“The “Giant of West Africa” has much of which to be proud. But the time has now come for Nigeria to take the next step to achieve its potential by embracing democracy fully and cementing in place the institutions, practices, and values of democratic governance. Free, fair, and credible elections are an important part of that process.” – stated the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Terence P. McCulley on April 7, 2011 in Abuja during the Nigerian general elections.
This is as 247ureports.com has gathered information through an exclusive and highly credible source from New York indicating the attention of the US Ambassador has been drawn to the internal wranglings within the ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] in Bayelsa State, the home state of the President of the federation, over the upcoming electoral exercise [gubernatorial elections] in 2012. The source indicates the Ambassador, in a private phone call to the President raised a concern over the internal wrangling in the State while highlighting the sensitivity/volatility of the area, as per the stability of the business interests of the United States in the Bayelsa environs.
Information available to 247ureports.com indicates the US Ambassador impressed on President Jonathan on the need to sustain the relative stability in the area, and on the need to allow the democratic development to continue its growth undetard. A source within the US Ambassy in Abuja in confirming the information further reveals that the office has followed the development in the tussle for the PDP gubernatorial ticket with keen interest, and has come to suspect that the interference in the democratic process may ignite new instability in the area.
Our source maintained that the United States of America [USA] had welcomed the Presidency of Goodluck Jonathan largely owing to his roots in the violence prone Niger Delta area, and the likelihood of the Niger Delta militants/freedom fighters embracing his presidency – and laying down their arms. The source continues that Nigeria still has work to do to achieve true democracy. In her words, “unfortunately for Nigeria, the government has a tight control on the eletoral apparatus and as long as Timipre Sylva is in PDP and he wants to continue, so to speak, he has to cotton up to the powers that be, simple“.
Interestingly, the setiments shared by the source echoes recent statement credited to the leadership of the PDP stating that “what we are trying to do is to instil discipline in the party, so that you will not think that just because you are a governor, you will automatically get the ticket to re-contest and then do whatever you like”.
Impartial observers knowledgeable of the happenings in the Bayelsa gubernatorial politics discounts the statement of the PDP as veiled truth, pointing to the historic tension between the Governor of Bayelsa, Timipre Sylva and the President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan as responsible for the drawn-out screening process.
Governor Timipre Sylva, during the period when the Late Yar’Adua was ill threw his weight of support to the family of the Late President, and may have rebuffed the then Vice President’s attempt at conscripting his ‘clandenstine’ support for the push to be named the substansive president, while Yar’Adua was hospitalized. Goodluck Jonathan is said to have not forgiven him – eventhough Gov Sylva later supported Jonathan’s presidential bid during the primaries and general elections – following threats by the presidency of raining EFCC agents at the government house in Bayelsa.
Interestingly, a former aide to the President caught in a loose guarded chat with an associate served a stunting revelation. The aide was overheard saying that “Jonathan will use the formula used on Alamco [Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha] to rubbish Timi [Gov Timipre Sylva] and jail him”. This, the aide stated while explaining that the President had already set a trap for the Bayelsa State Governor at the other end of the aisle should he decamp to another party [likely the Action Congress of Nigeria] to contest the elections.
The governor of Bayelsa, on his part, has reportedly been seeking the face of the President. And as gathered, the President has repeatedly given him assurances that he is not and will not interfer with the PDP clearing process.
Perhaps as the threat of instability percolates towards the eve of what may result a volatile election, the concerns raised by the US Embassador to President will find a natural solution.