The Bayelsa State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) says the man the People Democratic Party (PDP) was celebrating as a decampee was a dismissed party member. The APC said the planned defection of a former state chairman, Tiwei Orunimighe, to the PDP, was expelled since August 2017.
APC State Publicity Secretary, Doifie Buokoribo, said in a statement on Monday that Orunimighe was no longer in its fold and described as irresponsible, the attempt to use the party as a leverage in his negotiations as he has the right to join any party of his choice.
Orunimighe, a former chairman of Southern Ijaw Local Government Council, was accused of anti-party activities during the past governorship election in the state and was expelled by the APC.
However, he went to court to challenge his expulsion and a high court in Sagbama declared him as state chairman of the APC just 18 days to the end of his tenure.
It was reliably gathered that Orunimighe was part of aggrieved APC members who organised a parallel state congress at Azikoro, Yenagoa though they eventually lost out as the national leadership of the party did not recognize the parallel congresses nationwide.
The APC statement read in part: “Orunimighe and his group of renegades were expelled from APC for anti-party activities since August last year by the party’s National Working Committee (NWC).
“The party advised members of the public to disregard the defection claim by people who want to join a party of their choice. APC in Bayelsa State remains intact, united, strong, and focused.”
Bayelsa State has witnessed a wave of defections with politicians either defecting from the APC to PDP and vice versa; the high point being the defection of Ibarakumo Otobo who was Commissioner for Youth Development from the PDP to the APC on June 20 this year.
It would be recalled that Governor Henry Seriake Dickson’s Special Adviser on Grassroots Mobilisation, Asari Mangeta also defected same day as Otobo with their supporters.