A South-South All Progressives Congress (APC) group, the Young Stakeholders Forum (YSF), has warned that only the intervention of the Presidency in reconciling feuding party members and factions in Bayelsa State can guarantee a victory for the party in the November 16 governorship election.
The group, in statement made available to reporters in Abuja, called on the national leadership of the party to urgently convene a reconciliatory meeting involving all state party stakeholders to ensure victory ahead of the election.
While confident that the chances of the APC winning the Bayelsa governorship remains high, the group warned that the party’s governors forum, the Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC) and the Bayelsa State party leadership under former Governor Timipreye Sylva, must let go of political rancour and reach out to major stakeholders in Bayelsa politics.
In the statement signed by its coordinator, Charles Ibinabo, the group said that after a careful study of what might be the outcome of the election, the APC winning Bayelsa would largely depend on the Presidency convening an urgent round table meeting with all aggrieved governorship aspirants in the state to secure their commitment to the election.
The group listed the stakeholders to include Timi Alaibe’s political family, including former APC Bayelsa state chairman Tiwe Orunimighe, and the former APC Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Timi Frank, who had predicted a victory for the APC.
The statement reads: “Timi Alaibe’s political family cannot be ignored in Bayelsa politics. This is a man with massive supporters across all the political parties in the state and being a former APC leader in the state, he should be talked to.
“For the former APC state chairman, Tiwe Orunimighe and the former APC deputy spokesman, Timi Frank, their support becomes necessary because of their antecedents, the area they come from and their influence in Bayelsa politics.
“In 2015, Timi Frank was in APC and his prediction of the then candidate of the party came to pass. He has also said that APC will take over Bayelsa in the forthcoming election; we should embrace these voices and bring them on board to achieve total victory.
“We recalled that in the last governorship election in Osun State, the party stakeholders reached out to members of the opposition political parties like Chief Oyiola Omisore and it brought about the victory for APC.
“We are also in the know that the PDP is more desperate to win the state again, and it has set up a reconciliation panel headed by the former Senate President Bukola Saraki. We expect our party to move fast and reach out to those we think can add value to APC winning more state in the South-South.
“This is the time for the Presidency to intervene in bringing these stakeholders to dialogue and assuage their feelings against each other and the party. The Presidency must do it urgently if they want victory for the party in the November 16 Bayelsa governorship election.”
The young APC stakeholders, however, revealed that on its own part, it has set up a five-man delegation to meet Chief Alaibe, Tiwe Orunimighe and even Timi Frank in Dubai, among others, before the election.
“We want to specifically appeal to the Minister of Petroleum, Timipreye Sylva, to forget about whatever might have transpired between him and the aforementioned previously, and give peace a chance to achieve the desire goal for the APC,” the statement read.