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Election Tribunal: Tension As APC Leaders Plot To Deliver Bayelsa To Sylva 

YENAGOA, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – There was palpable tension in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital on Thursday following jubilation of supporters of the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the last election, Timipre Sylva, over reports of an impending favourable ruling in his favour by the election petition tribunal.

Sylva had filed a petition at the Bayelsa Governorship Election Tribunal sitting in Abuja to contest the victory of governor Henry Seriake Dickson at the last election.

Although the tribunal will deliver its judgement on his petition in a yet to be fixed date, sources told journalists that the “positive mood” in the Sylva’s camp was sequel to alleged “confirmation” received from some influential citizens within the APC that judgement will likely go the way of their candidate at the tribunal.

A top source who pleaded anonymity reliably informed last night that Sylva had met with the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in a recent trip to London, who allegedly assured him of victory at the tribunal now set to deliver judgement.

Sources said APC leaders led by the Secretary to Government of the federation, Engr. Babachir Lawal, had in pursuit of the matter to a “logical end” gotten a “firm confirmation” from the Presidential Villa regarding the judgement since, according to the source, the APC was bent on retaining one of the oil producing South-South states.

On Thursday, the information has started generating ripples in the PDP political camp, while tempers have started rising to condemn the alleged favourable judgement in waiting.

Some key supporters of the Dickson-led PDP were also said to have met on the issue on Wednesday night on what step to take on the matter.

A source said, “It is true that Sylva’s supporters were in celebratory mood over the report. They were also said to be sewing uniforms already; buses are being arranged to convey thousands of supporters to Abuja to witness the landmark judgement. The development is brewing so much tension in the state right now. It is a wait and see situation.”

But the State Secretary of the PDP, Hon. Keku Godspower in his reaction, said he did not want to comment on the matter since it was still in the tribunal.

He, however, replied to further probing thus: ”All I can only say is that our faith is in God and in the judiciary. So let God be the judge. The judiciary is the last hope of the common man and it will not be right for anyone to try to intimidate, stampede or unduly influence the judiciary into giving judgement in its favour simply because you’re in power today. Anyway, all power belongs to God”.

Recall that two civil society groups, Bayelsa Patriots and Good Governance Initiative had drawn the attention of the public to plots by the APC and Sylva to manipulate the tribunal judgement in their favour.


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