• You’re arming militants, Gov challenges opponent 
  • Victory certain for me, Sylva replies

 SOLA SHITTU

Uba Group

 

Ahead of Saturday’s supplementary election coming up in the Southern Ijaw Local Government area of Bayelsa State, Governor Seriake Dickson has accused his main challenger and governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Timipre Silva, of arming militants and other hooligans in the state.

But Sylva, who sneered at the accusation, said he was ready and willing to compete against Dickson at any electoral contest any day because he was sure of defeating him.

Sylva, in a statement in Yenagoa, said though the PDP was engaged in alleged propaganda and underhand tactics, the APC remained undaunted and would repeat “the feat of overwhelming votes and victory for the APC as recorded during the cancelled election in the Southern Ijaw Local Government Area.”

DICKSON HITS AT SYLVA 

Dickson, speaking on the security situation in the state, said, “Bayelsa is largely safe and it is still relatively safer than many other states. The rise in criminality and violence is associated directly with the candidate of the APC. You would recall the circumstance under which he became APC candidate. A sitting governor was held hostage; there were shootings, killings and maiming during their party primaries.

“So, that is what he has brought to the state. All the criminals and militants who had run away from the state and were somehow afraid that the law could catch up with them, now have confidence that they have state cover and they’ve not been proved wrong.”

He added, “They are the people moving with the military and police security and all of that. They are doing it with impunity. These guys just want to be sure that the state institutions are behind them and he has provided that cover. This is why they are unleashing terror on people in the name of an election.

“My worry is: what will happen the days after the election? What Timipre Sylva is doing, what the state institutions are condoning, is a rise of a deadly militia in Bayelsa and in the Niger Delta again. What he has put together is capable of plunging the state and the entire region into crisis once more and that is my concern. But it seems to me that the federal security establishment does not see anything wrong with that.”

‘I’M PREPARED FOR POLL’ 

The governor, however, insisted that he was well prepared for the Saturday election, stressing, “Southern Ijaw is our stronghold; the APC does not have any elected officials from there; all the Councillors are PDP, Chairmen, PDP; all appointees at the local government levels, PDP; State House of Assembly, all the lawmakers are PDP; House of Representatives members from Southern Ijaw are PDP; senator in the Senatorial district is PDP; so, it’s a PDP stronghold.

He added, “The community leaders are all behind me. So this is not an election we can lose sleep about.

The other party and their candidate are not ready for an election.

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