The Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, denied any involvement in the protest that shook Justice Mary Odili’s residence in Abuja after the Supreme Court judgment that annulled the victory of the government of APC in the state of Bayelsa .
Sylva accused the Rivers governor Nyesom Wike for claiming that he and APC comrade Adams Oshiomhole’s national president were behind the protests.
Describing Wike’s allegations as pure falsehood, Timipre Sylva considered that the Rivers Governor could have organized the protests to blackmail the APC leadership before the Supreme Court, knowing that the APC was prepared to approach the court for a review.
Sylva, a former Bayelsa state governor, said Wike’s claims amounted to adding salt to an injury, adding that he had been so numb since the trial was passed that the only thing he could think about was contacting the court for a review.
Sylva, in the statement he personally signed, said: “I returned on February 19, 2020, from an official assignment abroad to read Governor Nyesom Wike’s statement that Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and I are responsible for protests in front of Governor Peter and Justice House Mary Odili.
“There is no truth to this strange statement. Governor Wike must know what esteem I have Governor Peter and Justice (Ms. Odili) with whom I met and worked long before Governor Wike came on the scene. It does not occur to me to harm the person and the image of the people I keep as role models.
“I hope that Governor Wike or those who work with him did not organize this protest with the main intention of hanging it around our neck. Incense the Supreme Court in our direction, knowing that we intend to approach the Supreme Court again.
“What Governor Wike is doing is similar to deciding an issue that limits criminality through calls of origin, where the problems have not been investigated and the accused has had the opportunity to defend himself. Why does a governor rush to conclusions? If that isn’t adding salt to the injury, what is it?
“I was so numb with the events of February 13 that I couldn’t even contemplate any other course of action than to go to the Supreme Court. I am a man of peace and I would not support any action that could cause a breach of peace.
“I have had several meetings with the Supreme Court of Nigeria since 2012. I have never, at any time, tried to protest against its trial. You know how hard it is for an old dog to learn new tricks. Why do I go now?
“On the issue of securing Governor Peter and justice (Mrs.) Mary Odili, I have the following to say: Governor Wike, as Governor of Rivers State, has a duty to protect all people in Rivers, including the Odilis. I hope he has done this duty credibly. It is up to the people of Rivers to judge. As for the threat to me, ultimately it is God that secures not man or even a Governor.
“Let me conclude with these words to Governor Wike: ‘Those whose palm kernels have been broken by the gods must not forget to be humble'”.