2023: Why Sylva Must Succeed Buhari – SSLF
By Uche Eke, Abuja
As the search for the right successor of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023 continues, a group, the South-South Legacy Forum, has presented the former Governor of Bayelsa State and Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, as the best man for the job.
In a statement signed on behalf of the group by it’s Coordinator, Comrade Wilfred Frank Ogbotobo, the group said that in this crucial search for Nigeria’s leader after Buhari’s tenure,
“it is important to consider salient qualities in the aspirants that will ensure Nigeria’s continuous progress and unity.
“Some of these critical qualities include humility, requisite experience and ability to play successfully in the delicate worlds of insecurity and international oil politics.”
The group said among the tested aspirants that currently justle to succeed Buhari, “it is self evident that Timipre Sylva, the former Governor of Bayelsa State, ranks far above others.”
Part of the statement reads: “Whether some Nigerians and ardent critics of Buhari are ready to admit it or not, the fact remains that the Buhari administration has ushered in a national rebirth.
“The national conscience has been stirred to certain realities unfolding to reshape human affairs.
“We are passing through an epochal period that requires a redirection and change, a compulsion to conduct our lives differently. It is not a picnic, but a time that comes with hard decisions and painful experiences.
“PMB, we must say, appeared on the scene at the right time, and it is a high grace to have this presidency midwife this most auspicious period of our national evolution. Only a government with the strength of character and leadership of PMB could have had the muscles to hold the reins firmly and halt the slide.
“A foundation has been laid for a new path. And we have to build on it.
“But still, there are grave challenges confronting the nation.
Hence, Buhari’s successor should be one that has the intellectual capacity to grasp the facts, and the spiritual insight to sift the facts and get the truth.
“Sylva shares these unique traits with PMB. It enabled him to come up with the novel solutions that ended the militancy and restored peace in the Niger Delta region.
“So, the present security crises will not be strange to Sylva totally. He did it at the regional level during late Yar’adua’s presidency.
“Secondly, Sylva has been able to amass vast knowledge in the local and international oil politics with his supervision of the transition from oil to gas of which Nigeria is more endowed.
“And with the raging crisis between Russia and Ukraine, the urgent need for the development of Nigeria’s gas potentials has come to the fore.
“Gas stands to take over as the net income earner for Nigeria.
“So, informed and concerned Nigerians will agree that this is one sensitive area the PMB administration has been able to make significant progress that needs no interruption.
“The most assured means of taking optimal advantage of the silent breakthroughs Buhari’s Government has made in this critical area is to endorse the deserved candidacy of Timipre Sylva for the office of Nigeria’s President in 2023.
“Of course, we cannot continue to rely on Chinese loans to build rail and other infrastructure,” the group said.
On the critical issues of national peace and unity in Nigeria, South-South Legacy Forum said, “it has become obvious that the nation needs healing urgently
“We therefore submit here that Sylva’s humility and inner composure will also be useful in bringing the nation to a round table.
“The current division we witness in Nigeria today is not caused by PMB. It is the outcome of the presidential primaries contest between the former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, where they weaponised and deployed religion, ethnicity and every other imaginable sentiment of mass division to bombard opponents. They forgot that the craters would one day cause deep chasms in our politics.
Today, the wound inflicted on Nigeria is deep, so, we must look for the right leader to spearhead and apply the needed national healing balm. Sylva fits this bill if we can all remove unnecessary sentiments and face the facts.
“We must see that the challenges are enormous, and that it is only a leader who will have the humility to see it as the highest privilege and call to serve God Almighty and man on earth, that will approach the job with the responsibility and commitment it deserves,” the group said.
Also in a chat with newsmen, Mr Ogbotobo reiterated his personal support for Sylva’s candidacy in the 2023 Presidential Election. He said, “I am of the CPC lineage of the All Progressive Congress (APC), and if my CPC spirit is anything to go by, then Sylva is the right person to succeed PMB in 2023. And I so recommend.”