● Heineken Lokpobiri may emerge leader of Bayelsa APC
By Jonas Happy
Supporters of Chief Timipre Sylva who went for the November 11, 2023 off-cycle elections hoping against the run of play to rewrite history in Bayelsa State are leaking their wounds.
They have no one to cry to now that the war is over; no one to tend to their deep-seated injuries; and no atom of hope to cling unto except thoughts of a petition that they are praying Sylva would file before an election tribunal.
Sylva could only win two out of eight local government areas in the State while Governor Douye Diri swept the rest.
For the record, the incumbent Governor won in Kolokuma/Opokuma, Southern Ijaw, Ekeremor, Yenagoa. Sagbama and Ogbia.
Sylva despite the hype which preceded the election picked Brass and Nembe Local Government Areas.
One week has since past after Governor Diri easily secured victory in an election, which from the look of things, was not too difficult for the PDP to win.
In most parts of the State, including Nembe and Brass, life is returning to normal, with most indigenes and those who reside in their midst going about their normal business.
A great majority of Bayalsans agree that inspite of alleged electoral manipulations that are been claimed on all the sides, the outcome of the November polls reflected the mood of the people.
Given the turn of events in Kano, Zamfara and now Plateau, there are Sylva supporters who would say all hope is not yet lost.
Some of these people think that their man may technically book a passage to Creek Haven through a defined technical pathway that may give Sylva and the APC access to power in the courtroom.
But Sylva could be in for a far more shocking surprise, according to what we are learning from our interaction with well-placed stakeholders.
Leaders of the APC in the State, pissed off by his brand of leadership, are planning to pass a no confidence vote on him.
That step, top APC sources in Bayelsa insist, shall be taken any moment from now.
The intention, we have gathered, is to forewarn the APC headquarters that the people on ground in Bayelsa State can no longer tolerate Sylva’s slavish-styled leadership.
Sylva couldn’t find anywhere in the State to dock his boat except in Brass and Nembe Local Government Areas.
In the meantime, our Correspondents who have been monitoring events say Bayelsa State is relatively peaceful and quiet.
PDP chieftains, happy with the big win over Sylva, are obviously clinking glasses in celebration while real political activity within the APC has come to a near halt, at least on the surface.
Sylva’s house in Maitama is reportedly like a political graveyard. It is only being visited by senior lawyers who are selling wares that they claim will knock out Douye Diri.
The usual mortley crowd comprised of praise singers, opportunists with sugar – coated tongues and backstabbers who like to be seen in the public space as political juggernauts have suddenly evaporated.
In Yenagoa and other local government headquarters in the oil-rich state, the campaign offices emblazoned with APC colours are firmly shut.
Within APC circles, there is some talk about the emergence of a new leadership in the State.
Bigwigs of the party are settling for the adoption of the man they call “Rambo”. Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, current Minister of State in charge of Petroleum is the one known in Bayelsa political circles as Rambo.
They reveal that Lokpobiri seen as a team player has the charisma and the capacity to take absolute control of the State party machine and rebuild trust in the leadership and followership of the party.
The half-hearted effort made by the National Secretariat of the APC to end the cold War fought by members in the state chapter did not remove the animosity which had grown over time as a result of Sylva’s style of leadership.
A party source told this publication, “It is time for the party to try another leader. Sylva’s era is indeed over. Lokpobiri can effectively revive the APC.
“We will rally behind Lokpobiri, work with him in the years to come to rebuild our party and provide our members the reason why they need to take the State in 2027.”
Another high ranking party man further stated, “Sylva cost us this election. David Lyon could have done better. At least, Lyon who won most of the popular vote in 2019, but narrowly lost the seat on technical grounds, would have had less political enemies than Sylva.
“Sylva simply chose to hijack the whole thing because of his money, and the margin of defeat of the APC in Bayelsa should show everyone that giving Sylva the ticket was a huge mistake.”
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has made it clear it has no intention whatsoever to review the elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi states.
This means that anyone aggrieved by the outcome of the polls in the three states is free to go to Court.
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