A former Governor of Bayelsa State and Minister of state for petroleum, Timipre Sylva, has vowed to restore the stolen mandate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
A five-man panel of the Supreme Court led by Justice Mary Peter-Odili ordered INEC to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to the All Progressives Congress’ candidates as the winners of the November 16, 2019 governorship election in the state.
Justice Peter-Odili asked INEC to issue a fresh certificate to the governorship candidate with the highest votes cast and wide geographical spread in the governorship election held on November 16, 2020.
Obeying the directive of the Supreme Court, INEC Chairman, Yakubu Mahmoud on Friday then declared PDP candidate, Douye Diri winner and issued him certificate of return.
Reacting in a statement issued on Sunday by his Media Adviser, Sylva apologised to President Muhammadu Buhari and Aisha Buhari, his wife, for the cancellation of David Lyon’s inauguration.
He revealed that the legal team of the ruling party is already exploring the options available to them.
Sylva said: “I want to use this moment to call on all the people of our dear state, Bayelsa, to kindly shun all acts of violence and lawlessness.
“Also of great importance to me is to extend my profound apology to our President, His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, over the avoidable disruption to his busy schedule which was caused by the events of the moment.
“I am aware that Mr. President and his lovely wife Her Excellency Aisha Buhari had concluded arrangements to travel to Bayelsa to witness the inauguration of the APC Governorship candidate as Governor of Bayelsa State. I, therefore, extend my apology to Mr President and members of his entourage.
“To the good people of Bayelsa state, I would like to emphasize the need for restraint at all times. No doubt the events of the last few days are as provocative as they are regrettable.
“But as tempting as it might be for anyone to take the law into their hands, such temptation must be resisted in the greater interest of our state and the political stability of the country at large.
“The leadership of our great party the All Progressives Congress (APC) has directed its team of legal experts to study the situation critically and proffer legal options available to the party accordingly.
“We should therefore all remain faithful to, and have confidence in, the wisdom and ability of the party leadership to provide direction at this very sensitive time.
“Let me conclude by assuring Mr. President and our party hierarchy that despite this temporary setback, APC in Bayelsa remains strong and its members resolute in our support for the ideals of a greater and prosperous Nigeria as envisioned by our President, His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari.
“The mandate will be restored and that dream of a better, greater Bayelsa State will be actualised.”