Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bayelsa politics

The Nation
18 November 2011

For the past few weeks, the nation has been fed with a diet of politics from Bayelsa State, the home of President Goodluck Jonathan. The diet serves up the worst of Nigerian politics. It is a battle, but it is also about contempt for due process and the arrogance of power.

It involves the disqualification of the state governor, Chief Timipre Sylva, from running for re-election on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), on which ticket he is serving as the state’s chief executive.

There was some murkiness in the news reporting until last Sunday when the party finally came out of the shadows to declare its displeasure with the governor’s reelection bid. But prior to that day, the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) would neither disqualify nor clear Sylva to run.

But observers say it was in the aftermath of his rally in Yenagoa the previous day in which the governor dared the party establishment that the party announced his disqualification. All accusations have pointed to the doorstep of President Jonathan, and that accounted for the droves of visitors, including the Governors Forum and the Niger Delta governors, to appeal to him to allow the party clear Governor Sylva.

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