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Bayelsa crisis: Sylva divides the Presidency

Posted by By TAIWO AMODU [amodu@sunnewsonline.com] on 2008/04/19 | Views: 859 |

Bayelsa crisis: Sylva divides the Presidency


The desperate move by some powerful politicians in Bayelsa state, some federal and Bayelsa state lawmakers, who allegedly acted in tandem with the Vice President , Goodluck Jonathan to frustrate the emergence of Hon Werinipire Seibarugu, the Speaker of Bayelsa House of Assembly, as acting governor is causing ripples within the Presidency, Saturday Sun can authoritatively reveal.

•Vice President doesn’t meddle in Bayelsa affair—aide

The desperate move by some powerful politicians in Bayelsa state, some federal and Bayelsa state lawmakers, who allegedly acted in tandem with the Vice President , Goodluck Jonathan to frustrate the emergence of Hon Werinipire Seibarugu, the Speaker of Bayelsa House of Assembly, as acting governor is causing ripples within the Presidency, Saturday Sun can authoritatively reveal.

A Saturday Sun source disclosed that President Yar’Adua who had to put in a call to Yenagoa to calm frayed nerves and ensured that the Speaker was sworn in as acting governor was not happy that fingers of scorn was pointed in the direction of his deputy as the one fuelling the stalemate, before his [YarAdua] intervention from Germany. The President viewed seriously his deputy alleged meddling in the Bayelsa crisis as a negation of the administration avowed mantra of due process.

Prelude to stalemate
The Justice Saka Ibiyeye Appeal Court sitting in Port Hacourt in an appeal filed by the Action Congress gubernatorial candidate in Bayelsa, Chief Ebitimi Amgbare had ruled that the INEC should conduct fresh election, within 90 days and in compliance with the 1999 constitution, ordered that the Speaker should be sworn in as acting governor . A team of the erstwhile governor, Timpre Sylva and some of the state lawmakers who had assembled in Port Hacourt, thinking that the judgment would favour the former governor had left the city after the judgment, deflated.

The hawks moved in
Politicians outside the state capital, but with their loyalists and foot soldiers in Yenagoa, spoiling for a showdown had moved in, exploring the new scenario in the state to extract their pound of flesh from a man they felt disenchanted with his style of administration. The state chief justice, Hon Justice Kate Abiri was nowhere near Yenagoa to swear in the speaker of the state house of assembly as acting speaker. When she finally surfaced, she had demanded for a copy of the appeal court judgment, before she could do the swearing in of the speaker as acting governor.

No copy of judgment could be produced, as the Justice Saka Ibiyeye panel read its judgment from a written speech. With some state lawmakers ready to do the bidding of a certain politician in Abuja, to explore the orchestrated stalemate , it dawned on the national executive of the PDP in Abuja, Sylva loyalists and Bayelsans that trouble was in the offing.

Bayelsans youth were allegedly waiting in the wings to foment trouble and deal with some of the state lawmakers who had announced Honourable Ebiotu Selektimiebi as the new speaker, before President Yar’Adua waded in from Germany. Sylva foot soldiers finger Jonathan.

An aide of the Vice President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan absolves his boss of complicity in the Bayelsa debacle, alleging that the erstwhile governor made enemies for himself while his administration lasted.
‘What does the vice president stands to derive by precipitating violence in his home state? Is he contesting for relevance with Sylva? I can tell you that Dr Goodluck Jonathan has no hand in this’.
Speaking further, the aide of the vice president told Saturday Sun that those who contested for the PDP gubernatorial ticket with Sylva had been alienated in the scheme of things in Bayelsa and they are obviously not happy.

‘I’m not saying they were behind the move to frustrate the emergence of the speaker as the acting governor, but it is a possibility. People should stop looking in the direction of the Presidential Villa, each time there is a little hiccup in Bayelsa. The Vice president is not behind any group; he’s the father to all’
A loyalist of Timpre Sylva admitted that some federal lawmakers constituted themselves into enemies of Sylva while his administration lasted.

‘They believe that they should have been given the ticket, instead of Sylva. So, they are still going about doing those things. But we believe that the vice president, as the leader of the south south caucus should be able to stop them. Sylva protested to him several times but the vice president has not been able to stop them! Why can’t he stop them? Why do you think we had to reach the President in Germany when he[Goodluck Jonathan ] is there in Abuja?’

The genesis of Sylva\Goodluck feud
Speaking further, Sylva aide told Saturday Sun that the genesis of the present animosity between the erstwhile governor and the vice president was the former warm disposition to the former governor of the state, Diepreye Alaimseigha—an attitude, the vice president resent.

‘I can tell you that Goodluck was running this place from Abuja while Sylva administration lasted. The man didn’t have up to 20 percent of the commissioners that worked with him. All sensitive appointments were still being handled by Goodluck himself. All the people Yar’Adua couldn’t accommodate in Abuja had been imposed on Sylva. His cabinet were essentially Goodluck people.’

PDP wades in
On Thursday, some members of the PDP national executive, led by the national chairman, Chief Vincent Ogbulafor, paid a solidarity visit to the beleaguered former governor to reassure him of the party support. A Saturday Sun disclosed that the macabre plan by the hawks in Abuja, allegedly acting in tandem with some members of the Bayelsa PDP executive to deny Sylva the party ticket for the gubernatorial re –run is not acceptable to the national leadership of the party.

‘The president, as the leader of the party has spoken against the position of these dissidents. Let’s see how they want to take the party gubernatorial ticket, by force. The era of garrison democracy is over in the PDP’.

Saturday Sun investigations revealed that at the end of the deliberations on Thursday, between the leadership of the party led by PDP national chairman, Vincent Ogbulafor and some members of the party board of trustees with the immediate past chairman of the board, Chief Tony Annenih in attendance, Ogbulafor told stakeholders in Bayelsa PDP that Timpre Sylva remains the party flagbearer for the gubernatorial election re-run.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.