How Sylva's aides dumped him for Jonathan, Bayelsa Govt
Facts have emerge on how aides and political associates of the immediate past governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva dumped him for President Goodluck Jonathan and his successor, Hon. Seriake Dickson.
Sylva, was elected governor on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), but now is a chieftain of All Progressives Congress, (APC).
Last week, notable members of Sylva's executive council led by his deputy, Chief Werinipre Seibarugu declared support for President Jonathan and Governor Dickson.
In tow were 16 registered political parties and key appointees in the Sylva administration including Commissioner for Information and Orientation Chief Nathan Egba and his special duties counterpart, Chief Gesiye Frank Oputu,
The group's leader, Seibarugu declared that President Jonathan remained their candidate in 2015, and distanced themselves from Sylva's defection to APC.
Sylva's former deputy Chief Seibarugu, on behalf of appointees in the Sylva administration, denied ever ditching PDP for APC.
“We did not defect to the All Progressives Congress at anytime. Even our former boss has confirmed it before that we did not join him to move over to the APC.
“Our visit to the State PDP secretariat last week was to correct that wrong impression. We delivered our message to Governor Dickson who was on hand to receive us along with the leadership of the PDP in the state,” Seibarugu told newsmen in Yenagoa.
On the call for PDP support at the state and national levels, he said,
“As PDP members, we have to support the party's programmes. We have specifically mentioned that we are in support of Mr. President and the PDP agenda from the federal to state levels. We are bonafide members of the party, and we are totally committed to all its programmes and manifesto,” he affirmed.
On those who dumped Sylva, his former deputy said, “as regards number, I can't mention how many people joined me to identify with the party because the number keeps increasing daily.
“This is because not every member of my support base lives here in Yenagoa but when they heard about the move many people came and I think about seventy of them signed. When they heard that there was a meeting , so many of them that have been in that condition came. We did not discriminate, so we had to go with them,” he added.
On their support for Jonathan, the former deputy governor explained, “we are totally committed to the cause of Mr. President.
“To return him as President is not negotiable. Our commitment to the President's coming back is not in doubt at all and he knows that I was speaker when he was governor here. I was also the Chairman of the Jonathan/Sambo campaign organisation in Bayelsa State. So, there is no way I will not be committed to his return.
“At the state level, we are PDP members, and so there is nothing wrong to strengthen the party and the Government of Bayelsa State. That is what we intend to do,” pledged Sylva's former deputy.
State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Col. Sam Inokoba described the political Exodus as a sign that Bayelsa is a PDP state.
He noted that the strategy of wooing aggrieved members was yielding positive results at the federal and state levels.
Inokoba expressed eleation at the spirit of solidarity demonstrated by the former deputy governor and other chieftains, saying such would further strengthen the party to record more successes in the forthcoming elections.
While restating readiness to support the President and follow through the activities of the party at the national level, he called members who are sitting on the fence to embrace the party's re-unification efforts as its doors are open for all and sundry.
Welcoming them back into the party, the State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson, described their decision to re-unite with other members of the party as a welcome development.
He told them to always be peaceful and work towards the development of the State, stating that the era of political violence is over in the State.
According to him, what unites us is bigger than party affiliation.
“We are first of all Bayelsans and Ijaw people. Parties go, but we remain united by a common destiny and it is in that respect, that I join the Chairman and the leaders of the party in receiving you back into the fold,” he stressed.
Describing the PDP as the most formidable party without ethnic and religious bias in the Country, he told the returnees to see their absence as a political accident, adding that, 'the most important thing is that, you have always remained members of the PDP in Bayelsa state.
“Henceforth, I will relate with you in your individual capacities as members of the party. I welcome you all from the bottom of my heart. I thank you on behalf of the President, the people of Bayelsa and the Ijaw nation.
I assure you, that everybody will be fully reintegrated back to the party. Our party umbrella is big enough to accommodate all of you. Feel free to aspire to any position. Feel free to express your opinion. However, in doing that, you must follow due process and follow party guidelines.
“Since you left, there has been greater cohesion and unity in the party and respect for constituted authority. Your party under Col. Inokoba; there is law and order.
“Chairman, you have the mandate of the Party to work out modalities for their reintegration into the party. There is no discrimination at all. What God has ordained, no man can change. We are politicians and sometimes we fight over nothing. I assure you of my readiness to work with you all,” he declared.