to hand over all party property “in your possession to the Zonal Vice- Chairman Bayelsa Senatorial district with immediate effect, while the National Vice- Chairman South- South shall coordinate the state chapter of the party”
Stakeholders of the party reacting to reports of crisis over the expulsion of the trio reiterated that all party members should remain calm.
The statement read in part “We however use this medium to call on everyone, within and outside the party, to remain calm as the National Leadership of our great party is working to resolve and find mutual beneficial and lasting solution to the recent divergent views within the party, leading to the suspension of some key party officers by the National Working Committee on Thursday.”
“We are confident that as a party with deep rooted internal system of addressing issues proactively, this development will no doubt, at the end, strengthen our bond towards fulfilling the task ahead, which Nigerians expect us to deliver in line with our core values and democratic best practices.”
“We equally appreciate men of the Nigeria Police Force and the Department of State Services in their quest to ensure that peace and order is maintained at all times; however, we wish to state and be clear that the presence of security men at our party secretariat in Yenagoa on Friday, August 4, 2017 does not by any means suggest that the state APC is in crisis”