October 1, 2023

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Sylva: I need Someone with Militancy Experience To Succeed As Governor • Says He’s Being Dragged Into Guber Race

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Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva has said that his choice of Joshua Maciver as deputy governor is in recognition of his capacity and experience in militancy.

He has also said that even though he had decided long before now, not to present himself for election for the position of governor of the state(he has taken his oath of office twice for that office), he was dragged into the race by people who believe that he still has so much to offer.

Sylva spoke in Yenagoa on his 59th birthday, when he appeared on a live radio interview programme which was monitored by TNN. He noted that Maciver was not just his choice but that he was chosen after consultations with party stakeholders.

This came a few days before media publications questioning the legal credibility of Maciver to contest the November 11 gubernatorial election. There are insinuations that Maciver never accepted the federal government’s amnesty and has never been enrolled into the PAP’s agenda as an ex militant.

Before now, he used to run a militants’ camp called the Great Joshua Maciver Camp. The general belief has been that he had accepted the amnesty and had been pardoned. But emerging information seem to show the contrary.

A letter from the amnesty office has gives the indication that Maciver was not part of those that accepted the amnesty. He was also said to have been convicted by a court, even though efforts by TNN to talk with him or the APC leaders in the state on Tuesday did not yield any results. How this will affect the Sylva ticket will be seen in the coming days.

TNN had sent whatsapp messages to Maciver on Tuesday for his response to the allegations by he did not respond. Calls and messages were also made to the party’s spokesman and the state party chairman as well but none of them responded.

Sylva himself did not also respond to messages from TNN on Tuesday. But he had said during the radio interview that Maciver’s experience as a militant leader will help in fighting insecurity in the state if they get into office.

This was how that aspect of the interview went, in part:

You’ve decided to go for Chief Joshua Maciver as your running mate, what qualities did you see in him that necessitated you picking him or was it the party that picked him?

Well, I must say, it was of course not me alone. Among what we want to achieve as a government is to ensure that there is security in Bayelsa State, because without security there cannot be any growth. So, we need somebody like that to bring that experience and of course he has the experience so we have decided to run with him.



I want to come down to your aspiration now. A lot of persons have said you are made, you are self-made, whatever you wanted in life God has given to you; must you be governor again? Why not rest nah, bring another person, you for bring another person?


Well, in fact, that is the more reason. My brother, you see, I ask people, I say am I coming to be governor so I can feed my family? It’s not so. This time, government is not about feeding your family or about whether you have enough. It is about giving back to the people, giving back and it’s very unfortunate, frankly, that I am running for this office again, because I came here and I said that I wasn’t going to run, because at that time I was hoping that the government of the day will be able to carry on and do well and carry on with the development of Bayelsa State.

But it’s so unfortunate that now I have to be called back by people, by the clamour of a lot of people to come back again because people have seen the dismal incompetence of this government; they have shown a lot of ineptitude that they know, they don’t have a clue about what government is about.


“So people have now said, look, come back please, unfortunately, and I have come back, I have accepted it, and I have come back to see what I can do to put the state back on track, on the track, on the road to development, that is why I am here, I am not here for my pocket, definitely.

While you were governor, you fell out with your then deputy, Peremobowei Ebebi, and people are saying that you always run a one man show, that you’ve held the APC in Bayelsa State by the jugular…

(Cuts in) then it was…


(Cuts in) Singlehandedly, no, now, since you left, 2015, that it’s always been your decision, your stand or no other.

Well, I don’t know who you are talking to, but you know, maybe people say, when you are in a political party, just like in a political setting, there are contending interests. I come up with all my strategies to win, you come up with your strategy to win, if you cannot win me then that does not mean that I am been autocratic because I have my own strategies. APC as you know was formed with our blood in Bayelsa State, nobody was even ready to look at APC when we started APC, you agree with me?



Nobody. We took that risk, we started APC, in 2015, then before the election, suddenly Timi Alaibe came, he wanted to run for governorship with me, that’s the governorship primaries with me in APC. Of course he didn’t win. So, will you say I was autocratic then? No, I wasn’t.


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