Ahead of the December 5 governorship election in Bayelsa State and with campaigns intensifying, the people of Toru-ebeni and kinsmen of the Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, have vowed to throw their weight behind the aspiration of the All Progressives Congress candidate, Timipre Sylva.
The people of the town including the elderly, young boys and girls, trooped out to give a rousing welcome to former Governor Sylva, joining others from the different communities that make up Sagbama, Dickson’s local council area.
They said they had found in Sylva, a good friend, but in Dickson, a bad brother, insisting that “a good friend is better than a bad brother”.
The kinsmen lamented that their son and brother (Dickson) had abandoned them and failed to site developmental projects in their communities for over three years.
In Toru-Ebeni community and other wards in Sagbama, they said they would gladly vote for the APC and Sylva to change Dickson, who they accused of “insensitivity and woeful performance”.
They were particularly angry that Dickson refused to rehabilitate a school he attended in Toru-Ebeni and failed to complete a road leading to the community, which Sylva almost finished before he was removed from office.
They spoke when Sylva led a team of APC leaders to Toru-Ebeni community to identify with them on their yearly festival entitled, ‘Ebenimo-oge’.
The surprise visit of Sylva and his team attracted a crowd of people from neighbouring communities in Sagbama who came to catch a glimpse of the APC candidate.
In the entourage of the former governor were the Director-General of the Sylva/Igiri Campaign Organisation and Minister of State for Agriculture, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, and former acting governor of the state, Chief Nestor Binabo.
Others were former two-time member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Warman Ogoriba and other prominent members of APC.
The APC candidate was given a royal blessing by the traditional ruler of the community, His Royal Highness, S.T.A. Binagha, who tied a white wrapper round Sylva’s waist and gave him a lantern signifying light.
Binagha who described himself as an apostle, said Sylva would emerge victorious like previous candidates who stood for elections in the past after receiving his blessings.
The monarch said, “The voice of the people is the voice of God. All the people l ordained in the past went and won their elections. Lokpobiri came here, l blessed him, he went and won. Barnabas Edure came, l blessed him and he went and won.
“I am an apostle of God. We want rapid development and network of roads. We want roads to get to our community. Most of these roads have been in the drawing board for many years. Our community is the main Wilberforce Island but we have been in darkness.”
ln his response, Sylva described the community as great and ancient, vowing to develop the area if given the mandate.
He expressed dismay that the people could not drive into their community because the road and a bridge he almost completed were abandoned by the current administration.
Sylva said, “l am readier than ever before to govern and develop you. When l wanted to come, l thought we would drive down but we used boats. The bridge and the road were started by former Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.
“I took it up and it was remaining only two pillars to complete the bridge. I concluded arrangement to pay N2 billion to the contractor to finish everything. But l was removed.
“Your son is in government. If he really loves you, why can’t he do it? When you vote us in, within one year, you will drive to this community.”
Sylva recalled that his administration was known as the champion of internal roads and promised to construct internal roads in the community.
Describing himself as light, he said, “Whenever you vote for us, you will see the difference between night of today and the light that will come tomorrow.”