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Bayelsa PDP Leadership Crisis Deepen, Leaders Write Jonathan, Demand Removal Of Chairman

The crisis rocking the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bayelsa State chapter deepened on Thursday following the decision of the state party leaders to send a protest letter to President Goodluck Jonathan demanding immediate removal of their Chairman, Col. Sam Inokoba (retd).

It was gathered that the decision to formally lodge complaints to Jonathan was borne out of a discovery that Inokoba was enjoying the protection of the Presidency.

Inokoba was recently suspended by the State Working Committee (SEC) over some allegations including the diversion of N40million out of the N70million donated to the party by the Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke.

The SEC and other party leaders were said to be angry that few weeks after they sent a recommendation to the party’s National Working Committee demanding the sacking of the chairman, NWC has yet to act on their request.

The leaders threatened mass defection to the opposition if the Presidency continued to shield the chairman.

It was gathered that the party leaders decided to formally intimate the President about the alleged misdeeds of Inokoba as a mark of respect for him before dumping the party.

The stakeholders comprising the SWC, all the party chairmen in the local government areas and wards as well as non-executive officials were said to have signed up for the protest letter which called for the immediate sacking of the chairman.

Copies of the letter, it was gathered, will be sent to the governor, the National Chairman of the party and the National Secretary.

They were said to have resolved to write the letter after extensive deliberations in series of meetings they held in Yenagoa.

The stakeholders were said to have concluded that as the leader of the party, President Jonathan should be duly informed of “Inokoba’s excesses and shortcomings”.

According to them if not checked, Inokoba’s attitude was capable of jeopardizing the party’s chances at the polls next month.

A source who is privy to the decision said the letter outlined alleged leadership excesses and failures of Inokoba.

The source who spoke in confidence also said the letter contained an enclosed copy of the signed suspension document which listed party officials who endorsed the suspension.

“The signed list revealed that out of the 14 state working committee members, 13 of them signed and one person was absent. Out of the 15 non-working committee members, all of them signed.

“Going by the party structure, the 15 non-working committee members are like assistants to the 14 working committee members. Also, the eight local government chairmen who make up the complete structure of the party and which make up the state executive, all signed the suspension letter”, the source said.

He said the party leaders in the letter called on the President not to shield Inokoba saying the he no longer commanded the respect of members of the party.

He said the stakeholders also made a categorical demand that the President should not allow his personal relationship with Inokoba to affect the operation and collective decision of the party.

He said they listed the sins of Inokoba as several acts of financial impropriety including the diversion of the N70million and working with disgruntled politicians in Abuja who do not mean well for the state to replace popular candidates who emerged through a free, credible and fair party primaries.

He further said that the leaders in the letter accused the chairman of undermining the collective decision of the executive committee to pursue a selfish agenda.

The source said: “They are urging the President not to treat the matter lightly or else risk the party’s fortune at next month elections and future elections.

“They have every reason to believe that Inokoba is acting the scripts of some persons at the corridors of power in Abuja, particularly those with vested political interest in the power equation and control of the state.

“Unfortunately, it is one script that is sure to consume the party and everyone in the state if not quickly checked.

“They are calling on the President not to be deceived by Inokoba’s antics and political theatrics which are backed up by some persons who are hell bent on hijacking the party structure in the state.

“They said they are writing the letter out of respect for the person of the President whom they referred to as father and leader.

The source added: “The leaders want to go into the election as a united family whose strength cannot be compromised by filthy lucre. They leaders said they have done everything to resist the attempt by Inokoba’s backers and sponsors to induce them with cash so as to surrender the party’s machinery.”


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