A former Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva, has declared his eligibility to vie for the governorship seat of the state.
Sylva, who is now the leader of All Progressives Congress in the state, was denied a second term in office on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party in 2011, allegedly due to pressure from former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The former governor, who spoke with select journalists in Yenagoa, the state capital at the weekend, however, said the decision to contest is largely dependent on the leadership of the APC.
Sylva said, “Bayelsa people should not be worried about whether I run or not. What they should be worried about is whether the APC is fielding a candidate or not. It is not about me. It is about the APC.
“But you should know that I am still eligible and qualified to contest under the law. But whether I am running or not will be determined by the party. The APC will take the final decision and whoever the party picks will win Bayelsa State”.
Sylva insisted that the ruling PDP in Bayelsa has lost its clout and is in for defeat in the 2016 election.
According to him, the support the PDP enjoyed in the last election in the state was borne out of fear of the Presidency and that with Jonathan out of power, the people of the state have abandoned the PDP.
He accused Governor Seriake Dickson, who is reportedly eyeing a second term in office, of ruling the people with intimidation and instilling fear in them.
“It is the same thing Dickson is experiencing. He rules the state with fear and intimidation and when you rule by intimidating your people, then the loyalty is liable to break under any form of stress,” he said.
“That was what happened during slavery and that was what happened with colonialism. Once you rule people by fear and not love, it will break. The time for that loyalty to break is now.
“I was in Otuokpoti community in Ogbia and I told them that the PDP is dead. You can continue to shift the date of the party’s burial forward.
“PDP has tried to postpone the date of funeral all the time. I said that the PDP had postponed its funeral from 14th of February to March 28th.
“It is evident that the PDP died on the 28th of March, 2015. They only shifted the funeral by some few weeks. The PDP is a dead party and by whatever way, I don’t take anything into account because the party is dead.
“It is only the date of the funeral that has been shifted in Bayelsa again. When the date of the funeral is fixed, we shall invite you, the media, to celebrate with the people of Bayelsa State and the APC”.