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‘Sylva not responsible for clamp down on opposition’

By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoa—Bayelsa State Commissioner for Information, Communication and Strategy, Chief Asara A. Asara, yesterday described as untrue claims that Governor Timipre Sylva was responsible for the recent clamp down on perceive opposition and civil activists over comment on the policies and programmes of the state government.

Asara declared that the governor is a not a garrison commander and should be allow to govern the state without distraction.

He noted that the decisions of the state government on fiscal policies and development projects were based on the need of the people, stressing that the trivial outburst of some critics should not be an excuse to reprimand the present administration.

The commissioner, who briefed newsmen in Yenagoa, said those involved in the claim that Governor Timipre Sylva was responsible for their arrest and prosecution in a law court were not sincere with the state.

His words:   “Any arrest made by the police now is referred to as being engineered by the state government. Police must do their investigation.

If it is the government, it would have been followed up. It is not true that government has ordered the arrest of anybody.”

Chief Asara explained that he had in the past met with the governor over the arrest of an Abuja bureau head of National Life, Mr. Akin Orimolade, and secured an agreement that if any arrest was to be made by the state government, his office and that of the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice were to be in the know and that failure to do that, he would not be ready to answer questions from the media.

“That is the truth. One of those arrested, Chief Olomu, threatened that the president can not come and that they would make the place ungovernable. You mean the President and the security agencies should fold their arms and be looking.

“For the arrested former aide, how important was he that the state can not move forward,. Even if the state government arrest anybody, it is for the peace and protection of state and its people. I don’t think the state governor has gone insane or on military posting to engage in such activity,” Chief Asara added.

Reacting to a question on the botched President visit to the state, Chief Asara said the state government had budgeted over N456.2million for the organisation of activities earmarked for the visit.

He added that 16 committees had been directed by the Chairman of the Central Working Committee and Deputy Governor, Peremobowei Ebebi, to ensure the fund released to them are kept for a future date to be given by the presidency.

Asara, however, dismissed claims by the opposition that the president’s visit was aborted due to security threats and internal wrangling within the ruling party.

“There is no security report and you will observe that for some time, the state has been peaceful. If the president had decided to come, there would have been no security report that would have been able to stop him,” he explained.


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