LAST week, I spoke briefly with a top helmsman of the PDP, on the controversy around the PDP candidacy for the upcoming gubernatorial election in Bayelsa State. I was assured that the case would “soon be resolved”.
But as I write these lines, the controversy around the sitting governor, Timipre Sylva, has transmogrified into a political circus. What should be a straight forward issue has exposed for the umpteenth time, the depth of rot at the heart of the Nigerian political process.
Various groups have been holding meetings with President Goodluck Jonathan with the hope of ‘begging’ him to ‘intervene’ to ensure that Sylva gets the opportunity to contest for a second term in office. What that tells us is that, at the heart of the crisis, is the PERSONAL interest of President Jonathan, and not necessarily that of the people of Bayelsa.
I have NEVER met Sylva and have not even visited Yenagoa since he came into office, but I recall that but for the late President Umaru Yar’Adua’s insistence, Sylva would not have been governor today. There is clearly a bitter edge to the relationship between Governor and President leading to the President’s direct intervention in the gubernatorial process in his home state at a time when presidential attention ought to be directed at the myriad of problems threatening to take the nation down under! But what exactly is the problem between the two of them? Yes, soft sell magazines are reporting allegations that Sylva threatened to kill the President and his family, but is that really possible? Or could political degeneracy have topped the height of absurdity to the extent that such threats could even be contemplated? And at such levels of state power?