Bayelsa State Governor, Chief Timipre Sylva-Sam, is rapidly losing loyalists as more Commissioners and Special Advisers prepare to abandon ship, following the emergence of Dr Goodluck Jonathan as Acting President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Disgruntled principal staff of the governor are also said to have given indication that they would turn their backs on the governor sooner than later.
Chief Asara A. Asara, Commissioner for Information, who had sworn that he would remain in his position for as long as Sylva remains governor, set the pace last week when he resigned his appointment, claiming that the governor had become an executive bully and the civilian equivalent of a dictator. In the past, the Commissioner had described the governor as “a small boy in politics.”
Mrs Megan Bozimo, General Manager of the Bayelsa State Television, is also reported to have written her resignation letter ahead of an expected invitation to Aso Villa where she is believed to have been tipped as a member of a beautification committee under the auspices of Mrs Patience Jonathan. The two women had worked closely in a similar body at the state level in times past.
In a dramatic turn-around reminiscent of the last days of Alamieyeseigha, members of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly have equally flocked to Abuja under the guise of expressing solidarity with the Acting President. The imposing Assembly complex in Yenagoa is routinely bare of activity, and formal sessions of the House have virtually become non-existent.
The mindless response to public events by government officials was clearly demonstrated at last week’s annual convention of the Ijaw National Congress, INC, which took place in the state capital, Yenagoa, without any visible representation from the three arms of government.
“It is a reflection of how bad things have become in the state. Everything about the Sylva government has gone to pieces,” said John Jomoroko, a member of the opposition party in the state. “It is tragic that the governor and members of the state assembly no longer identify with the ideals of the INC which represent the abiding cause for truth among the Ijaw,” he said.
In the meantime, a recent plot to impeach the governor is gaining momentum from sundry quarters, the most unexpected lobby coming from Dr Edmund Maduabebe Daukoru who is widely acknowledged as the godfather of the Sylva government.
The two-time Petroleum Minister and former OPEC president called on Acting President Jonathan on February 24, and pointedly pressed home his demand that Chief Sylva be summarily impeached for the unpatriotic act of burning the Nigerian flag in public.
Among other things, the embattled royal father freely accused Sylva of ineptitude, irresponsibility and gross acts of corruption, disclosing that the governor recently bought a luxury cruise liner, “Silver Spirit,” with public funds.
Differences between the two former political allies came to a head when Dr Daukoru reportedly overheard Governor Timipre Sylva making dismissive and uncomplimentary remarks over the phone about Daukoru’s shameful and short-lived tenure as Mingi of Nembe, on the eve of the second anniversary celebration of the king’s ascension to the coveted throne.
The traditional ruler is also said to be miffed by the governor’s choice of his younger cousin, Mr Waribugo Sylva as Chairman, Nembe local government area, in spite of an earlier agreement to give the Mingi a free hand to decide appointments into political offices in the area.