Ex-Militant Leader Denies Slapping Timipre Sylva Over

It was alleged that Mr. Orunimigha had gone to the Abuja residence of Mr. Sylva in the company of Mr. Ukparisia to confront him over his choice, and that the meeting became heated, during which the former militant slapped Sylva and a full-blown fight erupted. 
A senior member of the defunct militia group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Africa Ukparisia, known along the creeks and waterways of Bayelsa as General Africa, has denied he slapped the governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Mr. Timipre Sylva over his choice of a running mate for the December 5 contest.
Former governor of Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva
Some politicians in the State had claimed that the ex-militant slapped Mr. Sylva, who is also a former governor of the state, over his alleged decision to choose a retired school principal, Mr. Wilberforce Ekeri, ahead of the State party chairman, Mr. Tiwei Orunimigha.
It was alleged that Mr. Orunimigha had gone to the Abuja residence of Mr. Sylva in the company of Mr. Ukparisia to confront him over his choice, and that the meeting became heated, during which the former militant slapped Sylva and a full-blown fight erupted.
But in a statement delivered by email yesterday, the former militant described the reports about a quarrel between him and Mr. Sylva, as a fabricated lie.
He dismissed the entire matter as a “fictitious and malicious story", claiming that preliminary investigation had shown that the lies and unfounded claims were the idea of the rival Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate in the election, Governor Seriake Dickson.
He described the story as a futile attempt by the PDP to score cheap points ahead of the poll, and that the incident did not take place between any members of the APC.
“Chief Sylva is the APC leader and my leader, and he has the complete loyalty and support of the entire APC family in Bayelsa State. I have no reason to disrespect him or doubt his leadership of our great party. “
“Neither does our chairman, Chief Tiwe Oruminigbe, whose name was also used in the lie circulated by PDP in their desperation to ridicule APC and try to score cheap political points.  The attempt to sponsor negative rumors about our governorship candidate, Chief Sylva, is, to all intents and purposes, the only campaign message and strategy of PDP and its jittery candidate, Hon. Seriake Dickson.”
He further described the matter as “a huge joke that cannot save the drowning governor and his party from a crushing defeat on December 5,” adding that the PDP will not succeed in dividing APC in the State or distracting it from the goal of rescuing Bayelsa from PDP’s regime of deception.
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