Elders of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Bayelsa State, under the auspices of Elders Forum, have warned the national leadership of the party against fielding the former Governor of the state, Timipre Sylva as the candidate of the party.
The APC stalwarts in a petition to the national body warned that it will jeopardize the chances of the party in the November governorship election if Sylva succeeds as the candidate of the party.
They claimed the current political configuration in the state does not support Sylva’s candidature, particularly the rotation arrangement.
The forum said Sylva currently does not have the appeal, attraction and followership to bring victory for the APC, alleging he has not only polarized the party but weakened the structures and morale of members for acting out of clannish and self-interest.
The party chieftains in the petition signed and sent to DAILY POST, on Saturday by its Chairman, Prof. Zouworitei Indoribo, Secretary, Chief Seikeme Pigatin, Spokesman, Dr. Andrew Maciver, Treasurer, Chief Indoriotu Zuboebidoughawei, and Financial Secretary, Joseph Asper Jasper also warned the party leadership against monetizing the party’s governorship ticket.
The elders regretted that as things stand, the former Minister of State, Petroleum Resources and leader of the party in Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva and the former Governor-elect, Chief David Lyon who believes he has a right of first refusal and their supporters have vowed to work against the interest of each other and by extension the party.
The bitter truth remains that it may take more than the intervention of earthly mortals to bring about a true reconciliation between them.
The petition reads: ” As elders, we have to say the truth, especially at trying times like this to save the party from a catastrophic collapse. The truth is, the current political situation in Bayelsa State does not support a Sylva candidature.
SYLVA’S LACK OF APPEAL AND REJECTION
“First, Chief Sylva currently does not have the appeal, attraction and followership to bring victory for APC. He has not only polarized the APC, he has also weakened the structures and morale of members for acting out of clannish and self-interest.
“Second, the people of Bayelsa will reject him because they know him. When he was Governor between 2007-2012, he showed dictatorial arrogance, ran government according to his private whims and caprice and ultimately failed to develop the State. As Minister, he also failed to attract visible and verifiable development to the state. What else if not greed is fueling his ambition to return as Governor after 16 years when times have apparently changed?
“Third, the people do not trust him. Chief Sylva himself said in a recent phone-in radio programme in Yenagoa that he is not going to contest for Governor anymore as that chapter of his life is closed.
ROTATION ARRANGEMENTS NOT FAVOURABLE TO SYLVA
“Plus, the governorship rotation arrangement among the three senatorial districts in the State has become deeply entrenched as it promotes equity and justice, unity and progress and harmonious relationships. This is the turn of the Central Senatorial District. But Chief Sylva from the East Senatorial District has stepped forward to violate it.
“By the political history of the State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha (now late) from the Central Senatorial District became the first Executive Governor in 1999 and ruled till 2005 when he was removed. His Deputy Governor, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan from the East Senatorial District took over staying on till 2007 when he was elevated to the position of Vice-President. Then, Chief Timipre Sylva also from the same East Senatorial District succeeded Jonathan as the Governor, he served for five years. The Governorship, therefore, moved to the third Senatorial District, Bayelsa West. Seriake Dickson emerged and served for two terms
“With the rotation between the three senatorial districts completed in 2019, the Governorship returned to the Central. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gave its ticket to Sen. Douye Diri while our great party presented Chief David Lyon also of the Central Senatorial District. The PDP is set to return Sen. Douye Diri.
“The Central Senatorial District accounts for about 50% of the total voting population. The senatorial district suffers the pithy tale of marginalization and near-total neglect at the national level since the APC won the presidential place in 2015. It is just, equitable and perspicacious for the APC to respond in the corresponding language by putting forward someone from the Central.
RESULTS OF WORKING TOGETHER
“After President Buhari was inaugurated in 2015, Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri from Bayelsa West Senatorial District was appointed Minister, Prof. Nelson Brambayefa from the same Senatorial District with Sen.Lokpobiri was also appointed, acting Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission while Chief Timipre Sylva from the East was appointed Chairman, Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone.