Some influential chiefs in Nembe kingdom and kinsmen of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Timipre Sylva, in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, have given tough conditions for their support ahead of the December 5 governorship election.
Sylva was said to have enlisted his surrogates to meet with the chiefs and others in Brass during the week to sound them out on how they would support him at the forthcoming polls.
Sources close to the candidate who gave indications to the latest development on Friday said both the chiefs and Sylva’s kinsmen in Brass were not too disposed to the advances by Sylva as they gave a three-point condition to ever support the former governor.
The chiefs reportedly met with Sylva’s men on the aegis of Nembe Patriots.
He was said to have been told in unequivocal terms that he would have to apologize for failing to develop Brass and Nembe while he held sway as governor of the state for five years, apologise for the many youths who lost their lives as operatives in the state-sponsored security outfit, Famuo-Tangbe as well as account for the billions of naira allegedly stolen from state coffers.
Except these obviously tough conditions were met, they will not support Sylva, it was learnt.
According to a source who attended one of the meetings, they were said to have expressed disappointment that for five years that Sylva served as governor, he never thought it important to construct the road leading to Nembe which he claimed to be “economically unviable”.
However, the same road considered unviable has now been constructed by the incumbent governor Seriake Dickson.
“That it took Governor Dickson who is not a son of Nembe to construct this critical road is baffling to say the least”, the chiefs were said to have told Sylva’s men at the meeting.
Besides their disappointment over lack of development in their areas, the chiefs also raised posers on the many deaths among Nembe youths under Sylva’s regime with insinuations that youths who served in Famuo-Tangbe were allegedly lured into service to unleash terror on the APC candidate’s political enemies` with consequent reprisals.
“These young men are our sons and they died needless deaths because Sylva, under the guise of providing employment in Famou-Tangbe, used them as killer squads to fight perceived political enemies. Some of them lost their lives through reprisal attacks from some political enemies”, the chiefs stated.
They were said to have noted that except for Sylva’s inordinate ambition to hold on to power at all cost, the youths would not have died in such a callous manner.
Similarly, a source told our correspondent that the chiefs were livid when the issue of accountability was raised as most of them claim in their individual presentations that rather than use state resources to develop the state, the former governor allegedly siphoned huge resources into private pockets.
Such misappropriation of funds in billions of naira were listed to include routine diversion of money meant for payment of civil servants’ salaries and benefits, the N300 billion Agric loans from the World Bank, the N3 billion MDG funds.
In a manner suggesting difficult times ahead for the APC candidate in Nembe and Brass areas of the state, the chiefs were said to have been ashamed of Sylva that for five years in the saddle, no meaningful development took place.
But this, they claimed, to have contrasted with the tenure of the incumbent governor Seriake Dickson who in the last three and half years had witnessed much development especially in roads and bridges, including the Nembe road.