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Sylva And His Thugs Hijacked Bayelsa APC Governorship Primary –Oshiomhole  

*Oshiomhole, a Liar, Mischief Maker –Sylva

By Ayo Balogun, Yenagoa

BALTIMORE, MD, (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole has accused the former governor of Bayelsa state Timipriye Sylva of disrupting the state’s governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) even as he said sylva and his thugs threatened his life.

Speaking at a press conference in Benin, oshiomohole who was the chairman of the Bayelsa APC governorship electoral committee, said he was rescued by soldiers after being held hostage for several hours by Sylva’s thugs and hoodlums.

His word: “I was appointed with six other members from the APC to conduct the primary election of the governorship election in Bayelsa State. The exercise took place yesterday (Tuesday) and somehow, thugs took over the sports complex, where the exercise was to take place.

“They practically prevented the actual delegates from participating and as a result, we could not proceed with the exercise. The committee was virtually held hostage, including my humble self.

“This time, they were supervised unfortunately by one of the aspirants, the former governor of the state,  Timipriye Sylva, who said to my face and to the committee that we could not leave the venue of the conference unless we conduct the exercise without accreditation, as prescribed by the national secretariat.

“It is important that we state clearly that the national secretariat has adopted a standard guideline for the conduct of governorship primary and this guideline were used effectively in Kogi State and it produced a candidate in which all the aspirants were quite happy with.

“The key issues in this guideline, as handed down by the party, is that delegates, as contained in the list, have to be identified either though the Permanent Voter Card or the National Identity Card or international passport.

“This was to ensure that proper accreditation was done because the integrity of an election rests primarily on the integrity of the accreditation process; once the accreditation suffers any defect, it affects the entire exercise.  As they say, you cannot build something on nothing.”

“Whereas all the aspirants agreed with this guideline, it is only Sylva that did not agree with it. He rejected this mode of accreditation and chose to accuse the national secretariat of formulating the guideline to frustrate his ambition.

“Every effort made to reassure him and direct his attention to the fact that same guidelines have been used and that they are standard guidelines that will be used in future elections fell on deaf ears.

“He insisted that we cannot leave the place unless we are ready to conduct the election without recourse to accreditation, as stipulated by the party and, of course, I was not in a position to amend the guideline, nor was I ready to submit to his intimidation. and insisted that we must conduct the election based on their own rules‎.”

“Sylva insisted that it is the State Secretariat and not the national body that should conduct the primary and that it was wrong for the national body to conduct primaries without involving the state leadership of the party and therefore, as far as he was concerned, we must proceed with the election without complying with the guidelines of the national secretariat.

“When it became clear that our lives were under threat, I had to call Abuja to prevail on the Joint Task Force to provide me with security to enable me to leave the venue of the primary because thugs had effectively blocked the gates under the instructions of Sylva.

“I have since forwarded our report to the National Secretariat namely that the primary could not be conducted because of these and several other malpractices.”

Oshiomhole, a Liar, Mischief Maker –Sylva

Reacting in a statement, Sylva fired back saying the Edo state governor is a mischief maker who is bent on getting him out of the race insisting he won the controversial  primary. 

His words: “First, on his request, the primary was shifted from its earlier date of Saturday, September 19 to the Tuesday, September 22 date. The grouse of the delegates was that the primaries had been shifted once on Oshiomhole’s request. That shift caused enough hardship already. The ‘comrade’ was again shifting the goal post, without giving consideration to these hapless delegates. It was that frustration that we were managing. It is so sad that the governor did not appreciate our effort.”

“Second, as chairman of the APC Electoral Committee, Oshiomhole knew full well that accreditation of delegates was to begin at 8am on Tuesday, September 22, but he came to the venue of the programme well past 12 noon. After he arrived at that late hour, he proceeded with a meeting with the committee members and another meeting with the aspirants. He clearly had preconceived plans about the Bayelsa APC governorship primary.

“Third, Oshiomhole cannot really say anything about the primary election because he had left the venue at the time voting commenced. Oshiomhole set the process in motion for voting to commence before he excused himself on the grounds that he was going to eat, and he mandated other members of the committee to carry on without him.

“The world needs to know that the Bayelsa State Electoral Committee is made up of seven members, and of the seven only Oshiomhole left. The other six remained, conducted the primary and declared Sylva winner of the exercise.

“Fourth, it bothers on pettiness for Governor Oshiomhole to quote me as antagonist to new entrants to our party. Every discussion I had with the governor was public.

“The only private conversation I had with him was when he walked up to me and asked me if I truly believed he was working against my interest. To that I answered ‘YES’. As a man of integrity (?) he even offered to step down as chairman. If he had stepped down would that have invalidated the primaries? We should refrain from exaggerating our worth and integrity. Let other good people judge our character.

“After all, I was the one that received all new entrants. Oshiomole was invited and he did not come.

“Fifth, Oshiomhole came to Yenagoa with a clear agenda, which was to get me out of the race at all cost. We are aware that he had been lobbying at the centre to get me out of the race in order to pave the way for one of the aspirants. Indeed, one of the aspirants had boasted openly that Oshiomhole would cancel the primary once he arrived, shortly before his arrival.

“Sixth, Oshiomhole should not tell lies, if I was not there, contrary to his insinuation that I rented thugs to manhandle him, the crowd would have manhandled him. I personally accompanied Oshiomhole to the gate when he was going to eat.

“Seventh, if Oshiomhole has anything personal against me, let him tell the world. We are shocked that the man who claims to be morally upright with a strong ethical orientation would land in Yenagoa for an exercise in which he ought to be an impartial arbiter with a helicopter provided by a friend of one of the aspirants.”



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