By Okem Green Mbah, Yenagoa
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, has debunked the allegation by the Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri accusing him of seizing election results in Brass Constituency 2 and invading collation centre in Okpoama, Brass Local Government Area.
The Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri had slammed the Minister over his allege involvement in acts that violates provisions of the electoral act, accusing Sylva of seizure of elections results in Brass Constituency 2, intimidation of Ad-hoc staff and invasion of collation centre in Okpoama, Brass Local Government Area.
This was after an election monitoring group, Transparency Initiatives, accused the Minister of excessive show of desperation to win the Brass Constituency 2 State House of Assembly election with a clear attempt to compromise the electoral officials in the area and engaged in a show of force in his bid to manipulate the results from polling units in Okpoama and Ewoama communities using the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Ad hoc staff.
Sylva in a statement signed by his Special Assistant, Media and Public Affairs, Mr Julius Bokuro dismissed the claims as “grossly untrue and puerile”, while cautioning Governor Douye Diri and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over “impulsive lying” about the election in Brass Constituency 2.
He said, “The electioneering process at Brass Constituency II has been stable, safe, free and fair. The people went about freely voting for candidates of their choice according to their conscience and their hearts.
“The state government, instead of remedying its incompetence and lack of acceptance, has unfortunately deployed the tactics it inherited from the Dickson days: impulsive lying, violence and a steady desire to attract plastic sympathy. What the Douye Diri government does apart from making life hellish for Bayelsans is that, it projects its own anxieties, insecurities and natural unpreparedness to others”, the statement read.
But the Bayelsa State government through the Commissioner for Information, Orientation and Strategy, Hon. Ayibaina Duba berated Chief Timipre Sylva, for what it describes as a futile attempt to deflect attention from his shameful act to brazenly manipulate the results of Saturday’s House of Assembly election in his constituency.
While speaking on the reports received from monitors who covered Brass/Nembe Local Government Areas of the state, the Transparency Initiatives convener, Dr. Charles Otabor, said though elections materials arrived the Brass Constituency 1 and 2 early and voting concluded despites threats to the PDP members, “the journalists and election observers were shocked that the Nigerian Minister of Petroleum ordered that result should not be announced.”
“Attempts to prompt security agencies to prevail on the Minister to do the right thing was met with rebuff indicating that they may have been compromised. Sylva has suddenly returned to his old ways of manipulating results of election, which has become old fashion following the new electoral law and introduction of BVAS”, Otabor said.