Friday, November 4, 2011

Sylva walks tightrope …As tempers flare at peace talk …S’South govs intensify lobby

Hope for an amicable resolution of the clearance of the remaining batch of governorship aspirants in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State melted in confusion late Wednesday as a peace meeting called to address the debacle failed to hit a standard rhythm.
With this development, incumbent governor, Chief Timiprey Sylva, may well be walking a tight rope in his bid for re-election.

A source close to the meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan, which was called at the instance of governors sympathetic to the cause of the Bayelsa State Governor, Chief Timipre Sylva, said an uncontrolled flare of tempers raised tension and led to a non-definitive resolution.
Similarly, another meeting called yesterday to finally address the matter was at the risk of not holding, as at press time last night.

Scheduled for 10pm, the meeting was to be between Jonathan and some South-South governors who had been mounting pressure on both the president and the PDP hierachy to reconsider Sylva. Presidential spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, who confirmed the second meeting on telephone last night said the meeting might not hold, or if it did, might not last for more than 10 minutes.

Insisting that it was impossible for any governor to shout at the president, no matter the circumstance, denied that the said first meeting ever held nor that there was ever a deadlock. However, a source close to the PDP leadership insisted that the meeting held and that it was not unlikely that the presidential spokesman was not unaware. According to him, it was at that first meeting that the embattled Bayelsa governor further compounded his case, with his conduct - a conduct which the source said may have angered Jonathan who still kept his cool throughout the talks.

Daily Sun learnt that the Wednesday meeting progressed without any ugly incident, until Sylva’s voice rose in octaves higher than everyone else’s. At this point, a safe passage way had to be created with an adjournment. The hazy outcome of the meeting, which was generally perceived as the last “upper room” to break the logjam, had further deepened the clearance “mess” as party leaders now speak from both sides of the mouth on the fate of Sylva.

Having read the handwiting on the wall, the source added, Sylva has now enlisted the support of his benefactor, who is also a traditional ruler in the state, to help mount pressure on Jonathan. Meanwhile, ‘efforts to also get Chief Uche Sekondus to join the lobby have yet to yield any dividends’’ the source said. Acting National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Kawu Baraje said the allegations against the embattled Bayelsa State governor was a serious issue as it borders on national security even as he added that “Sylva won election for us and we believe that he can still win election.”

Baraje, who spoke to the press on the issue yesterday, however, explained that the clearance exercise was an ongoing process. Media aide to the governor, Dofie Ola, denied that his boss engaged the president in a shouting match, when contacted on telephone.

He said it was inconceivable and completely false that his boss’ temper would flare at such a crucial meeting, least of all engaging the president and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces in a shouting match. He described the new development as the “handiwork of opponents of the governor who are hell-bent on pulling any spin to achieve their wicked and selfish objective.”

Ola expressed optimism at the eventual outcome of the impasse, adding that the people of Bayelsa State would be better of with another term for the governor.