Bayelsa Guber: US Ambassador Cautions Jonathan / PDP

USA Amb. Terence P. McCulley

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 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 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. 

[Terence P. McCulley had served in – Mali, Chad, Niger, South Africa, and Central Africa. He played a prominent role in the re-construction of Iraq.]


  1. We the people of Bayelsa not minding the PDP internal democracy which does not in anyway speak for the generality of us,we wish they all leave Chief Dr Timipre Sylva to continue as Governor 2012 & to consolidate on his gains. From d short list of aspirants,Sylva is the best & in continuity we believe is a democratic requirement if we must grow out of poverty & sentiment based politics at the expense of development!

    • Have you been to Bayelsa before? How much can one pay from Yenagoa to Brass or Ezetu or Sangana? How many express road do Bayelsa have? Compare Rotimi and Silva.

  2. Gov. Timipre Sylva initiated the Amnesty Programme and has sustained it. This has brought peace to the Niger Delta region. There is need for us not to derail this process. These boys (militants) see Gov. Sylva as their leader. Yes! Gov Sylva is truly the leader of all bayelsans. The PDP screening panel has cleared him. Let’s allow this to be and not bring in personal problems to play. Gov. Timipre Sylva should be given the opportunity to run for a second term.

  3. Please by all means the US Ambassador should stay out of Bayelsa Politic
    Timi Sylva is a common crime and should be t
    reated as one, for almost five
    years that he was given the opportunity to govern Bayelsa State,
    he has not been able to achieve any meaningful development
    He has looked the state funds and has ordered the killing of innocent civilian

  4. I know that every sane mind must be disturbed by the level of allegation (which I consider as nothing but false stories) against Gov. Timipre Sylva. I am saying this based on the concrete evidence I have at hand. When I called, John Idumange, one of the major critics of Gov. Sylva, who was once a pro-Sylva up to the middle of this year, to know why he turned against Sylva overnight, he told me certain things that made him to turn against the governor.
    1. He told me that the governor who promised to make him head of the Universal Basic Education, (UBE) failed to keep to his promises.
    2. That the governor refused to pay him for the campaign he has been doing for him.
    3. That he was the most qualified to head the Due-Process and E-Governance Bureau, but the governor refused to grant him the appointment.
    4. He also told me that when he started writing against the governor, he thought the governor should have sent for him for settlement, but he (the governor) never did that.

    There was another day we had a chat via the facebook, I decided to ask him the way forward between him and Gov. Sylva, he told me that if Gov. Sylva will give him the 20million naira he spent in campaigning for him, he will not say anything negative against Gov. Sylva again.

    With the above information, you can see that most of them are against Gov. Sylva, not because he is not performing, but because he refused to share the state fund to them. I have my evidence at hand any day any time you call on me, I will send you the information.

    Below is one the many commentaries of praises written by the same person (John Idumange) who is presently writing negative stories against Gov. Sylva because His Excellency refused to dance to his tune of greed:

    – By: Idumange John –

    “Peace and security are pre-conditions for human survival and development. Peaceful coexistence is a fundamental human right. Even the Bible says ‘blessed are the peace makers, for they shall inherit the earth’. Security is not just the first law of nature, it is also essential for other human activities: commerce, industry, tourism, manufacturing and leisure.

    “In 2007, when Chief Timipre Sylva became Governor of Bayelsa State, the Niger Delta was a hotbed of crisis, with Bayelsa State as a major flashpoint. Although the crisis which started in the creeks was originally designed for economic emancipation and environmental justice, it snowballed into intense militancy. It manifested in the form of illegal oil bunkering, violation of oil facilities, kidnapping for ransom and other glaring acts of criminality.

    The insecurity in the State was heightened by the proliferation of lethal weaponry and gun running characterized by pervasive criminality among the angry youths such that some foreign analysts believe that the spectre of Colombia was haunting Nigeria. As militancy peaked, the militarization of the Region became imperative. At that time, militants engaged in kidnapping, destruction of oil and gas flow stations and other unwholesome endeavours that negatively affected oil production in the State and the Niger Delta Region as a whole.

    “In Bayelsa State, the deployment of federal troops led to the destruction of many communities. Virtually all communities tasted the bitter pills of military invasion, destruction and siege.

    “Governor Timipre Sylva assumed office under these grim circumstances characterized by a climate of fear and insecurity. On a close scrutiny, he discovered that the upsurge of militancy is a by-product of marginalization and youth unemployment. Accordingly, concerted efforts are being made towards solving the problem of unemployment. It is not surprising that Governor Timipre Sylva assumed office with the overarching goal of building a “United, Secure and prosperous Bayelsa State”. This policy thrust has remained the cornerstone of his administration.

    “Although the post amnesty programme is being implemented, the painful effect of militancy still lingers in the State. Not only did militancy bring about destruction of lives and property, it also led to the violation of oil facilities, and this substantially reduced the quota of oil produced in the State. Today, Bayelsa State, which used to be 2nd on the hierarchy of oil producers, is now a distant 4th with very profound implication for monies accruing to the State. When this is combined with the low Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), the situation can better be imagined.

    “Recognizing the debilitating effects of militancy, the administration went to work by putting in place the institutional framework and strategy for conflict resolution and peace building. Four major steps were taken in this direction.

    “Firstly, on December 6, 2007, signed a Peace Accord with all armed militants to the effect that there should be cessation of hostilities. Accordingly, December 6th of every year was declared as Peace Day in Bayelsa State. The Sylva administration decided to take this bold initiative in recognition of the fact that without peace, there can hardly be development in any modern society. Governor Sylva promised that peace building is an essential part of his social contract with Bayelsa people.

