By Amos Okiona
Bayelsa State governor, Senator Douye Diri, has said the major challenge of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state ahead of the November 11 governorship election is that it picked an unsellable candidate that has been rejected by his party members and the people.
Governor Diri, who spoke during a meeting with Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stakeholders from Nembe Local Government Area of the state in Government House, Yenagoa, on Thursday.
He told his party members that the APC was not a problem to the PDP in the state but rather the candidate of the opposition party, Chief Timipre Sylva, who has been dumped by even his party chieftains due to his poor performance in public office.
Governor Diri noted that the APC candidate failed as governor as well as Minister of State for Petroleum Resources as he made no positive impact while he held sway.
He also stated that the APC joint ticket was equally questionable as Sylva’s running mate had very serious legal issues that border on criminal records.
Diri accused Sylva as mastermind of the violence unleashed on the people of Bassambiri community because the man behind the killings in the area is his ally.
He said: “As a sitting governor, the killings that took place during the 2019 election in Nembe would not be allowed to be repeated. Your son, Sylva, is an unsellable candidate. That is why his own close allies are with us. So we are not fighting APC.
“Instead, we are against the killing of our people in Nembe. Every accusing finger is pointed at Kojo Sam and his boys. And these are the people supporting Sylva because he is shielding them.
“Apart from this, how do you hope to be governor of our state when you brought someone who allegedly ran away from prison without completing his term to be your running mate? That does not happen even in a Banana republic.”
The governor expressed confidence that the PDP will win the election because the people are happy with the developmental projects embarked on by his administration.
He emphasized that the era of obtaining votes through violence was over. Rather, he said candidates and their parties should present their achievements and allow the people to decide.
The Bayelsa helmsman particularly noted that Sylva as governor refused to construct any road or bridge in his own Nembe local government area. But that his administration constructed the Unity Bridge, which Sylva abandoned, and is now constructing the Nembe-Brass road.
Diri advised the people to unite, shun violence and engage in issue-based campaigns to achieve victory for the PDP at the poll.
Chairman of the PDP Caucus in Nembe, Chief Ipigansi Izagara, in his remarks, commended the governor for his remarkable achievements and assured that the party members will work hard to win the election in the area.
The party stakeholders passed a vote of confidence in Governor Diri via a motion moved by a former state legislator and commissioner, Dr. Jonathan Obuebite. The motion was seconded also by a former lawmaker, Chief Alfred Walson-Belemote.