Bayelsa: How Oshiomhole, Omo-Agege, Sylva, others lost out in South-South power game

THE sack of David Lyon of the All Progressives Congress (APC) by the Supreme Court as duly elected governor of Bayelsa State has altered the political arithmetic being contemplated by the national chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole and others in the power game for the control of the South-South zone.

Oshiomhole and the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, who were recently pronounced leaders of the party in the zone, had boasted that with the victory of the APC in Bayelsa State, supplanting the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which controls five out of the six states in the oil-rich zone, would not be difficult.

Only Edo State, which is Oshiomhole’s state of origin, is currently being controlled by the APC.

Other power brokers unsettled by the change in baton in Bayelsa included a former governor of the state and incumbent Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva and militant commander of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, Government Ekpemupolo otherwise known as Tompolo.

Sunday Tribune checks revealed that the 49-year-old MEND leader of Ijaw extraction from Delta State has assumed the role of power broker in his home state, having produced the incumbent deputy governor, Kingsley Otuaro.

His deal with Sylva ensured that the Ijaw militants lined behind the APC candidate, David Lyon, in the last November governorship election.

A source told Sunday Tribune that Tompolo’s alliance with Sylva was a big upset for the likes of former Governor Seriake Dickson as the MEND leader’s support for the APC in the governorship election last November “created a balance of terror in the camp of militants.”

The Sunday Tribune source noted that Tompolo was a big asset to APC in the last election: ‘’His firm control of the ex- militants, especially in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State where Lyon hails from, was an advantage to the ruling party. He provided same support for Governor Dickson in the 2015 governorship election.”

Sylva, whose structure supplanted that of former Minister of State, Agriculture, Heineken Lokpobiri  and guaranteed  the APC ticket for David Lyon, has assumed the status of political godfather in Bayelsa until Thursday judgment of the apex court.

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