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Bayelsa Polls: SGF seeks N3 billion to support Timipre Sylva

Timipre Sylva

*Sack fever grips NDDC for non-compliance*

Tension is mounting in Niger-Delta Development Commission (NDDC) following a presidential directive by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Babachir David Lawal, that N3 billion should be raised in tranches for the governorship ambition of Bayelsa State All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Timipre Sylva [Image above].

Sources that already, heads may roll in the agency soon, following reluctance of the commission leadership to part with such amount of money considered to be big.

In anticipation of Sylva’s governorship ambition, the SGF was said to have instructed the NDDC management to make available the sum of N3 billion which was to be disbursed starting with N500 million each with effect from July through the election period in December under a special serviceable monthly contract to back the governorship ambition of Sylva.

Sylva is a close friend of Babachir Lawal, who, during his thanksgiving service explained how Sylva and other APC chieftains contributed to his appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari.

However, it was revealed that the NDDC was able to raise only N500 million which had also been released to Sylva, ostensibly foot-dragging by giving excuses for its inability to raise the total funds as directed by the SGF.

The released N500 million was said to be funds used by Sylva to prosecute his primary election. The NDDC was supposed to have released another tranche since then but couldn’t because of some difficulties.

This scenario has consequently pitched the SGF against management of the NDDC with palpable fear of imminent sack of its key personnel as the SGF is believed to have made up his mind on the issue by recommending the sack of the entire management. 

Sack fever has gripped the entire top cadre of NDDC following the failure of its management to raise the N3 billion.

“The development has caused a fury and the SGF may have decided the fate of the management executives. If you like, call it rumour but I can tell you categorically that heads will soon roll at NDDC over the matter”, a dependable source said. 

According to the source, the sack would be justified as part of the moves to reconstitute a new board for the NDDC in line with government’s practice to create room for political cronies to fill top positions in boards, parastatals and agencies.

The NDDC management is first to go in the calculation, it was gathered, as a price to pay for disobeying the SGF.

“Sylva’s closeness with SGF is not hidden. At the recent thanksgiving service for the SGF in Abuja, Sylva was seen running up and down and being hailed as the “in-coming governor” by the SGF and others. So for failing to meet the SGF’s directive will come at a consequence and I think the management is now aware given the tension engulfing the place right now”, a source stated.

The source, who said President Buhari may not be opposed to the moves, further said that given Sylva’s closeness with the SGF and the DG, DSS, could also influence the forthcoming election in favour of Sylva.

“Rigging is a possibility, a desperate objective”, the source said as a logical end of what is said to be “a grand plan of action”.

Already, the source said, the APC candidate has been going around, boasting and intimidating heads of security agencies in the state and assuring his supporters that “Federal Might” will be used to win the December 5 governorship election in Bayelsa State.

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