Trouble in Bayelsa: Gov. Dickson Considers APC, Holds Secret Meeting With Ex-Governor Tmipre Sylva
What appears an evasive political musical chairs leading up to the buildup to the 2015 electoral exercise may have begun unfolding in the various sensitive quarters of the nation in a latent manner. This is as the spat of ongoing impeachment sweeping across the All Progressive Congress [APC] controlled states continues to exhibit the gravity to which the leadership of the People Democratic Party [PDP] and the presidency regards the upcoming 2015 political exercise. Information available to 247ureports.com indicates that many within the circle of PDP governors have become unsettled by the growing uncertainty with regards to their continued stay as governor come 2015 – particularly in Bayelsa State where the governor, Barrister Henry Dickson is reportedly unsure of his ‘good’ relationship with President of the federal republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan – and thus unsure of President Jonathan’s continued support.
A competent source who spoke extensively with 247ureports.com indicated that the governor of Bayelsa State has become frightened by his interpretation of President Jonathan’s body language against the 2016 gubernatorial elections in Bayelsa State – and against his possible impeachment or untimely removal from office. It was understood the previously warm relationship that existed between the Governor and Mr. President may have soured and may have turned into ‘cold’ adversaries. Our source points to President Jonathan’s desire to drop his choice of Governor Dickson – and to hoist another candidate for the seat of governor against the 2016 gubernatorial election – as the chief reason behind the governor’s worries.
The governor’s worries particularly is anchored around the President’s desire to use the same treatment meted to the former governor of Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva in 2012 to remove him. For this reason, Governor Dickson has become flatfooted towards working with the State PDP towards to the presidential reelection campaign. The governor believes the President will dump or not support him in 2016 gubernatorial election after the presidential reelection of 2015.
Sources close to the Governor reveal that the President’s wife, Dame Patience Jonathan have worsened an already bad situation. She has become an overbearing problem for the smooth sailing of the Dickson administration. It is understood the 1st Lady has become involved in virtually all policy decisions made by the Dickson administrations including contract awards. “The Dickson administration pays N115million every month to the 1st Lady” as loyalty money – in addition to other luxurious gifts the Dickson administration were forced to give to the 1st lady and her associates. Governor Dickson, on his part, has begun to show signs of displeasure over the overbearing reach of the 1st lady… to the extent that the 1st family of the nation has noticed …and has begun reacting to the body language of the governor. To the 1st family, the governor has become ungrateful for the opportunity afforded him by Mr. President… and so has begun open discussions with groups on the replacement of the governor come 2016.
To avert the realization of his fears, the Governor sought the audience of Chief Timipre Sylva through an intermediary – believed to be an ex niger delta militant by nickname, ‘Boyloaf’ who resides in Abuja. The ex-militant, according to our source, was able to talk the former Bayelsa governor, Timipre Sylva into visiting his residence at Wuse Zone 2 – without informing him that Governor Dickson was the reason for his invitation to the house. The closed door meeting held on the week of July 4, 2014 at the location in Wuse Zone 2.
According to the source, the Governor had sought audience with Chief Timipre Sylva to discuss available options for securing the 2016 gubernatorial election. It was gathered that the discussions revolved around Governor Dickson’s desire of decamping to the APC. His meeting with Timipre Sylva was to secure Sylva’s blessings. Presently, Timipre Sylva is the leader of the APC in Bayelsa State.
As gathered, Governor Dickson told Timipre Sylva that he is willing to decamp to the APC – and to allow Timipre Sylva to remain the leader of the APC. He pleaded that if allowed entry into the party, he will not fight to take over the leadership of the party from Sylva. But information available 247ureports.com indicates that Sylva was not readily accepting of the offer or plead by the governor. According to the source, Sylva was not trusting of Dickson that he will not seek to commandeer the controls of the APC once allowed entry into the party. The meeting ended unceremoniously.
Also, the lawsuit brought about the Timipre Sylva concerning the denial of PDP gubernatorial ticket by the PDP against its constitutional dictates – was said to have been discussed at the closed door meeting. The suit is presently seating at the Supreme Court … awaiting a decision date from the panel of Judges. Our source indicates that the panel of Judges may soon call on the litigants for court appearance for likely judgment/ruling. The governor is said to be unsettled by what may result from the Supreme Court judgment going by the unclear political climate in Abuja. Timipre, according to our source, was not open to discussing the lawsuit.
Unfazed, the panicked Governor has continued in his efforts to beat back the threat against the governor’s seat. In one of his many desperate efforts, he turned to the officials within the Independent National Electoral Commission [INEC] for help. For starters, he approached the Resident Electoral Commission [REC] in Bayelsa State, Edwin Nwatarali for assistance. Sources in Yenagoa told 247ureports.com that the governor had purchased a luxurious Sport Utility Vehicle [SUV] for the Bayelsa REC in addition to N26million – in exchange for the REC to approach the National officials of the INEC to consider the possibility of re-scheduling the Bayelsa State gubernatorial election away from 2016 to 2015 to coincide with the 2015 presidential election. In so doing, he will be safe from the President’s attempt to use his presidential power to unduly influence the elections in 2016.
Edwin Nwatarali was not able to deliver on the errand he was sent to deliver. Our source revealed that the idea, when tabled to the national officials of the INEC, was considered ‘a joke’ and an impossible fete to accomplish. This is as the public relations officer of INEC in Bayelsa State, Mr. Wariowei in speaking with 247ureports.com denied the allegation of the Governor having bribed the Bayelsa State REC in exchange for the alleged efforts. He went on to threaten the publishers of 247ureports.com not to publish the story unless they “face the wrath of his office”. The Bayelsa State Government however were not as responsive. The Honorable Commissioner for Information, Markson Fefegha in his response to the allegation requested for some time before he could respond. He has yet to respond. The Chief Press Secretary [CPS] to the State Governor, Daniel Markson Iworiso simply failed to respond to repeated requests for comment.