From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The power tussle in Bayelsa Chapter of the Labour Party (LP) has assumed a different dimension with the sack of the state party chairman, Mr Eneyi Zidougha over allegations abuse of party funds, anti- party activities and illegal switching of candidates of the party.
The former Vice- Chairman, Bayelsa Central, Mr Ebi Sikpi was immediately nominated to replace the sacked chairman.
Before the removal of Zidougha, members of the party led by Abraham Gillet, the leader of the Concerned Labour Party members had staged a protest in front of the party secretariat protesting the refusal of armed policemen to allow them access into the party secretariat.
They had insisted that as bonafide party members, they need no permission to attend a duly convened party congress.
Confirming the change in leadership, Assistant Secretary of the Party, Mr Theophilus Taribo, explained that Sikpi’s nomination as the new chairman was done in accordance with the law and carried out during a well-attended Congress held at the party secretariat in Yenagoa.
According to him, with Sikpi as the new chairman, LP in Bayelsa State is now well-positioned to garner support and work tirelessly for the victory of all of its candidates in the 2023 general elections
Speaking in his acceptance speech, Sikpi promised to resolve all lingering animosity in the party caused Zidougha.
He pledged to also to work in unity with the executives, organised labour and party members to redeem the image of the party in the state.
The sack of Zidougha has been backed by the Bayelsa State Political Commission of the Organized Labour comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) also known as the Workers Political Movement (WPM).
The group in a resolution by its John Angese and David Emiebor, Chairman and Secretary respectively had accused Zidougha of running the affairs of the party like a personal empire without recourse to the party executive.
He was also accused of high handedness in the discharge of his duties; trading with the party for pecuniary gains; creation of factions which has balkanized the various support groups in the state leading to lukewarm attitude of party members which was evident during the presidential rally in the state.
However, reacting to his sack as Chairman, Zidougha who denied all the allegations against him also dismissed his removal.
“I am still in charge as the party chairman. My purported removal was unconstitutional and did not follow due process. They did not have the approval to hold a congress,” he said.