President Bola Tinubu made a strong showing on the sidelines of the G20 meeting

Fight For Bayelsa: APC Names 495-member Campaign Council

Fight For Bayelsa: APC Names 495-member Campaign Council

By Jonas  Happy

The All Progressives Congress, APC, has set up a 495-member National Campaign Council which will manage its effort to snatch Bayelsa State from the PDP in the November 11 election.

It is headed by the Governor of Gombe State, Muhammad  Inuwa Yahaya.

In the ongoing build up to the November 11 governorship election in Bayelsa State, intense national attention appears for now to be focused on two major rival parties, the PDP and the APC.

The Labour Party, LP, which was in contention in the last presidential election when Peter Obi was on the ballot does not appear, given what is on ground in the State, to be as strong in the gubernatorial race.

As things are, a fierce fight for the control of majority votes in the oil rich state which will determine who wins is raging on between the PDP candidate, Governor Douye Diri and his APC challenger, Chief Timipre Sylva, the nation’s immediate past Petroleum Minister.

From Sylva’s base in the Bayelsa East Senatorial District where agents of the APC and the PDP have been fighting over Opu Nembe, to Diri’s homestead in the Central Senatorial District, politicians are battling to seize control of the ground.

Several crucial votes are at stake in the November 11 election. So is the future of the State which was cut out from Rivers by the military.

With eight statutory local council areas, the number of registered voters in Bayelsa State according to statistics is put at approximately 1.25 million.

No doubt, Bayelsa would be a significant battleground given its place in the Niger Delta and its contributions to the growth of the nation.

The State has been controlled since the return to civilian rule by the PDP and it is possible that the APC under President Bola, Tinubu would like to rewrite history.

Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa is leaving no stone unturned in his bid to retire Chief Timipre Sylva of the APC.


Generations of PDP Governors have run the State. They include Chief Diepreye Alamieyesigha, Doctor Goodluck Jonathan who gave up his seat as governor to contest as a Vice President, Chief Timipre Sylva, Chief Seriake Dickson and Senator Douye Diri.

APC’s attempt to snatch power in 2019 was rather short lived. INEC declared David Lyon of the APC as the winner of the 2019 election.

Lyon won by a wide margin. But the Supreme Court acknowledged that governorship candidates and their deputies enjoy a joint ticket.

It found certain inconsistences in the credentials presented by Lyon’s Deputy.

And ruled a few days to the official swearing in ceremony of  David Lyon that he and his running mate brought to court by the PDP would not to be sworn in as governor and deputy.

The Apex Court ordered INEC to issue certificates of return to Diri and his Deputy from the PDP. It was over.

Timipre Sylva, out gone Minister of State (Petroleum) and flag bearer of APC.


Given the size of the National Campaign Council, the quality of the person’s who have been drafted in and the bitter experience suffered in 2019, the APC would fight very hard to prove that its victory on the ground which was upturned was not a mere fluke.

Campaign funds required to prosecute the political war in Bayelsa State may not be in short supply in the APC.

What might be in short supply may be the unity of purpose needed to get the APC to rush to the finish line ahead of the whole pack.

According to our findings, the effort made by the National Secretariat to reconcile fueding members hasn’t worked as expected.

There are strong party members in the APC who may eventually side with Diri if utmost care is not taken by the National Secretariat to pacify aggrieved persons who appear to nurse sentiments that are products deep-seated animosity towards Sylva.

Diri is enjoying enormous sympathy across the State, based on facts that are taking shape on ground at the moment, most especially given the fury which exists within the APC.

But not many in Bayelsa think that what looks like Diri’s acceptance in the public domain has resulted in the rapid development of their State.

For both Sylva and Diri, the November 11 general election will provide a stage for the fight of a lifetime.

If Diri fails, he will be a governor like Alamieyesigha and Sylva who did not get an opportunity on the seat to serve two consecutive terms.

If Sylva who is receiving strong support from his party’s national headquarters fails to secure votes which propel him to occupy Creek Haven, it may be his very last bid to govern the State.

Showing the level of interest the APC has in capturing Bayelsa State, the 495 – man campaign team will be sworn in early enough.

According to the APC, Friday 29 September, 2023 is the day that the political juggernauts assembled as part of the campaign council will be sworn in.

The inauguration of the movers and shakers within the party who have been brought together to serve in the committee is expected to take place at the Lady Daima Memorial Event Place in Yenagoa.

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