My problem with Goodluck Jonathan – Timipre Sylva

A former governor of Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva, has accused
ex- President Goodluck Jonathan of orchestrating attacks against
him and his government when they were in power.
Mr Sylva said the former president’s dislike for his emergence as
governor of Bayelsa State led to the annulment of his election in
2008.
After serving as deputy for six years, Mr Jonathan was sworn-in
as governor of Bayelsa following the impeachment of then
governor, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, by the Bayelsa State assembly
after being charged with money laundering in the United Kingdom.
Upon completion of his tenure in 2007, Mr Jonathan was
succeeded by Mr Sylva of the same party, PDP. But the latter’s
election was challenged and overturned in 2008 by the Court of
Appeal in Port Harcourt which ordered a new election.
In the build-up to the new election which Mr Sylva won, he was
locked in political duel with Mr Jonathan, then vice president, over
who controls their home state of Bayelsa.
While responding to questions at a media interactive session in
Abuja on Saturday, Mr Sylva said the fact that his election did not
conform to a drafted succession plan was Mr Jonathan’ grouse
against him.
“As Governor in Bayelsa State, I had ongoing battles with the
Jonathan system. He wanted a different succession plan but I
didn’t and without him being in control, I ended up as Governor.
So, as Vice-President, he started fighting me from day one. And
that was why my election was annulled in 2008; but then I went
back for re-election.
“Yar’Adua as President then protected me because he saw the
good in what I was doing. But as soon as Yar’Adua died, my
problems began because I was not part of that succession
arrangement. So, they concocted all kinds of lies against me,” he
said at the media event tagged Frank Talk with Sylva.
Mr Sylva also spoke on allegations 48 houses belonging to him
were confiscated and later returned by the Economic and Financial
Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The commission had slammed 50 charges against the ex-governor
and arraigned him before the federal high court in Abuja; but the
case was struck out.
Mr Sylva denied that he ownedthe confiscated housed and that
they were returned to him.
“If I own 48 houses, I’ll have a street in Abuja. But that is not true.
The Jonathan administration at the toppest level had vowed to
indict and jail me but they could not find anything against me.
They said they found money in my account, let them come and tell
me how much they found in my account all over Nigeria, I
challenged them. Because I didn’t have.
“So, they come up with another story, any house belonging to
anybody in any way connected to me, they ascribe to me. Even in
that process, they were not able to gather properties. In fact, there
was a friend of mine that was constructing a house, he came and
told me that it is down my street. I’ve not even visited the house
before but they said it was my house. Houses belonging to people
that I didn’t know, they said it was my properties.
“When we went to court, what happened was that all those whose
who owned the house applied to join the case. So, when everybody
came to say this house belongs to me and that…, the judge had no
choice than to say, look you cannot ask EFCC to confiscate these
properties because every owners of these properties have
conclusively proven that these houses do not belong to Sylva.”
Mr Sylva said no 48 houses was returned to him after the
judgement. He added that the story still lingers because it is being
recycled at intervals.
“Anytime they talk about cabinet reshuffle, they recycle the story. I
bet you, at any other time something critical is coming, this story
will come out again,” he said.
Responding to questions on allegations he was a cultist and
militant, the former governor said his sympathy for the youth
earned him the tag of cultist while his amnesty programme
proposal made some tag him as militant.
“I sold it (Amnesty programme) to the President at the time,
Yar’Adua. Even vice president Jonathan was against it. When that
programme became the single most successful policy of the
Yar’Adua administration, everybody took ownership of it and even
said I was not part of it; but of course they couldn’t deny it
because I have proof and everybody who was involved knew that it
was my concept. One of the problems I had was that when I tried
to talk about amnesty programme, these same people will say
he’s taking side with the militants.
“Why is he going to come with an amnesty programme, why are
we not bombing them. You see, he’s a militant himself” That was
how the story evolved,” he said

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2 Comments

  1. Nice post

  2. Hmmm Kanku Akeji

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