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Bayelsa: Ijaw Youths Say Buhari Is Funding Sylva Campaign Through NDDC Contracts

BALTIMORE, MD (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Ijaw Youth Congress (Central Zone) in Bayelsa State, has criticised President Muhammadu Buhari over alleged misuse of public funds through contracts awards at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to support the campaign of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Timipriye Sylva, in the state.

In a statement issued on Wednesday by the Chairman of the Central Zone of the Ijaw Youth Congress, Bobolaiyefa Owopele, he accused some influential members of the Buhari administration of being behind what he considered as “abuse of office and misuse of public funds”.

According to the IYC helmsman, the report making the round that the Federal Government has directed the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Daavid Babachir Lawal, to make funds available through the NDDC to help Sylva win the Bayelsa election was unfortunate.

He said when he first received the report, he dismissed it knowing the pedigree of President Buhari as a man with an uncompromising stance on issues of corruption but that he was later convinced when they established the truth that contract papers were actually being issued to APC  stalwarts in the state.

He alleged that such “unmerited contracts” were conduits for getting out funds to support the aspiration of APC candidate, Timipre Sylva. This, he also said, was nothing but corruption.

Owopele and the IYC as a youth body have therefore called on President Buhari to investigate their claims, noting that in fairness to the president, he may not know that some of his aides were using his name and office to perpetrate fraud.

“To prove that there is some truth to the allegation, a number of those who defected from the PDP to APC were actually lured with NDDC contracts and they now brandish letters of contract awards as proofs of our convictions. But this is an unacceptable scheme of corruption in a democracy”.

The IYC further drew President Buhari ‘s attention to what the youth body said was the negative effect of “influence peddling” on the December 5 governorship election as it claimed Sylva has been going around telling everybody  about his closeness to both the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, David Babachir Lawal and Minster of Defence, Brigadier General Muhammad Mansur Dan-Ali and that they will help him to rig the election.

He stated that Sylva has specifically told the people that his friends who are top aides of President Buhari have assured him of victory because they are in control of INEC, police and the army. As such that he has the backing of the Federal Government and in no way can the PDP win the election.

The IYC Central Zone helmsman said he was sensitive to Sylva’s claims especially when he realized that the same minister of defence presided over the controversial primary election that threw up Sylva as candidate of the APC in Bayelsa State.

It added that he was surprised to see that Sylva is now guarded by about ten soldiers, a man who is not holding any office nor is he a retired army general.

“This is wrong and improper in a civilized society because even retired generals don’t have as many as ten soldiers guarding them as an individual’, the statement noted.

“While we do not begrudge Sylva about his influential friends in government, we want to urge President Buhari to pay closer attention to the role being played by the aforementioned close officials of the Federal Government and ensure they do not in any way compromise the credibility of the election and by implication his own cherished integrity as a leader who abhors corruption of any kind”.


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