The candidacy of the All Progressives Congress (APC) flag bearer in the Dec. 5 governorship election in Bayelsa State, Chef Timipre Sylva appears to have split Traditional Rulers and Elders of the state as they set aside political pressures to endorse Sylva.
The decision to endorse the APC candidate was taken by the Elders and Traditional Rulers, under the aegis of the Bayelsa Elders Council, after an exhaustive interactive session presided over by Chairman of the Council, Chief Francis Doukpoula and the Amanayabo of Twon Brass, King Alfred Diette-Spiff.
Also at the meeting were first-class traditional rulers, including the Ebidawei of Kolokuma kingdom, King Agara Onya Mozi, Ebidawei of Boma Clan, King Joshua Igbugburu, Dr. Amba Ambaowei, Chief Douglas Naigba.
However, few of the Traditional Leaders and Elders known to be loyal to the administration of Governor Seriake Dickson, who is seeking re-election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, including Chief Thompson Okorotie, were noticeably absent from the meeting.
The Bayelsa Elders’ endorsement of Sylva was not without a catch as they secured his firm assurances not to hold any grudges against any politician or individual for their role in the incidents that led to his disqualification to run for a second term in 2012 by the PDP his subsequent travails under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
King Diette-Spiff, who spoke on behalf of the Traditional Rulers, said “Sylva is eligible to run. We have given you our blessings and support. We call on you to be peaceful and not carry any grudge against anyone”.
Speaking earlier, Mr. Sylva said though he was pained by the refusal of the Elders from the State to reach out to him during the political processes that led to the exit of the former president from office, the decision to meet with them is based on the conviction that his governorship aspiration is based on true justice.
“I believe if as a Governor, I was allowed to run in 2012, I would have won and done my second term in office”, he said.