ANGRY YOUTHS STONE GOV SYLVA
Bayelsa State governor, Chief Timipre Sylva
Angry youths yesterday showed their displeasure with Bayelsa State governor, Chief Timipre Sylva, when they booed him while he was reading a welcome address during the visit of President Goodluck Jonathan to the state. Also, they pelted the governor with stones, drink cans and sachet water.
Trouble started when Sylva mounted the stage to address the gathering. No sooner had he started talking than the crowd began chanting: 'You must go, You must go.'
The youths, who were wearing T-shirts with pictures of President Jonathan, Vice President Namadi Sambo, Sylva and his deputy, Mr. Werinipre Seibarugu fully embossed on them rained stones, empty soft drink cans, sachet water and empty bottles of water at Sylva.
The mood of the youths, who had danced excitedly when Jonathan arrived the stadium, venue of the event, changed immediately the Master of Ceremonies invited Sylva to the podium to make his speech.
Hardly had Sylva started his speech when shouts of 'Sylva Go' drowned his voice.
Security agents tried to calm the youths but they were more incensed by this. Efforts by Minister of Niger Delta, Godsday Orubebe, Inspector- General of Police, Hafiz Ringim and the Commander of the Joint Military Task Force, General Charles Osa Omoriege, to contain them proved futile, as they became wild in their protests.
Undeterred by their noise, Sylva continued with his speech, an action, which irked the youths, the more. They, therefore, resorted to hurling stones, sachet water and shoes at the governor, in an effort to force him out of the podium.
Sylva's security aides had formed a ring around him, as he continued to make his speech. After he finished his speech, he was escorted back to the VIP, where President Jonathan embraced him.
Reacting to this, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) said it was a pointer that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has failed the people of the state.
Chairman of the party in the state, Mr. Miriki Ebikibina, who described the incident as sad and unfortunate, explained that the reaction of the people was borne out of the fact that they have been impoverished by the PDP government in the state.
Commissioner for Information, Mr. Nathan Egba, on his part, accused enemies of the Sylva government of being the masterminds of the youths' action.
Egba said politicians, who are no longer comfortable with the rising profile of Sylva, perfected the plans to ridicule Bayelsa State during the president's visit.
According to him, the government was aware of plans by some unnamed people to disrupt the president visit because they had vowed to destroy the government of Sylva.
Egba said Nigerians should be aware that the behaviour displayed by the youths is not associated with the Ijaw, as the people are noted for their calm conduct anywhere they find themselves.
Among those present at the stadium were wife of the President, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, governors of Cross Rivers, Delta, Rivers, Abia, and Imo states, ministers, National Assembly members, traditional rulers and eminent Ijaw citizens.