From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Minister of State Petroleum Chief Timipre Sylva has hit back at former Bayelsa Governor Henry Seriake Dickson over comments made during a rally ahead of Saturday’s Bayelsa West Senatorial election, the Minister saying that the All Progressive Congress (APC) would win the election.
Dickson had, during the rally held in Sagbama, accused Sylva of denigrating the judiciary and masterminding violence to subvert the electoral process.
Sylva, also a former governor of the State, said in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media and Public Affairs, Mr Julius Bokuro, entitled “On Dickson and the Shadows that haunt him”, that he is a friend of the judiciary, having demonstrated his love for the judiciary through the building of the Nigerian Law School in Yenagoa during his tenure as governor.
According to the Minister, during former Governor Dickson’s administration, violence was elevated as state policy and the judiciary was serially denigrated.
Sylva suggested that Dickson should be looking back at his eight years in office with grief and regret.
He declared that APC would win the senatorial bye-election because of Bayelsans supporting the party to become victorious.
The Minister’s statement read in part:
‘We are days away from two Senatorial elections in Bayelsa Central and West. And congesting the polity with bile, venom and lies is all but a predictable tactic from Dickson.
‘It is important to note that, unlike him who would rush at every and any election, Sylva is not on the ballot and mentioning Sylva’s name in a senatorial campaign which is not even Sylva’s senatorial zone is downright mischievous.
‘While Sylva is busy expanding our dear Nation’s oil and gas possibilities, Dickson is huddled up in some corner making failed, feeble attempts at distraction.
‘Dickson’s edginess and anxiety is a reflection of APC’s dominance in the state. The APC, backed by the good people of Bayelsa state will coast to victory come December 5.
‘Bayelsans and the huge APC support base should remain tall and proud as we send a strong message of light, patriotism, trust and decency this Saturday as we have in previous elections.’