Stakeholders from the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State have written to President Bola Tinubu and the National Chairman of the Party, Alhaji Abdullahi Ganduje against the looming political embarrassment and improper actions by having the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the nation and other high level delegations and members of the APC to support the Governorship candidature of Timipre Sylva and his running mate, Joshua Maciver who was allegedly convicted for sea piracy (armed robber on the sea) and terrorism, and was sentenced to 10 years prison time in Kaduna where he allegedly escaped from prison in 2006.
According to the Party Stakeholders, despite the social media campaigns, the electorates in the state have rejected Timipre Sylva and are questioning the eligibility of his running mate Joshua Maciver to contest the governorship poll in the state.
The Coordinator of the Bayelsa APC Stakeholders’ Forum, Chief Tamuno Charles, said the opposition parties in the state would have a field day with the media and TV cameras seeing the President and the National Leadership of the APC Party associated with alleged criminals and failures when campaigning for a deputy Governorship candidate accused of alleged involvement in Jail Break, stating that the ruling party will henceforth be celebrating criminals, thieves, and prison escapees.
Chief Tamuno Charles however called on the National Chairman, Abdulahi Ganduje and Former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva not to drag the name of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu into the coming defeat and political failure and embarrassment at the forthcoming Bayelsa Governorship Polls scheduled for 11 November 2023.
They also called on the APC not to honour the N11.8billion campaign budget submitted to them for the political campaign of Timipre Silver in the State, saying that after allegedly hijacking the Governorship ticket, Sylva allegedly boasted that he has money and that he can finance his campaign without any assistant, therefore the APC must allow Sylva to finance his doomed campaign.
The APC stakeholders also cautioned the Chief of Staff to the President, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila to tread with caution over the rumoured clandestine meetings with Sylva and others over Bayelsa Elections, “what is going on in Bayelsa state transcends any party politics, as the people of the state have unanimously rejected Timipre Sylva, therefore Sylva should not hoodwink or deceive the party and the APC National executives.”
They explained that the decision to come public is the fact that Timipre Sylva had the opportunity to select a refined and well qualified running mate for the poll, “instead he shunned all stakeholders and decided to bring in a man with a questionable escape from Kaduna prison.”
“This is the same Deputy Governorship candidate who went on a viral video confirming that he was never convicted of murder, but that he was convicted for sea piracy and terrorism, therefore, he is not eligible,” the statement reads.
They also claimed that despite being declared wanted by the Ministry of Interior and the decision of the administration of Late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to offer Presidential pardon to militants during the militancy days in the Niger Delta, Joshua Maciver was already convicted years earlier and sent to prison. Though the Late President’s Amnesty Proclamation was never to pardon already convicted felons, it was Amnesty against future prosecutions and not a pardon.
“Moreso Joshau Maciver himself refused to embrace the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) fearing that the Amnesty Programme was a clandestine ploy by the federal government to round him and others up since he had in a few years back escaped from prison.”
“Maciver has over the years publicly claimed to have accepted the Amnesty Programme, however, he never presented himself for proper documentation like the 30,000 Amnesty beneficiaries to the Presidential Amnesty team. Maciver was not alone in this reasoning as over 10,000 ex-agitators felt the same way.”
The APC stakeholders insisted that Timipre Sylva, again did a great disservice to the party by presenting a Deputy Governorship candidate with shady history, and “by the provisions of section 31, 33 and 34 of the Electoral Act, the time for nomination of a new running mate has lapsed. It simply means that the candidature of Timipre Sylva cannot stand alone without having a qualified deputy.”