My life is in danger – Bayelsa governor

at 07:36 PM, 4/05/2010 (8 years ago)
(15225 | Hero) Online (m)
The political crisis in Bayelsa State degenerated on Monday with Governor Timpre Sylva alleging threats to his life by unknown persons.

Sylva, at a news conference in Yenagoa on Monday, said he started receiving threatening text messages after the disagreement between him and his deputy, Mr. Peremobowei Ebebi, began late last year.

“I have received messages that they want to bomb my car. Sine then, there have been all kinds of threats from that end but we have been surviving,” he said.

The governor, who did not mention the “end,” spoke hours after a device planted in a car exploded near a guesthouse believed to be owned by Ebebi in Yenagoa on Sunday.

Sylva alleged that the deputy governor was one of the brains behind protests against him in Abuja and the plot to impeach him by members of the state House of Assembly.

He also claimed that there was a plan to extend the protests to Bayelsa, with a view to destabilising the state and for emergency rule to be declared in the state.

The governor said, “He (Ebebi) mobilised people to protest against me. I hear they are planning to come here and the plot is to make Bayelsa ungovernable for a state of emergency to be declared.”

Sylva confessed that the reported rift between him and his deputy was not a creation of the press as the two of them had earlier made the public to believe.

Since the violent clash between the supporters of the governor and his deputy in November over the controversial Peoples Democratic Party primaries, the war of attrition between the two had been restricted to publications by groups and unknown persons on the internet.

Sylva attributed his disagreement with Ebebi to his refusal to allow him (Ebebi) mismanage the state’s funds.

He said, “Right from the beginning, he has always felt that to be governor was his birthright, and could not understand that I should be the governor. And the impression he has created out there is as there is no input made from his side in the running of the state.

“His quarrel with me is that I don’t bring money for us to share. On the day of the annulment of our election, he was nudging me to raise a memo that can be backdated to bring money out.

“The deputy governor is used to a different style. He was used to be in charge when he was acting governor. That transition and shock of adjustment has been affecting him. As deputy governor, he had the reputation of squandering money. I have been managing him.”

Ebebi had severally claimed that Sylva had rendered his office and status useless because of his alleged ambition to run for the state’s number one seat in 2011.

He alleged that the governor demolished his office and deliberately made the position of deputy governor redundant, by starving the office of necessary funding.

Sylva, however, said Ebebi’s overhead was N120m monthly before the global economic meltdown began to effect the fortunes of the state.

He said, “We all halved our overheads; my overhead is spent by the Government House, but his overhead is personal to him.”

The governor also denied that he demolished his deputy’s office as alleged.

Sylva said, “I don’t have problem with him. I gave all the VIP guest houses to him, I took the super lodges as my own, then we shared the others, but he goes out to say I demolished his office and that he does not have an office. Since then, he stopped participating in government. I hear he is out there plotting how to have me impeached.”

Before Sylva spoke, there was panic in Yenagoa as an explosive planted in a car exploded near a guest house owned by the deputy governor on Sunday night.

Eyewitnesses told our correspondent at the scene that there was nobody in the blue Mazda car with Rivers State number plates when the explosion occurred.

The pall of smoke that followed the blast was seen from nearly all nooks and crannies of the state capital.

Police and anti-bomb squad officers sealed off the area around the building when our correspondent visited on Monday.

The Commissioner of Police, Bayelsa State Police Command, Mr. Unuoha Udeka, told journalists that preliminary investigations indicated that the vehicle was obviously driven to a mechanic’s workshop.

Udeka said it was likely the explosive was detonated from another car that was on the other side of the main road near the workshop.

He said the police found four unexploded dynamite and two 20-litre jerry cans of fuel at the scene.

The police chief said, “Why would anyone do this? Everybody should but careful. You don’t gain anything by creating a panic. There is no war here. Anybody that is behind this, we are going to deal with that person, no matter how highly placed.”

A team comprising soldiers, anti-bomb police squad personnel and officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency later stormed a hotel in Yenagoa said to be owned by the deputy governor in search of explosives and drugs.

The team found no drugs but impounded a car, a Mercedes Benz 190 marked Imo AG 198TTK, with explosive in the hotel.

Our correspondent who was at the scene reported that the NDLEA operatives combed the rooms for drugs after most of the guests had, on sighting the team, escaped.

In its reaction, the state’s Acting Commissioner for Information, Mr. Nathan Egba, called for calm by residents of Yenagoa.

Egba said the government had received reports about a plot by politicians opposed to the governor to cause havoc in the state.

“While we await the outcome of police investigation into the explosive device that was detonated last night at a mechanic’s workshop on the Melford Okilo Road , we are calling on Bayelsans to be extra vigilant and to report all suspicious activities to security agencies,” Egba said.

In his reaction, the deputy governor distanced himself from the Abuja protest mentioned by Sylva and the car explosion.

Ebebi, who condemned the explosion, said the impounded Mercedes Benz 190 was planted in his hotel premises.

“It (explosion) is unacceptable. The police and the law enforcement agents should ensure that the culprits are arrested,” he said, challenging the governor, the Commissioner of Police and the governor’s Special Adviser on Security, Mr. Richard Kpodoh, to explain those who tipped them off about the location of the car.

“How did they know there is bomb and drugs here (hotel)? This is not the first time Sylva and Kpodoh will try to bomb this place. But they will not take the land. This hotel belongs to my wife,” Ebebi added.

He appealed to Sylva and “his agents” to stop embarrassing the state.

“We don’t have power to fight him. We are only appealing. The police came with five trucks and a bomb disposal vehicle to the hotel premises,” the deputy governor said.

The explosion on Sunday came barely a week after the bomb disposal team of the Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta discovered dynamite at the work yard of a construction firm, Setraco Nigeria Ltd, in neighbouring Ughelli, Delta State.

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chudy1800 at 11:50 PM, 5/05/2010 (8 years ago)
(471 | Upcoming) (m)
we never see you life in danger Governor.let them stop fooling us.
stranz at 08:22 AM, 6/05/2010 (8 years ago)
(800 | Upcoming) (m)
na dem sabi
Bazemaster at 03:46 PM, 7/05/2010 (8 years ago)
(6753 | Gistmaniac) (m)

iyke1 at 09:12 PM, 7/05/2010 (8 years ago)
(829 | Upcoming) (m)
passing !


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