Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Yekini Nabena, has warned against subterranean moves by two governors from the northern part of the country to extend their sphere of influence to the Niger Delta region.
Speaking in Abuja, Nabena alleged that the governors were keen on using a governorship aspirant in Bayelsa State, Heineken Lokpobiri, to achieve their goals ahead of the 2023 polls.
The APC chieftain who declined comments on identities of the governors, however, threatened to name and shame them if they refuse to follow the path of honour in due course.
He particularly claimed that the governors had been using Lokpobiri to cause disaffection in Bayelsa and the Niger Delta zone of the party.
Smarting from his defeat in the party’s governorship primaries, Lokpobiri had approached the court to declare him as the authentic candidate of the APC as against David Lyon (now Governor-elect).
“It is common knowledge that Lokpobiri has refused to congratulate and identify with the Governor-elect of Bayelsa State, David Lyon after his electoral victory. He has refused to drop his misplaced and ill-advised legal action taken against the APC and Lyon with the hope of acquiring the Bayelsa governorship mandate with the support of his sponsors.
“After the Bayesla governorship election, stakeholders have had several meetings where Lokpobiri’s sponsors were identified as two northern governors, which I am not disposed to name now for political reasons.
“Depending on the zoning arrangements adopted by the APC for the 2023 presidency, the governor’s are positioning themselves by scheming to control Bayelsa State through Lokpobiri and then use that as a springboard into other states of the region.
“I will not dwell on the political power play among APC leaders of the South-South for the soul of the region ahead of 2023. However, my advise for the governors is that they should focus on the development of their states and not meddle in the affairs of Bayelsa State and the South-South.
“Bayelsa and other oil-producing states of the Niger Delta region enjoy a fragile peace as a result of the efforts of the President Muhammadu Buhari government to develop the zone and productively engage the youths.
“We will not allow anybody to disrupt the peace of Bayelsa State in furtherance of their selfish political interests.
“Lyon emerged as the popular APC governorship candidate and went ahead to win the Bayelsa governorship election.
“It is Lokpobiri’s constitutional right to go to court, even if his case has no merit. But I think it is important to let the world know that his actions are sponsored by outsiders in furtherance of their political interests ahead of 2023,” he stated.