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BAYELSA GUBER: SYLVA BOUNCES BACK FOR PDP TICKET

By NBF News
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The 'ping-pong' game in the clearance of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirants in Bayelsa State continued yesterday with hints of an imminent all clear for the embattled Governor Timipre Sylva.

The Appeals Committee had on Monday withheld his clearance, citing inadequate powers, information and technical know-how to do so, based on allegations of security breaches.

The National Working Committee (NWC) followed suit by endorsing the decision on Tuesday.

However, following increased anxiety and lobbying, there were indications yesterday that a second list of cleared candidates, which would include Sylva, was in the works and may be released today.

The governor's aides insisted last night that Chief Sylva had never been shut out, situating the melodrama that attended his clearance as 'normal politics, which has in a way helped in the governors campaign to clinch the ticket of the party on November 17.

Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Dofie Ola, placed the onus of proof on the claims against the governor on those who alleged, adding that the plot was a mere sinister move by his opponents to get him out of the way, because of his popularity and the edge he has over them.

As part of the grand plan to rail-road him back on track, party leaders swiftly moved their meeting from the Wadata Plaza Secretariat, Abuja to the Legacy House to ward off the prying eyes of members of the public.

Daily Sun further learnt that the party, short of succumbing to pressure, merely dressed up the meeting to clear him to stem the tide of allegations of 'injustice, hatred and doing the bidding of the governor's detractors.

The governor, according to sources, will still meet a roadblock at the primary proper. A member of the 13-man Appeals Committee that halted the governor's aspiration, Hon. Moshood Salvador, when contacted on telephone, feigned ignorance of the new developments.

He said: 'I have not heard anything concerning that. But this is politics. You can't rule it out. Anything can happen. We have concluded our own and passed it over to the NWC. It is their duty to decide; whether there'll be a second list or not.'

Only four of the aspirants were initially cleared for the party's primary, according to a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Prof Rufai Ahmed Alkali, in what the party called first batch of aspirants cleared. The names of those cleared were Oruta Justine Boloubo, Henry Seriake Dickson, Enai Christopher Fullpower and Kalango Michael Youppele.

The NWC, according to a source, succumbed to include Sylva, mindful of the implication of edging him out from the race at this stage.

Daily Sun gathered that although the embattled governor's fate had been sealed at the level of the NWC, other party elders, including some believed to have Presidency's ears, insisted it would be too untidy to stop Sylva at that level. They, therefore, suggested that the governor be cleared, while those opposed to his candidacy could go and confront him at the the primary proper.

However, there is also the fear among the ranks of his opponents that it might be difficult to stop the incumbent governor from wresting the party ticket once he scales through this stage.