Former Governor of Bayelsa State and Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, has decided not to contest the forthcoming November 16 governorship election in the state, it has been learnt.
It was learnt that Sylva, who was sworn-in as Minister by President Muhammadu Buhari, was backing another chieftain of the party, David Lyon, for the governorship ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Only six aspirants obtained the party’s N22.5million expression of interest and nomination forms and Lyon, who is a key player in the oil and gas industry and major financier of the APC in the state, was listed as one of them.
Others are a former Minister of State for Agriculture, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri; former Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) Frankland Briyai; a founding member of the APC Preye Aganaba; former Commissioner of Police Deseye Poweigha and Chief CK Amgbare.
Lyon, who hails from Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, was at the Abuja headquarters of the APC to submit his forms.
It was gathered that the latest decision of Sylva altered political permutation in the state as other aspirants in the APC and the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were said to be reviewing their earlier strategies.
Confirming the development, one of the aides to Sylva, who spoke in confidence, said the choice of Lyon was borne out of the desire to win the forthcoming election.
“Lyon has the popularity. He is also from Southern Ijaw and he is liked not only by people from Southern Ijaw but also by people in other local government areas. He has built bridges through his philanthropic work.
“Besides, the APC must present a popular and acceptable candidate to withstand the PDP in Bayelsa. Lyon is our candidate and I know he will win the ticket soon”.
Also, Sylva’s ministerial portfolio attracted celebrations in the state as messages poured in to congratulate him.
APC women, who were dressed in colorful outfits, were seen at the state’s secretariat of the party dancing in celebration.