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Suspicion, anger in Bayelsa over death of ex-PDP chair

 

There is suspicion and anger over the sudden death of former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Bayelsa State chapter 19 days after defecting to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Inokoba led over 1,000 members of the party he chaired for over three years to APC in a mega defection rally in Yenagoa, the state capital, following his travails in the PDP.

Inokoba, who also obtained the nomination and expression of interest forms to contest the primary election of the APC, died in Lagos last Wednesday while visiting his family.

It was gathered that the remains of the former PDP chairman was flown from the Ikeja Military Cantonment Hospital Lagos to the morgue of the Military Hospital, Port Harcourt, Rivers State the following day.

Inokoba’s death has generated controversies in the state with the APC suspecting a foul play and demanding the Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase, to investigate the circumstances that led to his demise.

His loyalists under the aegis of the Bayelsa Great House (BGH) also expressed anger were yesterday over a comment credited to the Governor Seriake Dickson on the state of the deceased’s health.

The BGH, in a statement by its Chairman, Ebinimi Owei and Secretary, Victor Woyinkuro, said the governor’s claim that he gave the late Inokoba money for his medical trip abroad was an unfortunate propaganda.

The group said: “We use this medium to react to Governor Dickson’s claims that he gave late Inokoba N10million and in another occasion he said the money he gave was N5million but that our late leader used the money for politics.

“We call on Bayelsans to disregard such statement and political lies for it show immaturity, lack of conscience, hatred and cheap political propaganda even at his death.

“The inconsistencies in his claims made it figment of his imagination, lies and political propaganda against a dead man.

“Who could imagine that a prudent restoration government released and gave his greatest political enemy money?

“It is a pity that such statement was made by Governor Dickson at this point of sober reflection, mourning and lost of a great son, uncle, father, grandfather and mentor.

“We thank the family for the early release of the official statement about the death of Inokoba which never happened in the history of Nigeria and Bayelsa in particular.

“It portrays the family as civilised. Perhaps it was done early to prevent being used for politics and by politicians.”

The APC, in a letter to the IG signed by its Publicity Secretary, Panebi Fortune, said the sudden death of Inokoba was suspicious.

The party said: “The PDP had since the defection of Inokoba to the APC two weeks ago made open statements that Col. Inokoba would not last.

“Looking at the weighty statement side by side with his sudden death in Lagos, the Inokoba death needs explanation from the PDP.

“We wish to call on security operatives to step up investigation and conduct autopsy to ascertain the cause of death of the late governorship aspirant of our party.”

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