    “Secondly, government established the Peace and Conflict Resolution Committee, with Chief James Jephthah as Chairman. Chief Jephthah met with nineteen ex-militant leaders and persuaded them to renounce the pressure from politicians to provoke conflict in the State. Accordingly, the Committee promised that ex-militants will be recognised and accorded their respect as partners in the peaceful journey if only they renounced violence. It is against this background that Governor Timipre Sylva is described as the principal architect of the amnesty programme even before the Federal government embraced it.

    “Thirdly, when the Federal Government established the Niger Delta Peace and Conflict Resolution Committee headed by former Senator Brigidi, the Jephthah Committee worked hand-in-hand with the national Chairman of the Committee. The Committee embarked on a tour of militants’ camps in the creeks to parley with them on the need to give peace a chance. The Committee also embarked on massive awareness campaign and won over many militants to embrace peace. The local and international awards accorded Chief Jephthah redound to the administration of Chief Timipre Sylva.

    “Fourthly, the Sylva administration introduced the Triple-E Strategy to engage, educate, and empower youths who renounced militancy. During the Amnesty Programme, Governor Sylva played enormous role in persuading militants to be part of the Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration programme. It is on record that through his efforts, Bayelsa State recorded the largest arms cache’ in the whole Region. It is on record that previous attempts at disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration did not succeed due to the absence of a coordinating body and alternative employment possibilities.

    “Recently, because of the rising spate of politically motivated crisis, Governor Sylva has launched operation famu tangbei which literally means flush out. While political opponents have deliberately misinterpreted famu tangbei, the aim is to maintain security and sustainable peace. For operational efficiency, government donated a fleet of 20 Toyota Hilux vehicles to the Bayelsa State police Command well as 20 speedboats to the security outfit to protect lives and property in our waterways. So far, the security outfit has lived up to expectation.

    “As we inch towards the April polls, some people have started to engage in a smear campaign to deface bill boards and incite hatred under the guise of political opposition. Political leaders should desist from unguarded utterances capable of causing a breach of the peace.

    “A commentator who monitored the first phase of the amnesty programme aptly described Governor Timipre Sylva as a ‘Peace-Maker in the Creeks’, who played and will continue to play an enviable role in bringing about sustainable peace in Bayelsa State and by extension the Region. The relative peace enjoyed in the State is a product hard work on the part of government and its agencies.

    “Civil Society Organization should provide a platform for politicians on engage in issue-based campaigns rather than adopt s do-or-die attitude of seeking political office. There is also a need for Community-Based Organizations to sensitize the electorate on the benefits on non-violence. All Bayelsans owe it a duty to support the administration in building sustainable peace in the State, and we cannot abdicate this responsibility.”

    This commentary was written by John Idumange of Bayelsa State.

    With the above praises by John Idumange recently, you can agree with me that he is not a stuff to be trusted.

    If you need a concrete evidence of where he asked me to tell the Governor to give him 20 million naira (that is about USD 126542.2), call me on +2348059360966 and I will give you the evidence.

    Igwe GreatPaulo Cj, writing from Mbiama, Rivers State.

  5. What are they afraid of? Allow equal footing for everyone to contest the primaries. The powers that be should not play God. they can hide behind whatever excuses to perpetrate the illegality. They can claim to abide by the rule of Law, yet not have the fear of God. They should understand that only God put them where they are today, only God gives power. What ever happened to walking barefoot to school and bot even having books… Now you are God.your judgment day I’d fast approaching too…

  6. @Daziba. Do you know that most of those boys killed are not innocent? Don’t make suspect that you are a Cultist. Those the police are giving tough time are the cultists that doesn’t want the state to frow.

  7. There’s an unnecessary external interference in Bayelsa state.politics. These external aggressor must come to terms with the brutal reality that the gubernatorial elections is going to be held within the confines of Bayelsa and not in Abuja.
    The custodians of democracy at the grassroots have given their total support to His Excellency, Chief Timipre Sylva.
    The electorates with whom lies the power to decide who rules them have spoken in unison, its either Governor Sylva or no one else, I will implore the imaginary powers that be to stop heating up the polity and setting Bayelsans against themselves.
    Rather than try to scuttle Governor Timipre Sylva chance of contesting, they should be bold enough to test the popularity.let the electorates decide who leads them, no one should be super-imposed on Bayelsans. No one should play God in the affairs of Bayelsa politics, Gov sylva remains the best bet amongst all the political gladiators

  8. May the Mighty Hand befall on those supporters of Pharoah, that what he did to the Israelites was good and God hates him that was why God distroyed pharoah and his people. Good and fine, be ready to face THE MIGHTY MAN IN BATTLE , GREEDY BAYELSA POLITICIANs”

  9. Mr USA Ambassdor,what is ur your bizness in this, why you all from USA are same,what concern you in that state,are you from Nigeria or citizen..plz dont bring this USA Selfish Interest to Nigeria cos it will not work.why didnt you talk of other states,your a is high time that Nigeria will be fair,unless they need what happen in arab nation to happen in NIgeria which will happen in due time,most of Nigerian Politicians are fools ,with selfish interest,lets rate d population of poverty in Nigeria,President are you woman or man,are you a kid or adult,why should you allow people to destroy where you came from .look at Nigeria,why are you Nigerian Government so wicked.look at d condition of Nigeria.


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