Simon Utebor, Yenagoa
The two main political parties in Bayelsa State, the Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressives Congress are on warpath over allegation of stockpiling of arms ahead of 2019 elections.
While the PDP raised the alarm that the APC was stockpiling arms in the state in the build-up to the 2019 polls, the APC fired back, saying the allegation was an attempt to prevent people from discovering the truth about another orgy of violence being planned by it (PDP).
The state Chairman of the PDP, Chief Moses Cleopas, alleged in a statement on Thursday that the leaders of the APC in Bayelsa, Chief Timipre Sylva and the Minister of State for Agriculture, Mr Heineken Lokpobiri, were stockpiling arms to cause mayhem during the elections.
Cleopas said the PDP leadership in Bayelsa had to raise the alarm to draw the attention of security agencies to the evil plot of the APC leaders whose activities led to the death of innocent residents in the 2015 election.
He said, “It has come to the attention of the PDP that the leaders of the APC, Chief Timipre Sylva and the Minister of State for Agriculture, Mr. Heineken Lokpobiri, are leading other members of the party to stockpile arms to cause mayhem in our state.
“We are not surprised that the APC is contemplating this strategy of violence after having boasted to their leader, President Buhari, that they would deliver Bayelsa when they are unpopular and have no support base to achieve that.
“Bayelsans are already aware of the violent reputation of these so called leaders as clearly shown by the orgy of violence they unleashed on innocent citizens in the last election.
“That is why we are sounding this warning early enough so that the security agencies can quickly wade into this matter and investigate this arms build-up, with a view to arresting those who are behind the planned mayhem.”
But the APC in a statement by its state Publicity Secretary, Mr Doifie Buokoribo, on Sunday, lambasted the ruling PDP in the state, saying it was planning a re-enactment of the electoral violence its members unleashed on the APC supporters in 2015.
The APC said, “We have learnt of a report about a nasty claim by the PDP regarding an assumed plot ‘to stockpile arms to cause mayhem in our state during the 2019 elections.
“We would have ignored the infantile allegation deployed in the characteristically unintelligible style of the PDP in the state under Governor Seriake Dickson. But we are constrained to respond just to warn our people, the good people of Bayelsa, to be wary of Dickson and his gang at a time like this. Their strategy has not changed – flying spurious allegations against the APC to try to divert attention from their demonic plots. What is uncertain is the manner of evil they want to unleash on the people this time.
“There is an umpteen frantic attempt by the Dickson syndicate to keep the change-inclined masses of Bayelsa bound under a colourless administration bereft of imagination. And the only way they can achieve that is by visiting violence on the electorate. The latest alarm, in their usual manner, is yet another dress rehearsal for the impending violence.”
The party claimed that allegations similarly worded as the latest by PDP preceded the violence that resulted in the loss of lives in 2015 elections.
The APC added, “Having started with blood, Dickson wants to end with blood, hence the latest practice before the untoward event. His pitiful attempt at a cover-up of his crimes only makes him more of a laughing stock.
“Bayelsans are not as foolish as Dickson thinks they are. They have since realised the devilish motives beneath his usual alarms, and they are prepared to confront him and his ungodly gang of lawless elements head-on.
“APC is a peaceful party of peaceful and development-oriented people. We shall remain so, despite being victims of PDP violence, and will remain committed to seeking justice only through lawful means.
“We call on the security agencies to follow the obvious lead by Dickson and his people in order to nip in the bud whatever nefarious plans they may have up their sleeve.”
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