- Sylva is reported to have resigned from his position last week to seek election as Governor of Bayelsa State.
- There is still no official confirmation on the resignation by Sylva or from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.
- Some APC members in Bayelsa had called for his disqualification from contesting the governorship primaries of the party over his refusal to resign his position as a minister.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, is reported to have resigned from his position to seek election as the Governor of Bayelsa State in the southern part of Nigeria, in one of the off-season elections later in the year.
According to reports from Reuters, this was made known by some sources within the petroleum resources ministry and the presidency on Thursday, 30 March 2023.
Sylva is one of the aspirants reported to have been cleared by his party, the All Progressive Congress (APC), to contest for the gubernatorial election in the oil-rich state.
The minister’s resignation comes at a time of political transition in Nigeria, with President Muhammadu Buhari serving his final weeks in office before handing over to President-elect Bola Tinubu on May 29.
Sylva resigned last week
According to reports, 2 sources who wished to remain anonymous said Sylva, who is said to be going for another term, having previously served as a governor of the state between 2008 and 2012, is reported to have handed his resignation letter last week to Buhari, who also doubles as petroleum minister, and stopped coming to the office.
They said he would be seeking the APC ticket to run for Bayelsa governor in party primaries scheduled to take place on April 14.
However, there is still no official confirmation of the resignation by Sylva or from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.
There had been reports that some APC members in Bayelsa State had called for Sylva’s disqualification from contesting the governorship primaries of the party over his refusal to resign his position as a minister.
The party members from 43 Wards in Ekeremor, Ogbia, Sagbama, Kolokuma/Opokuma and Southern Ijaw Local Government Areas of the State, in a petition to the party national leadership, pointed out that at the time the minister was screened, he had not resigned.
Reneges on his earlier statement on governorship ambition
Sylva’s interest in returning as the governor of Bayelsa State seems to be contrary to his earlier statement during an interview where he clearly stated that he will not run for governorship in Bayelsa again as that chapter of his life is closed.
The minister said, ‘’I will not run for governorship in Bayelsa again, I have said it, that chapter of my life is closed. If I was to run for governor of Bayelsa State again, I would have presented myself in 2019, but at that time I presented David Lyon who won the election and we lost at the Supreme Court. This time again we would look for a credible Bayelsian that would run under the party. But I can tell you since you asked a categorical question, I will also categorically answer you that that candidate will not be me.’’
What you should know
- Timipre Sylva was born on July 7, 1964) and was a former Governor of Bayelsa State. Sylva who is the current Nigeria Minister of State for Petroleum Resources graduated from the University of Port Harcourt with distinction in English (Linguistics) in 1986.
- Sylva served as governor of Bayelsa for one full term between 2008 and 2012. At the time, he was a member of the People’s Democratic Party, which was then in power at the federal level but is now in opposition.
- His political career started in 1992 when he won a seat in the House of Assembly Election representing Brass constituency in old Rivers State. At the time, he was the youngest of all the members of the house of Assembly. His political career continued when he was appointed as the Special Assistant to the Minister of State for Petrolatum in 2004 under the auspices of Dr. Edmund Daukoru.
- He continued in that position until he resigned to join the PDP gubernatorial primaries in 2006 in Bayelsa State, in which he placed, second behind Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. After the PDP presidential primaries election with Dr. Jonathan appointed as a running mate to Umaru Musa Yar’Adua of blessed memory, the gubernatorial candidacy for PDP became vacant, and Sylva was elevated to occupy the position of PDP gubernatorial candidate
- Sylva was appointed Minister of State for Petroleum Resources in August 2019 and oversaw major reforms in the oil sector, including the passing of legislation that overhauled the sector’s fiscal regime in a bid to spur investment.