Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Security Forces Stop Embattled Bayelsa Governor from leaving Goverment House [Thisday]

Governor Timipre Sylva

By  Chuks Okocha   and Segun James

Indications that Governor Timipre Sylva may face harsher times ahead emerged Monday  as hundreds of security men deployed to maintain the peace in the state barred him from coming out of Creek Haven, the seat of the Bayelsa State government.
Consequently, Sylva could not participate in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ward congresses which began yesterday in the state ahead of Saturday’s governorship primary election from which he has been barred from contesting by the party’s National Working Committee (NWC).
However, he is still, statutorily, a delegate to the primary election.
Some governors, who spoke with THISDAY in the aftermath of Sylva’s disqualification, said it was capable of setting a bad precedent for other governors.
Fierce-looking policemen, in battle-gear mood, barricaded the gate to the Creek Havens and the PDP state secretariat.
Stern looking men of the Nigerian Police mobile force took over all strategic locations in and around the state capital even as men of the Joint (military) Task Force (JTF) were on high alert as the ward congresses took place at the state party secretariat. And in order to ward off any breakdown of law and order, the secretariat was condoned off and all traffic to the area diverted.

The police were armed with several Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) one of which was stationed at the entrance of the party’s secretariat.
No fewer than 200 riot policemen mounted guard at the secretariat even as newsmen were prevented from witnessing the primaries.
Also, neighbouring communities to Yenagoa metropolis such as Imiringi, Ogbia, Otuokpoti and Otuoke, Jonathan’s country home, witnessed heavy security presence.
Explaining the heavy security presence, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the Bayelsa State Police Command, Eguaveon Emokpae, said: “The development is part of our security strategy to ensure effective security of the state. We don’t want a situation whereby hoodlums would take advantage of the situation to unleash mayhem, capable of breaching the peace of Bayelsa.”
The decision of the NWC to bar Sylva may have set some PDP governors against President Goodluck Jonathan.
Some of the governors, who spoke to THISDAY last night, expressed anger over the “shabby treatment meted out to one of us (Sylva)”.
The governors, who chose not to be named, argued that the “Sylva treatment” might set a bad precedent not only in the party but also in the country’s overall democratic culture.
One of the governors said: “If it could happen to Sylva, then it could also happen to anyone of us. This is a warning signal.”
Another governor argued that the disqualification amounted to illegality, especially as the decision to stop Sylva was never discussed at the National Executive Committee (NEC), the highest decision-making organ of the party.
“They should have allowed Sylva to run and be defeated rather than bar him in this manner,” he said.
Last week, some PDP governors had interceded on behalf of Sylva when they met with Jonathan, pleading that he be allowed to run on the platform of the party.
The NWC, over the weekend, formally announced that it had disqualified Sylva, Mr. Timi Alaibe, Ben Murray Bruce and Godknows Igali from participating in the governorship primary election billed for Saturday.

The NWC also announced that it had cleared seven of the aspirants for the gubernatorial contest.

Those cleared have been invited by the NWC to collect their certificates of clearance from the Wadata Plaza, the national headquarters of the party tomorrow.
This is the first time that the NWC would be issuing certificates of clearance, rather than the governorship screening and appeal committees doing so.
In a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Prof. Ahmed Alkali, the seven governorship aspirants that would be issued with the certificates of clearance included; Orufa Justine Boloubo, Dickson Seriake Henry, Enai Christopher Fullpower, Kalango Michael Youppele, Francis Amaebi, Ekiyegha Francis Korobido and Austin Febo.

No comments:

Post a Comment

We'd love to hear from you !!!