By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoa—Governor Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa State says taking political advantage of the pelting incident in Yenagoa during President Goodluck Jonathan’s recent visit to the state is the basest attitude anybody aspiring to lead can exhibit.
Sylva said the attempt to profiteer from the incident is the highest level of political immorality any politician can commit against a people he intends to lead.
The governor was reacting to a press conference on Thursday in Abuja by a group, “Governorship Aspirants of the Peoples Democratic Party aspiring for the ticket of the above party in the forthcoming primaries in Bayelsa State,” in which they alluded to the pelting as an expression of the people’s feeling towards the state government.
Sylva, in a statement through his Chief Press Secretary, CPS, Doifie Ola, condemned what he called the base motives of the aspirants, and likened their strategy to the approach of “the federal arm of the people’s enemies, who also tried to profiteer from the gruesome bombing of innocent citizens in Abuja on our 50th Independence Day.”
According to him, “The attempt by the so-called PDP governorship aspirants to take political advantage of the stoning incident during the civic reception for Mr. President clearly points to the source of the attack. Paid and unpaid agents of forces of reaction attempted to embarrass Mr. President, the people of Bayelsa State, and the Ijaw nation.
If they thought the stoning incident was an attempt to disgrace Governor Sylva, they are mistaken.
“One would have expected these aspirants to condemn this needless barbarism. But, alas, they have decided to profiteer and take political advantage of the incident.
“Bringing the state to disrepute in the presence of visitors, including the nation’s highest political office holder, Mr. President, who happens to be a son of the state, is the lowest level anybody who aspires to lead can sink, however grave their grievance.”
On the allegation of violence and intimidation, Ola said, “Clearly, it is Governor Sylva that is the victim of violence and not the aggressor, as they themselves have attested.”
The governor’s spokesman wondered why the aspirants, who claimed to be overwhelmingly popular, chose to address their press conference in Abuja.
Responding to the alleged use of the official vehicle of the chairman of Brass Local Government Area in an alleged attack on Beinmo Rufus_Spiff, the CPS stated, “The Chairman of Brass Local Government is not an agent of Governor Sylva.
He is the chairman of a local government, who was elected by the people of the local government. Governor Sylva is not aware of the alleged attack on Beinmo Rufus_Spiff. If such a thing happened, the sensible thing to do is to report to the police.”
Ola urged the people of Bayelsa State to “remain calm, as they have always been. The police are investigating the Yenagoa stoning incident and will bring everybody responsible to book; they will not escape the long arms of the law.”
It would be recalled that the impeached deputy governor of Bayelsa State, Mr. Peremobowei Ebebi, led the group to the Abuja press conference last Thursday, 28 October.
At the press briefing, the statement noted that the aspirants accused Governor Sylva of trying to intimidate them to drop their ambitions as PDP Gubernatorial aspirants.
Aside Ebebi, other members of the group the statement said are Francis Doukpola; Dimaro Denyabofa; Imoro Kubor; Christopher Enai; Hinks Dumbo; Beinmo Rufus_Spiff and Fred Agbedi.