Direct Primary: APC crisis worsens as lawmaker resists pressure to sign document
Failed effort by the Bayelsa State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Jotham Amos, to compel some stakeholders to sign a document on direct mode of primary election is currently worsening the crisis within the party in the state.
A video, which has hone viral on social media, showed a heated argument between the chairman and the member representing Ekeremor Constituency 2 in the House of Assembly, Wilson Dauyegha, over the appropriateness of the document.
Dauyegha, in the video, wondered why Jotham was forcing him to sign a paper against his will, following the failure of a stakeholders’ meeting to adopt a mode of primary election for the emergence of the party’s candidate for the November governorship election.
The lawmaker was portrayed as tearing the document in the video, while the obviously angry chairman picked the torn document, stormed into his car and zoomed off.
A recent stakeholders’ meeting organised by Jotham at the party’s secretariat in Yenagoa could not adopt any mode for the forthcoming primary election, as other members of the state executive council opposed the procedure for the meeting.
Confirming his spat with Jotham, Dauyegha explained that the incident in the video happened at the VIP Wing of the Port Harcourt Airport, Rivers State.
He said trouble started when Jotham called him after the botched stakeholders’ meeting and requested to see him, adding: “I told him that it was late, because he called me at night. I promised to see him the next day, but he said he was traveling to Abuja. I told him we would meet at the airport in Port Harcourt.
“The next day when I got to the airport, I saw him and went to meet him. When I got to his vehicle, a black Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), I saw armed soldiers surrounding the car. The chairman asked me to enter his car and I did and he shut the doors.
“While in the car, the chairman brought a document and asked me to sign it, saying I must sign the document. I don’t know what came over me. I almost sign the document, because I was almost completing my signature when I held my pen and told the chairman that I must read the content of the document before signing.
“At that point, I glanced through, even as he was trying to intimidate me to complete the signature. I then saw direct primaries in the paper and I screamed and held unto the paper. Having made an impression that could pass as my signature, I had no other option, but to render the document invalid.
“All I did was to ensure that there was no impression suggesting that I signed the document. If that document had not been torn, the chairman would have used it against me and against my will. I saw his action as undemocratic and I undertook a reasonable action to protect democracy.”
He said after the incident, Jotham advanced menacingly at him trying to attack him, but was prevented by some persons who intervened to avoid escalation of the controversy.
All efforts to reach Jotham proved abortive, as he failed to answer calls directed to his two telephone lines.