Bayelsa Election: Gov Diri, Sylva woo voters

The Governor of Bayelsa State, Douye Diri, and the All Progressives Congress governorship candidate, Timipre Sylva, at the weekend, tackled each other as they intensified campaigns for the off-cycle governorship election slated for November 11 in the state.

Diri, who is the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, and his reelection campaign team stormed the Ekeremor Local Government Area to woo voters, while Sylva and his APC electioneering train sailed to Southern Ijaw, the local government of his running mate, Joshua Maciver, to seek the votes of the people.

While Sylva berated Diri for spreading hunger and suffering among the residents due to his alleged lack of capacity to govern the state, the incumbent governor criticised the APC standard bearer for maltreating his (Sylva’s) former deputy, Peremobowei Ebebi, and trying to thwart Heineken Lokpobiri’s nomination for ministerial appointment.

Both Ebebi and Lokpobiri, who is the current Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), are APC members and sons of the Ekeremor LGA, which also has Ayamasa as the maternal home of Diri.

Speaking at Olugbobiri and Oporoma in the Southern Ijaw, where he concluded his campaign in the council area, Sylva stated that he was feeling pity for Diri because the office of governor is bigger than his ability.

The former governor, while addressing the crowds of people, said, “He (Diri) doesn’t understand governance. I feel sorry for him because he took up a job for which he lacks the capacity to do. I’m coming in. I can do the work of the governor more than him.

“You see, if it were something that we would laugh about, I would laugh. But I can’t laugh because people are dying; people are hungry because of the incapacity of the man (governor). And that’s why I came out to correct the situation. I will link up with the Jagaban (President Bola Tinubu) in Abuja. I want to assure you that your lives will never be the same again.”

The immediate-past Minister of Petroleum Resources said he was running for governor with a well-defined six-point agenda aimed at alleviating the misery of Bayelsans, stressing that they should not endure the consequences of Diri’s ineffective policies and programmes.

But Diri, whose reelection campaign team visited Ekeremor main town and 13 other communities, recalled how Sylva masterminded the impeachment of Ebebi as his.

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deputy when they were in government, and that he (Sylva) did not support Lokpobiri’s nomination for federal cabinet appointment by Tinubu.

During the event, the governor inaugurated a pavilion at Ekeremor town, a landing jetty at Ogbotobo, a concrete bridge at Lalagbene, internal roads at Aleibiri and Ayamasa as well as a newly-built technical college at Ayamasa.

Addressing the people, he mentioned how he promised to complete the 42.2km Sagbama-Ekeremor road, and expressed gratitude to God that he was able to deliver on the project in less than four years in office, adding that he would carry more developmental projects in the area in his second tenure.

Diri said, “What we have done in Ekeremor is campaigning for us. The roads, pavilion, shore protection, brand new technical college and more are all campaigning for us; unlike those on the other side that did not do anything during their time in office.

“I promised to complete the Sagbama-Ekeremor road during my campaign in 2019 and I delivered. I promise Aghoro people that the day we inaugurate the Sagbama-Ekeremor road, we will flag off the Ekeremor-Agge road and take over the construction of internal roads.

“Sylva removed our son, Ebebi. He also did not want our son, Lokpobiri, to be a minister. He said it should be on hold so that when he fails he can have it. But thank God, today we have Lokpobiri as minister.

“Sylva does not deserve any vote from Ekeremor after his atrocities against the people of the area. Sylva has been rejected by people of the state and even the court has said he is not qualified to be on the ballot.”

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