The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa have vowed not to vacate the disputed secretariat of the party in Yenagoa, the state capital, as directed by the state government.
Ministry of Justice, last Friday, petitioned security agencies and APC Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun requesting them to obey a court order which directed the party to move out of the building.
Solicitor-General of the state and Permanent Secretary Ministry of Justice, Preye Agedah, had explained that government bought the building and spent N43 million on the renovation.
He recalled that the keys were subsequently handed over to Chief Dikivie Ikiogha, then Chief of Staff to Governor Seriake Dickson, who eventually defected to the APC.
Agedah insisted that the party “forcefully” took over the structure and had been operating from there since then.
Reacting on Sunday, APC spokesman in Bayelsa, Fortune Panebi, said the move to take over the building located on Kpansia, Mbiama/Yenagoa road was “shameful and misplaced”.
The party maintained that the genuine owners of the secretariat building were in court with the state government over the issue of ownership, adding that the Bayelsa government cannot lay claim to the structure until the issues were resolved.
It accused the Bayelsa government of leveraging on the crisis between erstwhile Chairman, Tiwei Orunimighe, who was expelled by the National Executive Council of APC last week and ex-Governor Timipre Sylva.
“It is also good to note that the timing of the letter by the Governor Seriake Dickson-led administration on the less important issue of APC secretariat is convenient and a pointer to the hands behind the recent protest and rebellion by a few in the party.
“Why is it so convenient that it was when some dissidents within the party in Bayelsa were suspended and expelled that the Dickson’s administration woke up and remembered its ownership of the secretariat?,” the APC queried.
“The APC, instead of the current administration to focus on more serious issues of governance, is busy chasing shadows.
“While we commend the Nigeria Police for their proactive reaction to political issues in the state, we urge them to seriously investigate the matter raised by the Dickson administration and increase security surveillance over the property,” Panebi added.