The leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has anointed former
governor, Timipre Sylca, as the party’s consensus candidate for the
December 5 governorship election in the state, it was learnt last night.
The decision was said to have been taken in Abuja after series of
meetings with both Sylva and his closest rival, former NNDC boss, Timi
However, Alaibe was said to have bluntly rejected the decision, daring
the leadership that the question of who emerges as the governorship
candidate can only be settled through a transparent primary election.
A source who was at the meetings but pleaded anonymity told our
correspondent last night that the decision to finally give Sylva the nod
was arrived at to avoid a possible bitter outcome of going into primaries
with potential of tearing the party apart ahead of the election.
The source, who is an influential APC leader from Lagos State, also
informed our correspondent that Sylva’s endorsement was unanimous given
his role as a leader of the party in Bayelsa State and as a way of
compensating him for his commitment and loyalty to the party aside being
a former governor who was seen to be more on the ground than Alaibe and
the other aspirants.
As a compromise, Alaibe was offered the ministerial slot for the state,
already penciled down as minister for Niger Delta Affairs, the source
But the decision to anoint Sylva as a consensus has triggered discontent
as Alaibe and his supporters have kicked against the move seen as
undemocratic and injustice.
Both our source at the meeting and a close political associate of Alaibe
confirmed the development, noting that Alaibe was adamant to step down
for Sylva except a free and fair primary was conducted to determine the
“It is true former governor Timipre Sylva was unanimously adopted as our
consensus candidate and the leaders present at the meeting gave reasons
for their decision. You know we have about 9 aspirants in Bayelsa but
Sylva and Alaibe are those with winning potentials. However, in the
judgement of our leaders, Sylva was adopted. As a compromise, they also
anointed Alaibe as minister but he bluntly rejected the offer. He said
they should all go to primaries. That was all happened at the last meeting
in Abuja where the decision was taken”, the source said.
Meanwhile, it was gathered that Alaibe was already considering the next
move which may lead to joining another party.
A source close to the politician confirmed last night that he may end up
running on the platform of the Labour Party if his request for a free and
fair primary was not acceded to by the APC leadership.
“Without a free and fair primary, Alaibe will likely run on the ticket of
the Labour Party. He cannot be made to step down at every election and I
can assure you that he may eventually defect to Labour by mobilizing his
supporters to realize his ambition”, the source hinted