Leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders in Bayelsa State have zoned the chairmanship position to Saigbama, Governor Seriake Dickson’s Local Government Area.
It was gathered that former Governor Timipre Sylva; Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development Heineken Lokpobiri, and other party bigwigs decided to carry out major restructuring of the party ahead of the 2019 election, beginning with scheduled congresses.
The leaders were said to have resolved to adopt harmonisation and affirmation of positions at the proposed congresses which begin May 2.
Five persons are said to be serious contenders for the position, with Mr. Yekini Nabena, a member of the National Working Committee (NWC), touted the favourite to clinch the position.
Four other contenders, who members of the state working committee, include Acting Chairman Joseph Fafi; former Chairman, Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) Frank Okputu; Sylva’s ex-aide Lucky Yeboa and former Commissioner for Finance Steven Oguola.
The zoning was said to have shot down the ambition of Fafi, who hails from Kolokuma-Opokuma council.
Apart from Fafi’s origin, he was said to have fallen out with the leaders because of his closeness to former Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi.
The party was also said to have zoned the Secretary and Publicity Secretary to Ogbia and Brass councils.
Sources, who attended a recent stakeholders’ meeting hinted that some persons had been unanimously nominated to occupy the positions.
A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “The meeting was a success and we believe that the zoning adopted will allow for a stronger APC. We have learnt from the mistake of the past in which certain members of the party leadership became a mole.
“We are coming with a party structure that has a mixture of intellectuals and politicians. We are happy that the resolution on zoning was done amicably and without any form of bullying like in other party.”
When contacted, Fafi and Yeboa said they were still consulting but Okputu confirmed his chairmanship ambition.