By George Onah
Port Harcourt—No fewer than five groups in Bayelsa State have indicated their intention to “vigorously campaign against the re-election of Bayelsa State Governor, Chief Timipre Sylva.”
They include Committee of Bayelsa Rebirth, Bayelsa Youths Frontiers, Bayelsa Vanguard for Change, among others.
It was learnt that the announcement by the Independent National Electoral Commission. INEC, that it would conduct the next governorship election in Bayelsa State, may have opened the floodgate of petitions from the groups.
The groups hinged their desire to stop the Governor on the allegation that “Sylva has failed Bayelsans in the last three years of his administration and he could not be allowed to toy with the destiny and lives of millions of Bayelsa indigenes.”
Vanguard gathered that Governor Sylva may not have expected INEC’s announcement in that direction over the election, causing his Information Commissioner, Mr Nath Egba, to declare government’s readiness to challenge INEC in court over the matter.
However, Spokesman for Committee for Bayelsa Rebirth, Mr. ThankGod Oweifa, said the group had already started the search for Sylva’s replacement.
“One of those names on our list is a former governorship aspirant during the 2007 election, Chief Francis Doukpola, the man favoured by most Bayelsa stakeholders to fly the party’s flag in 2007".
Another group, the Bayelsa Youths Frontiers said in its statement, Thursday, by its spokesman, Emomotimi Seifaon, that “the time has come for Sylva to quit so that Bayelsa can be redeemed from the shackles of poverty and deprivation.
“We read with great satisfaction and relief, the report from INEC, that Bayelsa is one of the states where elections shall hold in January next year. For us, it is a very big relief, considering what we have experienced as a people”.
The group alleged that “we cannot really point to what has happened in the last three years since Sylva became governor. “We agree that he was brought in because of the lacuna that was created after President Jonathan was made vice presidential candidate,
“Since it is now clear that there will be elections in Bayelsa State, we are returning to the drawing board to get a candidate that can rescue us from this bondage that we have found ourselves in the last three years”
Similarly, the spokesman for Bayelsa Vanguard for Change Dr. Fyneface Ibotirimika said “we have started the search for a credible candidate that will replace Sylva. Enough is enough. Sylva has to go and we will vote him out if he seeks re_election in 2011.”