The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, on Sunday described the Supreme Court judgement that declared the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Douye Diri, as winner of the Bayelsa State governorship election as provocative.
He urged the people of the state to eschew violence and remain calm.
In a statement he personally signed in Abuja, Sylva also apologised to President Muhammadu Buhari, for the disruption to his schedule by the verdict.
He said: “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, H.E. 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 H.E. 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, 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.”
Sylva disclosed that the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had engaged its legal team with a view to exploring opportunities available to the party.
The ex-Bayelsa governor added: “The leadership of our great party, the All Progresives Congress (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, H.E. Muhammadu Buhari.”