The crisis rocking the Bayelsa State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, took a new twist as the state government ordered for immediate vacation of its secretariat located along Melford Okilo expressway, Kpansia, Yenaoga.
Briefing newsmen in Yenagoa, the Solicitor General of Bayelsa State and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Justices, Mr. Preye Ageda, Esq. said the state government acquired the said property in 2010 from one chief Ipigansi Izagara.
He said: “in the year 2010, the Bayelsa State Government acquired a property belonging to Chief Ipigansi Izagara along Chief Melford Okilo Express Way, Kpansia – Epie Yenagoa as a Government Guest House. The assessment, valuation and discussions towards the acquisition of the property was handled by the Executive Secretary of the Capital City Development Authority, the then Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Opuala Charles and the former Governor of Bayelsa State Chief Timipre Sylva.
“The property was duly paid for and the government took possession of the property as owner and the keys were handed over to the state Government by Chief Ipigansi Izagara.
“Thereafter, the property was rehabilitated by Gefesco Enterprises Nigeria Limited for a total sum of Forty Three Million Naira (43,000,000.00) of which the final payment of Twenty Three Million Naira (N23, 000,000.00) was made by the current administration after an initial payment of Twenty Million Naira (20,000,000.00) by its predecessor.
“The government had subsequently used the property as Presidential Campaign office and after the said use, the keys to the property were handed over to Chief Ikiogha who was then the Chief of Staff, Government House. It is to be noted that the said Chief Ikiogha defected to the ALL Progressives Congress (APC) without handing over the keys to the property”.
The solicitor General further recounted that the APC allegedly broke and gained entry into the property and took illegal possession of it.
“To the utter consternation of the Government of Bayelsa State, the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bayelsa State Chapter on the 17th day of July, 2015 forcefully broke into and gained entry into the premises of the already acquired and renovated Government property and took illegal possession of it as their party secretariat and campaign office”.
He also noted that the state government, rather than taking any action that could occasion a breakdown of law and order, proceeded to the state High Court and obtained an interim order for the party to vacate the property, ‘which they refused to obey’.
“While the capacity of the state government to also retaliate by forcefully ejecting the APC from its Guest House is not in any doubt whatsoever, no such step has been taken as such will unnecessary heat up the polity.
“Be that as it may, recent developments within the Bayelsa State APC require that urgent steps be taken to ensure that the said property is protected from avoidable damages and the resulting waste of Government resources. At the moment, the APC Bayelsa State chapter is in deep crisis with opposing groups forcefully and intermittently taking possession of the property from each other”, he added.
He called on the Inspector General of Police, Director General, State Security Services, State Director of Security, the Brigade Commander, 16 Brigade, Nigeria Army, the Commandant Nigerian Civil Defense Corp and the National Chairman, All Progressives Congress to call the Bayelsa State APC to order to avoid any breach of the peace.
Akam James Yenagoa