Sunday, 30 October 2011

Bayelsa guber: Anxiety over Sylva, Alaibe

ABUJA—AHEAD of Bayelsa State
November 19, Peoples Democratic Party,
PDP, governorship primaries, leadership
of the party, yesterday, summoned
Governor Timipre Sylva and former
Managing Director of Niger Delta
Development Commission, NDDC, Chief
Timi Alaibe in Abuja.
They were drilled for hours by the
screening appeal panel.
The unusual aspect was summoning of
Governor Sylva and some other aspirants,
who scaled the the Mrs Abiodun Olujimi-
led appeal panel screening.
There were strong indications of moves
for Governor Sylva’s disqualifi-cation, a
source told Vanguard at the end of the
panels meeting, yesterday.
However, after facing the appeal panel,
the Governor told journalists that his Port
Harcourt clearance last week was intact,
saying: “My clearance is still subsisting.”
Meanwhile, well over 1,000 Police and
other security personnel, yesterday, took
over the Abuja national secretariat of
PDP as the appeal panel headed by the
former Deputy Governor of Ekiti State,
Mrs. Olujimi, screened Sylva, Alaibe, Ben
Murray-Bruce, Boloubo Orufa and
Francis Doukpola.
The screening followed the petitions
received by the party leadership over
alleged irregularities trailing the just-
concluded Bayelsa State PDP screening
done in Port Harcourt, at which Sylva,
Ben Bruce, Mr. Henry Dickson, Boloubo
Orufa and others were cleared. Alaibe had
failed to scale the screening.
It will be recalled that the Rtd Brigadier-
General Idi Adamu-led screening
committee, last Thursday in Port
Harcourt, cleared Sylva and Ben Bruce
but disqualified Alaibe and the Permanent
Secretary in the Ministry of Water
Resources, Ambassador Godknows Igali.
The ambassador is representing Nigeria at
the United Nations 66th General
Assembly on Water Resources, Food
Security, Job Creation and Social
Protection in New York.
Alaibe was disqualified on the ground that
he had not stayed in the party for the
mandatory two years, but has since
applied for waiver from the national
leadership of the party based on the fact
that he is not only a foundation member
of the party but contributed to the victory
of PDP during the April presidential
Vanguard gathered that he had insisted
that the party must grant him the waiver
to enable him contest. He was said to have
reported to the leadership of the party
that he wrote to his ward and was cleared
but was being frustrated by Governor Sylva
at the state level. This, he said,
necessitated the summoning of Sylva to
explain his side of the story.
The source told Vanguard that Alaibe
cited the case of Aliyu Wammako of
Sokoto State, who left All Nigeria Peoples
Party, ANPP, and was granted a waiver
by the party. He was also said to have
mentioned the case of Governor Theodore
Orji of Abia State who dumped Progressive
Peoples Alliance, PPA, for PDP and was
received, which qualified him to run for
the governorship election.
Alaibe said having served the party in
various ways, especially during the last
presidential election and being a founding
member of PDP, he deserved a waiver.
Another source at the Wadata House
national secretariat of PDP, disclosed
that Ambassador Igali was expected to be
given special screening by PDP anytime
he returns from the national assignment.
It was also gathered that Governor Sylva
was summoned by the panel not on the
ground of his eligibility, but as a result of
petitions against him.
Answering questions from journalists
after his session with members of the
appeal panel, Sylva, who confirmed that
he was summoned to clarify some issues,
however, expressed optimism that the
clearance he got last week to go into the
PDP governorship primaries will not be
He said: “Whenever my party calls, I will
answer even if it is on a Sunday. It is the
party’s prerogative to call me anytime. I
have been cleared and the party just
invited me to clarify some issues which I
have clarified.”
On whether his invitation would affect his
clearance, Governor Sylva pointed out that
his clearance had always been subsistence,
stressing that there was no problem as
nobody had taken away the clearance.
Sylva said: “I am not aware of any
petition. But everybody has a right to
complain about something. It is also my
right to explain my position to the party
and I believe that the party is satisfied.
“Everything that has been written is a
figment of some people’s imagination and
I told the party so. I told them exactly how
things are and the party believed me. I
believe that the party will conduct a fair
On whether the removal of the acting
Chairman, who was loyal to him, would
affect his chances at the primaries, he
said: “It doesn’t matter.”

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