The attention of H.E. Chief Timipre Sylva, leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State, has been drawn to a statement issued Saturday by one “Barrister Seighfa Tonye-Brown” on behalf of the “Ijaw Young Professionals in Bayelsa State”.
In the statement, the non-existent Tonye-Brown and his faceless group made wild, unsubstantiated and irresponsible accusations against the APC and Sylva concerning Thursday’s killing of four soldiers and a mobile policeman in Nembe by unknown gunmen.
Sylva wishes to state categorically that he knows nothing whatsoever about the Nembe killings. Similarly, neither Sylva nor the APC that he leads in the state is privy to any plan to employ violence as a strategy to win the forthcoming gubernatorial election in the state.
Sylva notes further that the escalation of violence in the state should be put squarely at the doorstep of the incumbent government of Mr. Henry Seriake Dickson. That government has failed woefully in securing lives and property, but instead has overtly and covertly procured and traded in violence to intimidate political opponents and any voice of reason.
That same government has embarked on all manners of subterfuge, including facilitating of arms to non-state actors essentially to prevent the change that is imminent in Bayelsa State. It is no doubt that Sylva as the symbol of that change is the target of this schizoid propaganda by faceless groups, paid and unpaid writers, and political jobbers.
Sylva is unperturbed. Sylva abhors violence. He has never promoted violence under any guise. He only represents the voice of millions of Bayelsa people seeking change in the affairs of the state, a change to the gross ineptitude, pathetic profligacy and grand larceny of Mr. Henry Seriake Dickson.
Sylva calls on the Inspector General of Police to order an immediate investigation into the Nembe killings, and most particularly those behind the “Ijaw Young Professionals in Bayelsa State”.
-DOIFIE BUOKORIBO is Media Adviser to Chief Timipre Sylva