SYLVA BACKS DOWN ON KICK-STARTING CAMPIAGN
Governor Timipre Sylva
Governor Timipre Sylva on Tuesday reversed himself in his plans to inaugurate his campaign office ahead the February 2012 governorship election.
Sylva's campaign was expected to have commenced with the opening of the campaign office on Wednesday, which is to be followed on Friday with the kick-off of his campaign with National Assembly, state House of Assembly and local government.
The campaign office, located, along Melford Okilo Expressway, has been a beehive of activities since Monday with the campaign Director General, Chief George Fente, having series of meeting with Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ward chairmen, youth and women groups.
Investigations revealed that the decision to call off the inauguration of the campaign might be unconnected to the advice from Sylva's legal team that he should stay action on inauguration of any campaign since the matter was in court.
He was advised that going ahead with the opening of the campaign office and kick starting campaign would be viewed as preempting the court.
The Commissioner of Information, Orientation and Strategy, Chief Nathan Egba, however, said the issue of opening of the campaign office was misconstrued.
Egba explained that the governor in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Doifie Ola, and in a letter published in national dailies only intended to reassure his supporters of his commitment to actualize his ambition despite what he referred to as distractions from the Peoples Democratic Party.
While noting that the campaign office would be opened for his supporters for regular meetings, exchange of ideas and encouragement, he said the decision to open the campaign office was taken due to complaints by supporters of the governor that there was no rallying point for Sylva.
He said: 'The position is that he is not launching any campaign. The director general of the campaign is just meeting with coordinators and other organizing officials who had been appointed long ago before this time to start making use of the campaign office as a way of encouraging them. It is not as if the governor wants to launch his campaign office or anything like that.
'The campaign office is open to receive the governor's supporters. From Wednesday, people can come in and interact. The complaints have been that the supporters of the governor do not have a place to go and find out issues surrounding the governor. Some of the times that he is not in town all manner of rumours keep making the rounds and people need a place to clarify the issues.
'Even when he is town, not all Bayelsans have access to go to the Government House and see the governor. But they can now go to the campaign office and see the governor whenever he is in town. The whole idea of opening the campaign office is for the supporters of the governor to go there and seek information concerning him. It is going to be a rallying point for his supporters.
'Initially the governor had wished to be there, but we have realised that his presence there may be misconstrued to mean that he is either opening a campaign. So, we have decided that he will not be there in order not to give a wrong impression to members of the public.'