Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
A South-South founding member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Richard Kpodo, is at loggerheads with the leadership of the party in the state over the pending Bayelsa West Senatorial District election.
Kpodo, who had earlier endorsed former Governor Henry Seriake Dickson of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), had again in a statement cautioned his party (APC) from fielding a candidate in the election.
While insisting that it would be foolhardy for the APC to deploy a disorganised and uncoordinated structure against highly-spirited and organised PDP in the forthcoming poll, he noted that Dickson as a governor built a strong PDP structure which had been inherited by his anointed successor, Governor Douye Diri, and that the APC leader in the state and Petroleum Minister, Chief Timipre Sylva, was pursuing a selfish agenda.
The leadership of the party have, however, distanced themselves from Kpod’s endorsement of Dickson, declaring that he is no longer a member of the party.
The APC, in a statement issued in Yenagoa and signed by the State Secretary, Hon Alabo Martins, said that no amount of sponsored attacks against the leader of the party in the state and Minister of State, Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, would affect the chances of the party in the election.
“Sylva is and will remain the leader of the party in Bayelsa State. Furthermore, APC was brought to the state by Chief Timipre Sylva. The party is formidable and fully ready to take part in the next rounds of senatorial elections. And with our capable aspirant, the party will be fielding, it will coast to victory as it did in the last gubernatorial election. Kpodo is not a member of the APC in Bayelsa, neither had he been ever made or contracted to be a spokesperson of the party. His activities have shown he is not an APC member and can never be one. Seriake Dickson is his kinsman and he is doing his bidding,” the party stated.