The suspension of former Governor Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa State by the
All Progressives Congress, APC, has taken a new twist as investigations
reveal that he has fallen apart with the Minister of State for
Agriculture, Heineken Lokpobiri over N600 million ministerial appointment
A political movement in the Bayelsa State Chapter of the All Progressives
Congress (APC), under the aegis of APC Bayelsa Good Governance Group, on
Sunday said it had it on good authority that Sylva was annoyed that
Lokpobiri had refused to pay the remaining N200 million because he only
got the position of a junior minister.
The group alleged that Sylva was busy selling federal appointments to his
cronies including the appointment of Lokpobiri at the cost of N600
“During the bargain, Lokpobiri dropped an advance payment of N400 million
for Sylva but declined payment of the balance of N200 million because he
was given a junior minister. But replied Lokpobiri to account for the N1
billion he got from campaign during the last Bayelsa State governorship
election. This is the cause of their fighting, we are therefore calling on
President Muhammadu Buhari to direct anti-graft agencies to investigate
this matter and get Sylva arrested”, the coordinator of the group, Douye
Alex Panebi, said in a statement in Yenagoa.
This, he said explained why the organisation supported the decision to
suspend Sylva as a corrective measure to bring back sanity into the party.
Sylva and four other members of the APC were on Saturday handed indefinite
suspension by the party’s leadership citing alleged anti party activities
and other forms of misbehaviour deemed to be inimical to the progress of
APC in Bayelsa state.
The organisation which reflected on the loss of the APC in the last
election and recent crisis within the party in the state said that but for
the inordinate ambition of the Sylva during the last governorship
election, APC could have posted a better result.
The group said “Sylva’s greed, deceit and terrible track record as a
former governor caused APC’s defeat at the polls and his subsequent
conduct had only worsened the situation in the party in Bayelsa state.”
Panebi also alleged that Sylva was already busy in Abuja selling federal
appointments to cronies and thus causing disaffection within the party.
He said, “We must be honest and accept the fact that Sylva’s emergence as
candidate was the reason for our misfortune at the last election. We were
roundly beaten at the polls because Sylva was a bad product. That is why
even the ongoing case at the tribunal is a clear waste of time and
resources, another conduit for Sylva to further scam people of their money
as he goes about assuring people that the presidency has directed the
judiciary to return him as governor.
“That was how he went about deceiving everybody that he was not going to
contest the governorship election and then collecting money from all the
aspirants promising each of them the ticket, he turned around to
eventually contest. He didn’t stop there, he we went ahead to hoodwink
everyone of us into believing that he has the backing of the president,
boasting that he had federal might and that INEC had been instructed to
return him as governor.
“For that reason, many of us sold properties to contribute to his campaign
with the promise of a juicy appointment in return as reward. Little did we
realize that it was all a scam. Sylva deceived so many people who worked
hard and spent hard earned money on his election. Rather than reward those
people who worked hard for his campaign, he is busy in Abuja selling
appointments to his cronies to raise money to bribe the judiciary to grant
him victory at the tribunal while using the office of the secretary to the
federation and the presidency to intimidate the judiciary”.
Members of the group who were said to be loyal to the Tiwe Oruminighe-led
leadership in Bayelsa state said they fully back the suspension of the
former governor given what they described as his “penchant for deceit,
violence and corrupt tendencies” which led to the party’s humiliating
defeat at the just concluded polls.
While calling on President Muhammadu Buhari and the graft bodies to
investigate the allegation, the group insisted that the right thing to do
was for the president to direct the relevant agencies to immediately
arrest Sylva for corruption.
The group also called on the national leadership of the APC to prevail on
the president to stop Sylva from parading himself as leader of the party
in the state.