POLITICAL future of Timipre Sylva, former governor and governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Bayelsa State is facing serious challenge. At a mega rally held in Yenagoa, state capital, Sylva was accused of ruining the state economy through massive corruption and abuse of power during his tenure as governor between 2007 and 2011.
James Ebipade, secretary of Bayelsa Solidarity Forum, who led the forum to the rally where about 400 other non-governmental organisations, NGOs, gathered to raise awareness on why Sylva’s bid to return to power should be rejected by the people.
The rally, tagged “Operation Reject Sylva and APC”, was staged under the banner of the Save Bayelsa Movement. In a statement released at the end of the rally, Ebipade alleged that between 2007 and 2011 when Sylva was governor, he received a total of N708, 895, 925 as allocations from the federation account.
The amount, he said, was not inclusive of the bond and several loans his administration got but never utilised as expected. Ebipade further alleged that in the period under review, the internally generated revenue, IGR, of the state stood at N22,02 billion, raising the total accruals to the Sylva administration to a staggering N780,915, 925.
According to the allegation, only N68 billion of the total sum was spent on capital expenditure just as it was claimed by the forum that in spite of the huge resources, there was nothing to show for the allocations received as well as the bonds and loans. “There was absolutely no accountability”, he stated.
The forum bemoaned the financial recklessness of Sylva, noting that recurrent expenditure under him as governor was N648,512, 509, which it claimed indicated that the former governor spent less than N60 billion for capital projects.
“Bayelsans naturally have the right to wonder and ask whether this is the kind of change Sylva and APC want to bring back into government in the state. And if not, whether the welfare of Bayelsans is of no consequence to them? Otherwise, why must Sylva now seek to return Bayelsa to the days of the locust?” the forum asked.
— Nov 9, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT