The embattled acting chairman of the Labour Party in Bayelsa State, Eneyi Zidougha, has been removed from office by stakeholders of the party.
Zidougha was sacked during a state congress held at the party’s secretariat in Yenagoa on Thursday, over allegations bordering on misappropriation of party funds, anti-party activities, and arbitrary swapping of candidates for the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
A former vice chairman of the LP in Bayelsa Central Senatorial District, Ebi Sikpi, was elected as the substantive state chairman of the party after a unanimous vote of no confidence in Zidougha was passed.
The state Assistant Secretary of LP, Theophilus Taribo, explained that the meeting was properly convened and Zidougha’s removal was constitutional.
He said, “The congress followed due constitutional provision; the congress includes the state executive members and local government council members. The composition of the congress was constitutional.”
The new Chairman, Ebi Sikpi, thanked the stakeholders for considering him worthy and capable of serving and leading the LP ahead of the polls.
He promised to restore peace and unity in the party and address members’ grievances, stressing that the party had been repositioned for the tasks ahead.
“I have accepted to serve because we want the tensions to be doused, and I want the party to forge ahead. We will look at the issues members are aggrieved about and address them one after another.
“We will make sure the party is united for the election of our principal, Peter Obi. There is hope, light has come to the party in Bayelsa State”, he added.
Before the congress, some members of the LP, under the aegis of Concerned Labour Party Critical Stakeholders, in the state had staged a peaceful protest outside the party’s secretariat as some security agents reportedly acting on the instructions of the ousted chairman denied them access into the premises.
Leader of the group, Abraham Gillet, who expressed displeasure over the development claimed that the LP had lost a huge following in the state as a result of the alleged activities of the former chairman, adding that it was proper for him (Zidougha) to either stepped aside or be removed from office.
But reacting, Zidougha insisted that he was still in charge of the party, and described his removal as unconstitutional.
He said, “My purported removal is unconstitutional and did not follow due process. They did not get approval to hold any congress. Who called for congress? I am still in charge.”