Bayelsa guber: Gov Diri, Sylva trade blame over Nembe Bassambiri crisis 

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Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri and the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Chief Timipre Sylva are trading blame over the crisis that rocked Nembe Bassambiri in Nembe local government where properties worth millions of naira were destroyed.

The community had been enmeshed in crisis in recent times, which forced some residents to flee to the neighbouring communities while others live in fear.

The development had forced the Inspector General of Police to deploy a Special squad to the area for maintenance of law and order.

However, the two political leaders, Sylva and Diri have been pointing accusing fingers at each other as Diri accused Sylva and his loyalists as masterminds of the crisis while Sylva on the other hand told the people to hold Diri responsible for the crisis.

Diri was quoted in a statement by his media aide, Dan Alabrah as saying that Diri is only trying to deflect the attention from his disdainful role in the protracted crisis.

Sylva, according to him, appears to be playing the ostrich in the Opu-Nembe (Bassambiri) community crisis.

But Sylva through his media aide, Julius Bokoru, queried why Diri just leaps out of his docility when the IGP has succeeded in restoring peace in the warring community.

Diri posited that it is 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.

The statement reads, “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 a 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.”

However, Sylva on his part, said his concerns stemmed from the fact that for over two years, Opu Nembe was very unfortunately, enmeshed in crises by warring parties while the state governor sat idle, feigning ignorance and openly exhibiting his disdain for the Nembe as it was apparent that he did nothing to improve the lot of the people.


He said: “Opu Nembe is calm now as Stated by the PDP Chairman of Nembe Local Government Area, business are back and pedestrians are walking freely so for Governor Douye Diri to return from his holiday abroad and begin stirring up a town currently enjoying peace suggests that his sinister obsession towards Opu Nembe, regrettably, has to do with the approaching Governorship elections.

“The world should take note of Douye Diri’s constant attempt in trying to bully the Nigerian Armed Forces especially the Nigeria Police Force and it is important to note, also, that Governor Douye Diri is a candidate in the November 11 Governorship election just like candidates of every other party. He should stop going around compromising communities and institutions with the guise of governance”.

Sylva said that if Governor Diri continued to interfere in the affairs of Opu-Nembe now that the situation is calm, patrons of Opu-Nembe and concerned Bayelsans would have no choice but take legitimate actions to protect the community from the interference of cynics who only trade in innocent blood.

Sylva said: “There have been no reported case of violence at Opu-Nembe since the IGP’s team moved in, all parties are back and peace is restored. This renewed obsession by Gov. Douye Diri, including threatening to deploy his own team of Police squads to Opu Nembe is desperate, appalling and nearly infantile.

“Douye Diri’s primary and only interest with Opu Nembe should be to develop the community and support the peace already in place, his dream of destabilising Opu Nembe just before the elections will bravely be resisted by Chief Sylva who is a son of the community, citizens and every Bayelsan of goodwill.

“Our commonwealth should not be used in bribing, intimidating and subjugation of our people. Our common patrimony should be used to develop our dear state. Bayelsans have no other state to call their own”.