Former Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva, on Thursday described the Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, as a liar and a mischievous person.
Sylva spoke in response to Oshiomhole’s claim that the former governor disrupted the governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, on Tuesday.
The Edo governor had on Wednesday accused former governor of disrupting the Bayelsa APC primary and that the claim by Sylva that he won was a huge joke.
Oshiomhole had further alleged that Sylva’s thugs held him hostage for hours at the Samson Siasia Sports Complex, venue of the APC primary.
But Sylva in a statement on Thursday by his Media Adviser, Doifie Buokoribo, said it was clear that Oshiomhole never intended to conduct the primary as scheduled.
The ex-governor’s statement was titled, “The lies and mischiefs of Oshiomhole.”
The statement read, “It is unfortunate that people like Adams Oshiomhole, the governor of Edo State and former president of the Nigeria Labour Congress, who pretend to be incorruptible, would conduct himself in the manner in which he did in relation to the Bayelsa State governorship primary. It was clear that Oshiomhole never wanted to conduct the primary as scheduled
“First, on his request, the primary was shifted from its earlier date of Saturday, September 19 to the Tuesday, September 22 date. The grouse of the delegates was that the primary had been shifted once on Oshiomhole’s request. That shift caused enough hardship already. The ‘comrade’ was again shifting the goal post, without giving consideration to these hapless delegates. It was that frustration that we were managing. It is so sad that the governor did not appreciate our effort.
“Second, as chairman of the APC Electoral Committee, Oshiomhole knew full well that accreditation of delegates was to begin at 8am on Tuesday, September 22, but he came to the venue of the programme well past 12 noon. After he arrived at that late hour, he proceeded with a meeting with the committee members and another meeting with the aspirants. He clearly had preconceived plans about the Bayelsa APC governorship primary.”
Sylva said Oshiomhole could not really say anything about the primary election because he had left the venue at the time voting commenced.
He claimed that the Edo governor set the process in motion for voting to commence before he excused himself on the grounds that he was going to eat, and that he mandated other members of the committee to proceed without him.
He added, “The world needs to know that the Bayelsa State Electoral Committee is made up of seven members, and of the seven, only Oshiomhole left. The other six remained, conducted the primary and declared Sylva winner of the exercise.
“It borders on pettiness for Governor Oshiomhole to quote me as an antagonist to new entrants to our party. Every discussion I had with the governor was public. The only private conversation I had with him was when he walked up to me and asked me if I truly believed he was working against my interest. To that I answered ‘yes’. As a man of integrity (?) he even offered to step down as chairman. If he had stepped down would that have invalidated the primary? We should refrain from exaggerating our worth and integrity. Let other good people judge our character.
“After all, I was the one that received all new entrants. Oshiomhole was invited and he did not come.”
Sylva also said Oshiomhole came to Yenagoa with a clear agenda to get him out of the race at all costs. The former Bayelsa governor said he was aware that Oshiomhole had been lobbying at the centre to get him (Sylva) out of the race in order to pave the way for one of the aspirants.
He claimed that the unnamed aspirant had shortly before Oshiomhole’s arrival boasted openly that he would cancel the primary once he arrived.
He stressed, “Oshiomhole should not tell lies. If I was not there, contrary to his insinuation that I rented thugs to manhandle him, the crowd would have manhandled him. I personally accompanied Oshiomhole to the gate when he was going to eat.
“If Oshiomhole has anything personal against me, let him tell the world. We are shocked that the man who claims to be morally upright with a strong ethical orientation would land in Yenagoa for an exercise in which he ought to be an impartial arbiter with a helicopter provided by a friend of one of the aspirants.”
The Bayelsa APC primary on Tuesday had been marred by violence.
As early as 8am, armed thugs were seen at the entrance of the venue, hurling stones at the delegates who lined up to be screened for the exercise.
But the 1,300 security operatives at the venue eventually restored order.
Most of the delegates were shut out of the exercise and were not allowed access to the venue of the primary.
But when the accreditation of the delegates started, most persons who presented themselves for the exercise were said to be fake delegates in possession of cloned voter cards.