By Samuel Oyadongha
YENAGOAâ€”Bayelsa State governor, Chief Timipre Sylva, yesterday denied paying N250 million to repentant militant leader, Mr. Ebikabowei Victor Ben, a.k.a Boyloaf, to facilitate his acceptance of theoffer by President Umaru Musa Yarâ€™Adua.
Boyloaf was among 32 militant leaders led by Sylva last week to meet with the President to officially renounce militant activities and accept the presidentâ€™s peace bid.
However, a newspaper report had alleged that Boyloaf was induced to accept the peace deal with a payout.
Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Doifie Ola, said in a statement thatÂ â€œBoyloaf was not induced or cajoled. In fact, people with deep understanding of the state of militancy in the Niger Delta know perfectly that payout is not an option. No money was paid to Boyloafâ€.
According to Ola, â€œGovernor Sylva is aware of the masquerade behind this malicious allegation. Typically, the government of Bayelsa State would not have bothered about the hot air from this fellow who thinks ruling Bayelsa State is his birthright, and whose stock-in-trade is pulling down every government in the state, from Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha to Sylva.
â€œBut in order for unsuspecting Baylesans and others not to be misled, Chief Sylva hereby states that he never gave money to Boyloaf or any militant to accept the presidentâ€™s amnesty”.
â€œThe state government has said in no uncertain terms that all stakeholders in the Niger Delta must do everything within their legitimate powers to encourage those who took up arms in the region to drop them because there is no longer need for armed struggle since President Umaru Musa Yarâ€™Adua has taken bold and sincere steps to address the Niger Delta crisis and the measures should be allowed to grow and bear the fruit of peace, which all of us need, and that we would assist truly repentant militants to reintegrate into societyâ€.
Ola attributed the instant success of the Presidentâ€™s peace deal to Governorâ€™s Sylva pro-active initiatives to end militancy and enthrone a regime of sustained peace in Bayelsa State .
The CPS added that as governor, Sylva was interested in securing the peace in Bayelsa State, so he could concentrate on his social and economic development programme.
He described as third class mischief insinuations that Boyloaf and other repentant militants have been recruited by the governor for a so-called 2012 re-election bid.
â€œIt is a wicked, evil and criminal lie. It is dangerous to reduce everything to politics. 2012 is still far away. For now, Governor Sylva is focused on working to promote the material conditions of the good people of Bayelsa State, those who matter the most in his politicsâ€ he said.