Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC ) in the November 11 governorship election in Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva, appears to be playing the ostrich in the Opu-Nembe (Bassambiri) community crisis.
Governor Douye Diri’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, while reacting to a statement credited to the former Bayelsa governor, in which he accused the incumbent governor of stirring crisis in Bassambiri, said His Excellency Chief Sylva was embarking on a futile mission to deflect attention from his own disdainful role in the protracted conflict.
It is a surprise that the former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources just found his voice one month after the current crisis broke in the community.
It is equally befuddling that Sylva was engaging in scape-goatism when virtually everyone in the state and beyond knew who the key instigator and agent-provocateur in the Bassambiri crisis was.
To claim that the governor had been silent, in one breath, since the current skirmish was ignited in Chief Sylva’s paternal community two years ago, smacks of either his poor analysis of the situation on ground or perhaps he is ignorant of the governor’s role in ensuring that peace returned to Bassambiri.
For the former governor to also turn around to accuse the incumbent governor of stirring crisis in the community, on the other hand, is an indication that Sylva had forgotten what a governor needed to do in such a circumstance and he therefore does not deserve the votes of the Bayelsa people on November 11.
Bassambiri is a community in Bayelsa State whose citizens deserve the protection of the state government just as the community deserves development like all its counterparts across the state.
The Prosperity Administration will therefore not shy away from its constitutionally-guaranteed mandate and responsibilities to people of the state, including those in Bassambiri community and the Nembe people as a whole.
It is doubtful if the Bassambiri people can recall any of Sylva’s legacies in their community, except perhaps the frequent conflicts instigated and perpetrated by persons known to him and who enjoy his protection.
However, the people of the Nembe communities of Bassambiri and Ogbolomabiri recall with relish how the Governor Diri administration constructed the Unity Bridge, which stands today as a symbol of their unity and oneness.
They can also recall how the administration, after almost 70 years, made possible the multi-billion naira Nembe-Brass Road project that is ongoing apart from several other projects being undertaken in both Nembe and Brass local government areas of the state.
Chief Sylva cannot now claim to love the Bassambiri people more than those who provided succour for the displaced persons and those chased away from the community as a result of the politics or election-induced crisis.
If he truly loves the community and desires peace to reign, Chief Sylva should rather toe the path of patriotism by joining hands with Governor Diri, the state government and all lovers of goodwill to resolve the crisis.
What is good for Bassambiri is not the current peace of the graveyard that Chief Sylva appears to celebrate but genuine peace and serenity. This is what Governor Diri has engendered across the state, devoid of any political interest nor consideration. Bassambiri ought not to be different.