The Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, is under fire as some stalwarts of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), have called for his resignation.
Sylva had obtained his expression of interest and nomination forms to contest the party’s ticket and was screened last Saturday ahead of the governorship election in Bayelsa slated for November.
But the 1999 Constitution provides that a public office holder seeking political office in an election must resign before contesting. Sylva is yet to do so as he still functions as a minister.
The party chieftains from the 43 wards in Ekeremor, Ogbia, Sagbama, Kolokuma/Opokuma and Southern Ijaw LGAs of Bayelsa, in a petition to the party’s national leadership, said as of the time Sylva was screened, he had not resigned his appointment.
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In the petition which was signed by Doubra Kpoku, Nelson Gbeinbo, Charles Fyneman, Ogbel Joseph, Dressman Isowo, among others, and addressed to the National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, secretary, legal adviser and national organising secretary of the APC, the stalwarts said the minister’s action was a violation of the party’s constitution.
The petition was titled: “Request for Disqualification of Chief Timipre Marlin Sylva, the Hon Minister of State Petroleum Resources, from Participating in the APC Bayelsa State Gubernatorial Primary Scheduled for April 14, 2023, or any Other Date”.
Part of the petition reads: “It is only reasonable that he should respect the party’s constitution by resigning 30 days before the primary (scheduled for April 14, 2023).
“It is clear that as at 25th of March, 2023, when the hon minister presented himself for the screening; it was already less than 30 days to 14th of April, 2023, being the date scheduled for the APC governorship primary in Bayelsa State for which the hon minister is an aspirant.”