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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Sylva: Still chasing shadows since 2012!

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Since 2012 when the Supreme Court sacked Chief Timipre Sylva from office as Governor of Bayelsa State for serving more than constitutionally required 4 years period, he has remained politically unelectable.

He had attempted to cheat the constitution when he refused to submit himself to a fresh election in 2011 alongside other Governors during the general election on the account that he had not completed his first term in office.

Subsequently, every attempt to get back to power had been met with rejection by the citizens particularly, the Bayelsa electorate.

During the 2015 general election, he contested the Senatorial election for Bayelsa East against a new comer in politics, Ben Murray-Bruce of the PDP and was trounced in the three Local Government Areas making up the senatorial district.

In the Governorship election in December 2015, Sylva again arm twisted all other aspirants of the APC to emerge as the flag bearer despite making public vow that he was not contesting. He apparently deceived other aspirants who eventually left the party in protest.

He eventually stood against the incumbent Governor, Henry Seriake Dickson, of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Bayelsans widely rejected his bid to return to power.

Sylva, in his style allegedly deployed infamous electoral tactics to undo the incumbent, who had the grassroots support of the people.

Sylva, managed to win only in his own Local Government Area of Brass after manipulating the electoral process. And a failed attempt to forcefully input bogus Southern Ijaw result eventually led to a re-run.

After that electoral process, which was concluded in a re-run poll in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area in January, 2016, it became very clear that Chief Sylva, could no longer win any election in Bayelsa State.

Though, he proceeded to the tribunal to demand a certain “cooked” votes in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area be accepted. But such results and false claims were turned down.

How can a Governorship candidate, such as Timipre Sylva, asked the INEC to declare him winner with victories in only two Local Government Areas of Brass and Southern Ijaw out of Eight LGAs?

He forgot that INEC had cancelled voting in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area on Saturday and Sunday, 5th and 6th of Sunday, 2015 for alleged irregularities perpetrated by his agents.

As expected, the electoral body, INEC stood by its declared result in favour of Sen. Dickson and the tribunal dismissed Sylva’s petition for lacking in merit.

Backed by a deluded few and not done with seeking a return to power, Sylva, after serving as Minister of Petroleum Resources with no remarkable impact in the state, boastfully picked the APC gubernatorial ticket against incumbent and working Governor Douye Diri.

Sylva, backed by his known rhetorics repeatedly told Bayelsans that the people were owing him a second term in office as if the mandate was available on the market shelf for the highest bidder to purchase.

His political journey again ended with a heavy defeat in the face of massive rejection by key leaders and members of his party, APC.

Sylva, entrenched division and factions among members and party faithful, hence, he lost their support. The rest is now history!

From the beginning of the campaigns in 2023, it was glaring that Sylva, had no single chance to win the November 11 Governorship election.

The pro-Sylva APC supporters and agents polluted the political arena with their ranting of how they would manipulate the election and generate results to achieve victory even in this modern age where INEC had deployed technology into the process.

Foolishly, some of the Sylva’s deluded loyalists were celebrating their false victory long before the election saying that “this election has been won by Sylva. We have concluded the arrangement. We are just waiting for the day to come. Before 6pm, the results would be ready. We will chase all the PDP supporters out of Bayelsa State.”

Alas, these were childish and unintelligent talks in the face of reality where INEC insisted it will guarantee credible election and that was just it across polling units in the eight Local Government Areas except for a few places where Sylva’s agents compromised the process.

But INEC backed by the security agents rose to the occasion to checkmate glaring malpractices and threats to peace being perpetrated by a few members of Bayelsa APC and Sylva, in certain polling units.

While Sylva, again succeeded in his own community and ward, Okpoama-Ewoama, in Brass LGA and in Nembe-Bassambiri, through intimidation and manipulations, returning over 90 percent votes for himself, he failed in other places where the eagles eyes of INEC and security agents were fixed.

It is incredible to note that Sylva orchestrated his agents to manipulate the process in many places and wrote results in 184 polling units in Nembe, Ogbia and Southern Ijaw Local Government Areas.

Having been roundly defeated by Governor Diri, Sylva proceeded to the Election Petition Tribunal to request that he be declared winner after presenting the fake results they wrote for themselves.

He, however, doubted himself and his false claims by questioning the integrity of the Members of the Tribunal panel. Many attributed such self-questioning to fear and inner doubt.

But INEC, as the constitutionally recognised umpire, promptly denounced the “cooked” results brought before the Tribunal and declared the forms EC8A filed by Sylva as fake as it does not bear the security features placed on such original documents used for the election.

This desperate move by Bayelsa APC and Sylva, is a clear case of forgery, perjury and election fraud!

The Tribunal has done its job by delivering a very sound judgment in favour of incumbent Governor Diri, who won majority of votes in the election and dismissed Sylva’s petition for lacking in merit.

The implications of the Tribunal ruling is that Sylva, has become unelectable having consistently lost his bids to return to Creek Haven!

The people are done with Sylva! And Governor Douye Diri, alongside key leaders and members of the opposition APC, have retired Chief Timipre Sylva, politically.

By Saviour Igbanibo

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