3 Reasons APC's Timipre Sylva Lost The Bayelsa 2023 Governorship Election

3 Reasons APC's Timipre Sylva Lost The Bayelsa 2023 Governorship Election

Legit.ng journalist Ridwan Adeola Yusuf has over 6-year-experience covering politics and elections in Nigeria

Yenagoa, Bayelsa state - The 2023 Bayelsa state governorship election took place on Saturday, November 11, in a poll that was substantially followed by Nigerians.

The incumbent governor, Duoye Diri, ran for re-election and was successful with his bid. Diri, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), scored a total of 175,196 votes to emerge the winner while Timipre Sylva, an ex-governor, who is the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) came second with 110,108 votes. None of the other 14 candidates scored up to 1,000 votes.

Bayelsa election/Bayelsa election 2023/Timipre Sylva
APC's Sylva lost the 2023 Bayelsa state gubernatorial election. Photo credit: Timipre Marlin Sylva
Source: Facebook

What might have possibly contributed to Sylva's electoral loss? Legit.ng examines.

1) Choice of running mate

To some Bayelsans, an 'error' that cost Sylva the election was his choice of running mate. Sylva's running mate in the election was Joshua Miciver, a former ex-militant leader and ex-inmate.

Read also

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According to a report seen on The Punch, Maciver was granted amnesty alongside other Niger Delta militants by the late President Umaru Yar’Adua in 2009.

2) APC's internal wranglings

Perhaps, one of the main reasons Sylva lost the election was the division within his party and among the state's party executives.

Prior to last Saturday’s election, there was disenchantment among the party faithful and chieftains over logistics for the election.

Many of the party leaders who were founding members left the party, protesting Sylva’s emergence as the party’s flagbearer. He had made no efforts to reconcile and bring them back, This Day newspaper noted.

3) Diri’s endorsement by Jonathan

Diri’s endorsement by former President Goodluck Jonathan towards the end of campaigns might have swung votes to the governor — instead of Sylva.

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BREAKING: Diri leading with over 65,000 votes after INEC announced collation of all LGAs

The votes might have been taken from Sylva and 'handed to' Diri, especially in Ogbia local government where that move was believed to have neutralised the efforts of Samuel Ogbuku, the managing director (MD) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). Ogbuku is a protege of Sylva.

Why Bayelsans 'chose' Diri: Analyst

Sharing his expert view on the just-concluded Bayelsa election, a political analyst, Segun Akinleye, explained that although the incumbency factor might have contributed to Sylva's loss, the Bayelsa APC crisis which saw prominent APC leaders like Senator Heineken Lokpobiri and David Lyon aligning with Diri could have caused the opposition's party's loss.

Akinleye told Legit.ng:

"One, defeating an incumbent governor in an off-cycle election in Nigeria is no mean feat. We witnessed this in Imo and Kogi, even with Yahaya Bello as the outgoing governor. However, I don't want to solely ascribe the victory to the incumbency factor. I believe the election was relatively more peaceful and "credible" in Bayelsa compared to Imo and Kogi.

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BREAKING: PDP wins first LGA with landslide as INEC begins final collation of results in Bayelsa

"So, Sylva probably lost because the people felt Diri was a better choice. In such situations, people often opt for the lesser evil.
"Additionally, the APC entered the poll as a divided house, with some major stakeholders in the state supporting Diri, including Goodluck Jonathan. Thus, Sylva was up against powerful forces in the state."

Bayelsa election: INEC declares Diri winner

Earlier, Legit.ng reported that Diri was declared the winner of the Bayelsa state governorship election held on Saturday, November 11.

Governor Diri was declared the winner of the poll by Obo Effanga, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Bayelsa: APC agent refuses to sign result sheet

Legit.ng also reported that an APC agent, Dennis Otiotio, refused to sign the Bayelsa state governorship election result sheet over the alleged cancellation of over 80,000 votes.

The party agent made the allegation after the REC asked party agents to come and sign the election result sheets before the final declaration of the winner.

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Bayelsa election update: APC condemns alleged attempts to move collation of Brass LGA to Yenagoa

Otiotio explained that the alleged outright cancellation of over 80,000 votes is not always acceptable, adding that it should have been imputed for reference, regardless of the development at the polling units and wards.

Source: Legit.ng

Ridwan Adeola avatar

Ridwan Adeola (Current Affairs Editor) Ridwan Adeola Yusuf is a Current Affairs Editor at Legit.ng and a certified journalist with over 9 years of experience. He edited Politics Nigeria's articles, was the Acting Editor of AllNews Nigeria and Fact-Checking Researcher (Africa Check). He received his HND in Mass Communication from The Polytechnic Ibadan. He received a Certificate of Achievement (Journalism Clinic’s Fix The Leak masterclass, 2021) and also completed Google News Initiative's Advance digital reporting curriculum. Contact him at ridwan.adeola@corp.legit.ng.

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