Now Timipre Sylva can go
Wonders will not seize to happen in Nigeria. Since Wednesday 23rd February 2011,there has been mixed feelings and wide condemnations about the ruling by Justice Adamu Bello of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja seeking to extend the tenue of five sitting
governors. Many keen observers saw this ruling as a rape on our democracy and a clear manifestation of an obscenity that in fast invading our judiciary.
For many others who saw themselves as beneficiaries of the ruling,this was seen as a brakthrough. One of such persons is Governor Timpre Sylva of the embattled governor of Bayelsa State. As soon as the judgement was pronounced in Abuja the 'self acclaimed' strong man went into wild jubilation. He invited all his sychophants in what turned out to be a sort of frenzy. In his usual mindlessly profligate style, he threw a lavish party with expensive champagnes like a hunter who caught a big antelope. Sources inside Creek haven later confirmed that he immediately mobilised his Chief of Staff and 'executioner' Mr Sam Ogbuku to ferry two prominent members of his team to AIT studio to celebrate their victory on air.
Other hired propangandists had a field day taking every spot they could sieze including facebook and twitter to declare their victory against the wishes of the Ijaw people.
The Justice Salami ruling is very insulting on the psyche of Nigerians and have been widely condemned by many constinutional lawyers even internationally as the latest travesty on our democracy. There was a wild out cry on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and people oriented pressure for them to appeal the ruling.
Many believe that this ruling ia just another deadly blow on the dwindling credibility and disgraceful legitimacy crisis that has engulfed the judiciary lately. In short it is believed that the ruling was 'procured' further fueling the wild allegations of bribe-for-judgement that is frequently in the rumor mill these days.
Back home in Bayelsa State, there was palpable frustration as many voters who have been waiting to vote Mr. Timipre Sylva out almost thought that the chance has been lost. There were even rumors in some quarters that many voters were warming up to boycott the elections in Bayelsa unless the ruling was reversed. An intersting aspect of their frustration was expressed in the number of anonymous prayer requests received by preachers based in the city. In most of the requests believed to have been submitted by concerned citizens of the state,they were asking God to intervene in giving Bayelsa the right ruler. This ostensibly meant that they desired a sort of miracle to bungle Sylvas tenure elongation bid. That is how bad things are here in Yenagoa. For an average Ijaw man,from civil servants to fishermen to Okada riders,nothing can me more sickening that the thought that Timpre Sylva will spend an extra minute at Creek Haven beyond May 29th 2011.
Everyone knows that the Bayelsa State governor has squandered the goodwill of his people and is awaiting a well deserved electoral punishment very soon. Even Sylva himself knows this but he is hanging unto a delusional determination to stay on at all costs. His plan is to intimidate and bomb any form of opposition into disarray as he has already killed many. He has armed 'Famutamgbei', his standby terror machine and waiting to perpetrate large scale violence during the elections. He is investing his security vote in his rag tag army waiting cause mayhem in his attempt rob Ijaw people of their popular will. With allmof these,he is still very jittery and seemingly unsettled. That is why the ruling of Salami and the apparent postponement of the doomsday appeared to him as 'victory'. Mr. Sylva saw is fully aware that an electoral sledge hammer is about to fall on him and his desperation is just too obvious. His huge investments in propaganda locally and internationally nothwithstanding,it just seems that my people have made up their minds. On the average, there are at least ten journalists deployed by Sylva to distort the facts in the media and throw up any form of distraction that will take the discuss in Bayelsa away from governance and peaceful free and fair elections. Mr Sylva's face adorns many national newspapers with fraudulent claims of a plethora of ongoing projects that will be 'commissioned' after the 2011 elections- an ostrich game known by every Ijaw son or daughter.
However, the cheering news coming from Abuja today 10th of March 2011 is most refreshing. INEC has decided to not only appeal the judgement but also to file a stay of execution. This means that gubernatorial elections will go ahead in all the states in Nigeria including Bayelsa. What a relief! Obviously Justice Adamu Bello's ruling will be thrown out by the appeal court because it has left a foul taste in the mouths of all lovers of democracy globally. For us Ijaws,the most interesting aspect of this action by INEC is that we will go to the polls in Bayelsa and pour out our four year old frustration. We will express our supressed unanimity that Timpre Sylva is the not kind of leader we Ijaws desire to take us to that promised land of glory. He has insulted our sensibilities enough, now he can go.
By Onitari Thomas in an analyst and lives in Yenagoa.