Bayelsa guber: Why we dropped Sylva for Dickson- Jonathan

SUN Newspaper- Femi Folaranmi

Speaking for the first time since the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stopped Mr. Timipre Sylva from seeking re-election, President Goodluck Jonathan has said that the former governor was barred from the contest because of non-performance of his government.

Addressing a mammoth crowd at the Samson Siasia Sports Complex Yenagoa, during the official campaign flag-off and presentation of flag to PDP governorship candidate, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, Jonathan noted that Sylva’s poor performance was evident in the failure of his administration to complete laudable projects left by previous administrations in the state.

According to him, the people of Bayelsa affirmed the non-performance of Sylva when the former governor was stoned during a presidential rally in October 2011. He, therefore, warned Dickson to perform as governor, if elected, otherwise he (Jonathan) would join the people in stoning him for poor performance.
Jonathan boasted that nobody can stop the PDP from emerging victorious in the forthcoming governorship election, as the party’s candidate would make the difference.

His words: “Everybody knows that in our society, we need development. I was second in command to Alamieyeseigha. One thing I remember is the Tower Hotel. It was not my dream but it was conceptualised under the Alamieyeseigha administration. He discussed with the contractors. It is supposed to be a five-star hotel and it would attract people from all over the world. But now, it is a monument of disgrace. One thing I know is that God is with Bayelsa people.”
The president, who was accompanied to the podium by Senate President David Mark, PDP acting chairman, Alhaji Baraje; ex-BoT chairman, Chief Tony Anenih and other party leaders, pointedly told Dickson to perform as governor or incur the wrath of the people.

“Dickson, you brought the people from Abuja to present flag. The only thing I want to do is to tell you that sometimes ago I was in Bayelsa and the people stoned the governor. I was here and you must work hard for Bayelsa not to stone you. The day they stone you, I will follow stone you,” Jonathan said.
Anenih, in his remarks, justified the actions of the party against Sylva, stressing that it was meant to enforce discipline. He said that what people witnessed yesterday, with the presentation of flag to Dickson, was as a result of that action.
The ex-PDP BoT chairman went philosophical when he likened the case of Sylva to a child who insisted in eating a vulture despite repeated warning from his father no to.
He said: “You can never grow older than your parents. When you grow older than your parents, you will never grow old. When a child insisted on eating the vulture and the father tried to convince him not to and he insists, it will be better you tell the child that those that ate vulture in the past are no more. I am happy that the President is from the South-South. He needs the backing of the people. It is sad to hear that someone we don’t know can challenge him. It will not happen again. All is well.”

The acting Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Nestor Binabo, explained that the crisis that rocked the party was due to the size of the PDP, adding that the crisis would be resolved.
Meanwhile, there was a mild drama at the rally, as party members booed Binabo for his refusal to mention Dickson’s name as the standard bearer of the PDP.
Dickson, in his speech, said he was humbled by the massive support he has enjoyed, stressing that he would not disappoint the people.
He said: “In the new PDP government in the state, we will be working with the youths and elders to replace Bayelsa’s lost glory. We want to turn Bayelsa to the Jerusalem of Ijaw Nation.
“We will work with the people. I am aware of the unwarranted attack on the President, the blackmail and the rest; when we look back at what we did, prosperity will say we have done the right thing.”
Though party chieftains from across the country attended the rally, members of the National Assembly from Bayelsa State, the eight local government chairmen and some members of the state House of Assembly were absent.


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