A political group, Progressives Consultative Forum (PCF), has warned against allowing former governor of Bayelsa State and minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre, to fly the All Progressives Congress (APC) tocket in the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
The PCF threw its weight behind the governorship candidate in the 2019 governorship election, David LYON, saying he would still bring the same winning formula he adopted in 2019 to the 2023 poll.
Citing what it described as Sylvia’s political inconsistency in recent times, the group said said the former Batelsa governor’s refusal to resign from his current position as the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources a month before the party’s primaries as required by the Electoral Act is a legal lacuna that that makes him unfit for the party’s ticket.
In a statement issued in Abuja yesterday by its director general, Wilberforce Waribote, the PCF Chief Sylva cannot be considered at this time as APC’s best choice in the forthcoming gubernatorial election.”
The APC forum stated: “We make bold to say that as of today, 17th of March, 2023, the Minister is yet to turn in his resignation letter. That was a legal requirement that must be satisfied, and refusal to act by the provision of the law would be a fatal blow to his ambition and the party’s electoral fortune in the state.
“In light of this development, the entire leadership and members of the Progressive Consultative Forum of Bayelsa State wish to strongly warn the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) not to make a grievous mistake that will affect the bright prospects of the party at regaining our 2019 mandate.
“The party should not toy with such obvious facts for floating a candidate who has such an open legal deficiency that could be exploited by opposition parties in a court of law.
“In terms of popularity, while Sylva appears to have lost favour with the electorates in Bayelsa David Lyon, has been a philanthropist and a bridge builder who has proved to be at home with the populace including the physically challenged and the fatherless. He is loved and respected by all in Bayelsa state.
“What the people of Bayelsa state need now is a practical politician like David Lyon who has indeed touched the lives of people positively including youth, women and the less privileged.
“We have it on good authority that members of the All Progressives Congress who decamped to other political parties are earnestly waiting for Lyon to return to the poll for them to come back to their party the APC.
Declaring total support for David Lyon, the PCF recalled that he won convincingly against the ruling PDP in the 2019 governorship election, trouncing then incumbent governors, Seriake Dickson and Diri.
It continued: “If David LYON had a winning formula in 2019, it is wise and reasonable to expect him to have the same in 2023. He has even asked the party for the right of first refusal for the governorship ticket.
“As the party gears up for the April 10 primary, we strongly advise the party to conduct a hitch-free primary, with all its qualified aspirants, without those having a legal lacuna, to ensure a level playing ground for all contestants and work towards the emergence of the most credible and generally acceptable candidate at the end of the exercise.”
The group recalled that Sylva “surreptitiously indicated his interest to vie for Nigeria’s presidency, and lacking the courage to resign his appointment as Minister and go for it, he buckled at the primaries.
“But, his presidential interest was not lost on the party’s power brokers and the electorates in Bayelsa who have noted his lack of guts,” it added.