Despite the Supreme Court judgement which upturned the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, has urged the party supporters and people of the state to shun all acts of violence and lawlessness.
Sylva, a former governor of the state and a chieftain of the APC, in a statement he signed, also apologised to President Muhammadu Buhari and his wife, Aisha, who were billed to attend Chief David Lyon’s inauguration before the Supreme Court judgement that voided the party’s victory.
He said the leadership of the APC and its legal team were exploring every lawful option to ensure that the party’s victory was reclaimed.
He said: “In view of last Thursday’s Supreme Court judgement, 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, 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 emphasise the need for restraint at all times. No doubt the events of the last few days are as provocative as they are regrettable. But however tempting 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 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.
“Once again, I call on all people of Bayelsa State irrespective of whatever differences there may be to eschew violence and respect the security measures put in place by appropriate authorities.
“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. “The mandate will be restored and that dream of a better, greater Bayelsa State will be actualized,” he said.