Yenagoa—Hon. Israel Sunny-Goli, a Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has withdrawn his support for Chief Timipre Sylva, candidate of the party in the forthcoming Bayelsa governorship election.
Sunny-Goli, who is the immediate past member representing Brass-Nembe Federal Constituency and a core loyalist of Sylva, at a news conference on Thursday in Yenagoa, claimed that the former minister of State for Petroleum Resources has no structure to defeat the incumbent, Governor Douye Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the election.
He said his reason for quitting the Sylva campaign train was due to his lack of capacity to win the November 11 election.
Sunny-Goli insisted that Sylva has taken his loyalty of over 20 years for granted and as such he cannot continue to support the former governor.
He therefore projected Diri to win in all eight Local Government Areas of the State in the guber election.
In his words: “I have told you earlier on that Timipre Sylva has been taking my loyalty for granted and support for over 20 years and undermining me.
“I have mentioned here during my presentation that myself and supporters across the State have decided on who to support when it comes to the governorship election come Nov.11, 2023, and we will know who we will support and in the appropriate time we will let you know where we are going to put our vote.
“As a politician, I have looked at the state and how the parties are preparing and it is my right to also say how I feel and I have told you as it stands if INEC is to conduct the election, Governor Douye Diri will win all the eight local government areas by a landslide. And I am giving you a graphic position so wait for me to tell you who I will support in the election.”
Sunny-Goli however dismissed claims that he will defect to the PDP in the State, stressing that he remains a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“Up to date, I am still a member of the APC. You know we just elected our President, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and am proud to be among those that supported him to succeed.
“On the occasion of having issues with my principal, Chief Timipre Sylva, these are issues that bother on taking my loyalty for more than 20 years for granted.
“So I am quitting the campaign of Timipre Sylva becoming the governor of Bayelsa state come November 11 and at the appropriate time the world will know where we are going to support. Myself and my supporters.
“I have discussed with my supporters across the state. I’ve told them my reasons and they have accepted,” he said.
The former lawmaker maintained that he has a right to support whoever he deems fit in an election, reiterating that his decision is to send a clear signal that his loyalty cannot be taken for granted.
According to him, “I have looked at all the parties and all the candidates and campaigns to win the hands of Bayelsa and am also convinced that as it stands Timipre Sylva does not have the political structure in Bayelsa state to win Douye Diri come November 11, 2023.”
“The governorship election is not a child’s play, it is something you will work years to achieve, you don’t use three months.
“It is not possible by any political calculation and if INEC were to conduct an election today, I tell you Douye Diri will win not just in the 8 local government areas but with a landslide.”
“We are all politicians, we know what it means to win an election, so today I am also giving a position against November 11 and I reassure all the leaders, men and women here, I will do well also to ensure that on a monthly basis I will be making a review of whatever I am doing today.”
“Anybody can counter me but as a politician and one that has been involved for over three decades, I know what it takes to win an election.
“I will be giving you updates and reviews of this presentation and by the 10th of next month, I will still call you and look at it again where a candidate stands until November 11 when a governor-elect will be declared.
“You don’t take things for granted, if you want to win an election you must talk to your people.”
Sunny-Goli who lauded Diri, admitted that the governor has brought peace to the state.
“We were victims of attacks but that is not the case today, there is serenity and peace amongst our people,” he stated.