Sylva Struggles To Narrow Gap As Diri Gallops Away
● Diri Snatches Sagbama, Ekeremor, Ogbia, Yenagoa and Kolokuma/Opokuma;
● Sylva wins convincingly in Nembe;
● Results from Brass and Southern Ijaw LGAs to be collated on Monday
By PHC Telegraph
The former Minister of State responsible for Petroleum and one-time State Governor of Bayelsa, Chief Timipre Sylva who ran on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, may have hoped to narrow Governor Douye Diri’s early lead with a huge win in Nembe.
The APC candidate polled 22,248 votes in Nembe while the PDP and LP got 4,556 and 113 respectively.
Comparatively, Sylva led in Nembe with slightly above 17,000 votes.
That figure was not enough to narrow the yawning gap and offset Diri’s 38,475 vote lead.
On the whole, Diri had obtained over 74,000 votes from three local government areas when collation began on Sunday.
But Diri’s convincing win in Sagbama and later in Ekeremor may indeed represent a major turning point in the race.
Reports reaching our news desk says Diri established a lead of more than 27,000 votes against Sylva in Sagbama alone.
The Sagbama vote, many observers agree, was sufficient to give Diri a comfortable lead and erase whatever gain that Sylva made in Nembe.
Bayelsa is a PDP State. Since its creation, no other political party in Nigeria has won Bayelsa.
The only time the APC came close to a win was in 2019. But it lost the chance to govern the state following the pronouncement of the Supreme Court.
Recall that the Bayelsa State Governor shot into the lead on Sunday morning after poll results from strongholds in Yenagoa, Ogbia and Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Areas were collated.
Thereafter, Faruq Kuta, a Vice Chancellor and Returning Officer announced a short break to enable officials who conducted elections in Bayelsa’s rural areas to arrive Yenagoa with their results.
On resumption of collation about 4pm Nigerian time on Sunday, Sylva predictably took the highest number of votes cast in Nembe, but lost in Sagbama and Ekeremor Local Government Areas.
The Port Harcourt Telegraph had earlier predicted that the winner of Sagbama and Southern Ijaw and Ekeremor LGAs would go ahead to win the gubernatorial election in Bayelsa.
In Sagbama for instance, Sylva polled 6,608 votes while Diri ran away with 35,504 votes. Udengs Eradiri of the Labour Party could only garner 217 votes.
Similarly. Diri pulled it off in Ekeremor and there are solid indications that Southern Ijaw, home base of David Lyon may be won by the PDP.
While Southern Ijaw looks good for Diri and the PDP, Brass may be beckoning on the APC
Protesters from Brass swept through major streets in Yenagoa claiming they have been prevented from voting for Diri.
The APC also cried out on Sunday, saying there were inordinate plans to collate Brass results in Yenagoa.
INEC is yet to declare the winner in the off-cycle election in Bayelsa. It would probably do so on Monday.
But the emerging picture, based on the performances of the political parties, does not look quite rosy for Sylva at this time.
In a sense, it is beginning to look like Diri who continously accused Sylva of running his campaign on a pack of lies may have the last laugh.
Reports reaching this paper reveal that Sylva’s deputy who reportedly hails from the same place with APC’s David Lyon, winner of the 2019 election who lost his chance to rule Bayelsa because of the intervention of the Supreme Court, could not deliver his own village.
Many who interacted with the Telegraph Sunday night are attributing his defeat at home to the Lyon factor.
Lyon and his supporters who have shown preference for Diri instead of Sylva have been equally unhappy over the treatment meted to them.
As things are, it is payback time; time for Sylva to note that money alone and his new found influence do not secure great victories.
Incidentally, Sylva’s fall in Ekeremor is raising serious eyebrows. Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, Minister of State in charge of Petroleum hails from Ekeremor.
Diri’s victory in Ekeremor could mean two things. First. that Lokpobiri is losing his grip on Ekeremor politics.
The second possible reason which explains why the voting pattern in Ekeremor may have slipped out of APC’s control is the tale, largely unverified, that says Diri and the Minister had teamed up against Sylva prior to the election.
Sylva may be on the verge of losing the power game, but he claims that he only feels pity for the good people of Bayelsa State and not for himself.
On Monday, the collation of results from the two remaining local government areas will continue.
Hopefully, the people of Bayelsa will have the benefit of a formal announcement and the opportunity to rejoice with the one who has the mandate to man their affairs in the next four years.
Some Of The Results So Far Collated In Bayelsa State:
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