Division Trails One-Million-Man March Against Sylva
One-Million-Man protest March Against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), following its alleged reluctance to arrest and prosecute the former Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva, over alleged financial cases during his tenure in the state.
The crisis broke out over the sharing formula of the alleged cash donation by the state government for the mobilisation of youth groups and politicians in the state for protest which was due to take place in Yenagoa and Abuja.
But the state government dismissed the allegation, saying, "you don't need a protest to win in the Supreme Court, even as it admitted that a Peace Walk is being planned."
According to Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Media and Public Affairs, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, government had more urgent and serious business to do than mobilising for things that have no direct impact or bearing to the situation on ground.
Meanwhile, a pro-democracy group, Bayelsa Democratic Front (BDF), in a statement issued in Yenagoa, allegedly accused the Seriake Dickson-led government of approving cash disbursement through the office of the Special Adviser on Youth Empowerment for the mobilisation of youth groups and politicians to protest ahead of the April 20th Supreme Court judgment on the state's governorship contest.
The group said that such protest would truncate the existing peace in the state and the Niger Delta region.
In the statement signed by the President-General, Mr. Promise Okpoebi, the group alleged that the rally was planned under the guise of prevailing on the EFCC to act on the alleged charges Against the former Governor, adding that such move is capable of promoting violence in the state.
"The rally being planned by the government of Hon. Seriake Dickson to coincide with the ruling of the Supreme Court on the Bayelsa State governorship contest is an open invitation to anarchy in the state and the Niger Delta. It is a huge but needless destructive fire that is being set to cause enormous and potentially unrivalled damage to the Bayelsa State and, indeed, Niger Delta peace process, a project to which the people and government at various levels have made vast human and material investments to nurture."
"It is ironic that funds meant for the development of the people are being expended in very expensive mobilisation efforts coordinated by the office of the Special Adviser to the Bayelsa State Governor on Youth Empowerment, Training and Rehabilitation to kindle this large destructive fire."
But Iworiso-Markson said the mobilisation of youths in the state was for a proposed Peace Walk earlier scheduled for April 14 and organised by the Office of the Special Adviser to the Governor of Bayelsa State on Youth Empowerment, Training and Rehabilitation.
According to him, though the Peace walk has been postponed to Tuesday 17th April 2012 due to the visit of President Goodluck Jonathan to the state, "the Peace Walk is not in any way connected to any One-Million-Man March as been alleged, all with a view to curry support for Governor Dickson ahead of the Supreme Court Ruling slated for April 20. We wish to place it on record that this government does not need a one million man March to alter the ruling of the Supreme Court in its favour."
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