Tempers rise at governorship debate between Dickson and Sylva | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Tempers rise at governorship debate between Dickson and Sylva

Posted: Nov 27, 2015 at 5:44 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Igoniko Oduma
Tempers flared on Wednesday between Bayelsa State governor, Seriake Dickson, and former Governor, Timipre Sylva, during a governorship debate in Yenagoa, the state capital.
The governorship debate was organised by Royal FM 95.5, a private radio station in the state capital, with support from the British Council.
While second term-seeking Dickson is the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Sylva is the flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM), Moses Siloko Siasia and that of the DPC, Henry  Akpeli, also participated in the debate.
But no sooner had the debate started than tempers rose over the use of invectives, innuendos and casting of aspersions by Dickson and Sylva on their administrations.
Dickson was said to have fired the first shot while speaking on the issue of security following his remarks that a former administration in the state recorded massive killings and cult-related violence.
Apparently disturbed by Dickson’s veiled reference, Sylva, when it was his turn to speak, described the incumbent governor as “out-going”.
Enraged by Sylva’s scathing description of him as “out-going”, Dickson, at another opportunity, drew the attention of the moderator of the debate, Ben Lawson, a staff of the radio station, to what he (Dickson) termed “display of disrespect for a sitting government” by the APC candidate.
Expanding further on security, Sylva claimed that his former administration left behind a robust peace and security template, stressing that the amnesty programme of late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua for Niger Delta militants was his idea.
He insisted that the challenge of insecurity had increased dangerously and become worrisome since the inauguration of the Dickson administration.
But Dickson debunked Sylva’s claim, describing it as “political”.
He said his administration had enthroned enduring peace and that the recent incidents of kidnappings in parts of the state were orchestrated by some political elements to score cheap political points.
The PDP and the APC governorship candidates deployed further innuendos and uncomplimentary remarks while debating on the issue of child rights.
However,  the DPM candidate, Moses Siloko Siasia, was adjudged by the audience as one with most composed programme of development for the state.
The  candidate of the DPC,Henry Akpeli, was hailed for being the most entertaining personality of the evening with a political programme presented in a calm and dispassionate manner.