By Samuel Oyadongha
YENAGOA, Bayelsa State government has petitioned the Inspector General of Police over the alleged hijack of the state government property for use as secretariat by the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the state.
The government through the Solicitor- General of the state and Permanent Secretary Ministry of Justice, Mr Preye Agedah, said the forceful hijack and use of the said property located along Melford Okilo road, Kpansia in the state capital could lead to breach of public peace.
Agedah, at a press conference Friday in Yenagoa said the petition with reference number MJ/SGPS/58 and dated August 10th has become imperative because of the mishandling of developments in respect of the said property capable of leading to breach of public peace if not properly and promptly addressed.
He noted that the Bayelsa State government has had a peaceful relationship with the APC, Bayelsa state chapter and indeed all other political parties mainly because of the political maturity displayed by the government and its respect for the rule of law.
Agedah added that the property which houses the APC secretariat in the state was acquired as a Bayelsa State Government Guest House in 2010 and subsequently used as a Presidential campaign office in 2011.
The APC, according to him, had forcefully taken over the property in 2015 and all legal steps to take the property back including a valid court order had been ignored by the APC.
Agedah, who said the state government cannot stand by and watch opposing parties in the APC vandalise a government property due to the internal crisis of the party, appealed to the IGP to prevail on the state chapter of the APC, to relocate their secretariat as the Bayelsa State government is determined to take possession of the property.
The petition read in part, “Sir while the capacity of the Bayelsa State Government to eject the APC from its Guest House is not in any doubt whatsoever, no such step has been taken as doing so will unnecessarily heat up the polity. This restraint is borne out of high degree of political tolerance and utmost respect for the rule of law.
“Be that as it may, recent developments within the Bayelsa State APC requires that urgent steps be taken to ensure that the said property is protected from avoidable damage and the resulting waste of government resources. At the moment, the APC Bayelsa State chapter is in deep crisis with opposing groups forcefully and intermittently taking possession of the property from each other.
“The property that government did not only pay for with the common patrimony of the people but also renovated at great expense is now in danger of being vandalized by opposing APC thugs to the detriment of the interest of the government and people of Bayelsa state .”