Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The controversy surrounding the mode of primaries for the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primaries in Bayelsa assumed another dimension over the public spat between the minority leader of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Hon Wilson Ayakpo Dauyegha (Ekeremor constituency 2) and the party chairman, Jotham Amos at the VIP wing of the Port Harcourt International Airport.
A video had gone viral on the social media which showed a heated argument and fist-cuffs between Amos and Dauyegha who had questioned the appropriateness of signing a resolution that stakeholders had adopted a direct mode of primaries.
Dauyegha in the video was seen tearing the document and questioned the neutrality of the party chairman in the decision to adopt the mode of primaries for picking the party’s standard-bearer.
The lawmaker who confirmed the incident explained that trouble started when Jotham called him after the botched stakeholders’ meeting and requested to see him over the signing of a resolution.
“I told him that it was late because he called me at night. I promised to see him the next day but he said he was travelling to Abuja. I told him we would meet at the airport in Port Harcourt. The next day when I got to the airport, I saw him and went to meet him.
“When I got to his vehicle, a black Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV).The chairman asked me to enter his car. I did. He shut the doors. While in the car, the chairman brought a document and asked me to sign it. The chairman said I must sign the document. I don’t know what came over me. I almost sign the document because I was almost completing my signature when I held my pen and told the chairman that I must read the content of the document before signing.
“At that point, I glanced through even as he was trying to intimidate me to complete the signature. I then saw direct primaries in the paper and I screamed and held onto the paper. Having made an impression that could pass as my signature; I had no other option but to render the document invalid.
“All I did was to ensure that there was no impression suggesting that I signed the document. If that document had not been torn, the chairman would have used it against me and my will. I saw his action as undemocratic and I undertook a reasonable action to protect democracy”.
Meanwhile, party sources indicated that disciplinary action might be opened against the lawmaker as his actions were said to have embarrassed the party.