Former Bayelsa State Governor and Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC’s) Presidential Inauguration Committee, Chief Timipre Sylva, said yesterday that the committee plans a low key and compact inauguration.
Sylva told reporters in Abuja that they believed that the nation could not afford a flamboyant ceremony because the economy is in a bad shape.
He added that the committee was expecting some foreign leaders to attend the event, but refused to disclose the number of foreign leaders being expected, saying the committee was yet to get confirmation from all those invited.
He said: “There are no challenges. We are planning very well and I think we are going to give Nigerians a compact inauguration. We are not going to be flamboyant. We think that this country cannot afford a flamboyant ceremony this time because the economy is not in good shape.”
The former governor dismissed the insinuation that there was a rift between the incoming administration and the outgoing government.
“There is no problem; it is just politics. What happened is that they were on the wrong side and they lost. We are on the right side and we won. So, the government will have to continue, and just like we were there when they were governing, they also have to be there when we are governing the country.”
On allegations that he was carrying a corruption baggage and should not be part of Buhari’s men, he said: “I will be shocked to hear that. Maybe those peddling the allegation are the courts and they have already convicted me. We have courts in the land and you know that PDP is the party of impunity.
“Today, if I pick you up and I charge you to court on charges of corruption, does that convict you? It is only the court that can convict you and that is why we have rule of law.
“A situation where people just pick you up and say you’re corrupt just to persecute you does not augur well for our democracy. I have been vindicated politically and I will be vindicated by the court because I ran the best government in Bayelsa State; a better government than what the outgoing President ran in Bayelsa State. I can assure you that I am going to come clean at the end of the day from the charges against me.
“You can ask them why they are charging for an offence, when they have discharged my accountant-general and my Commissioner for Finance. What does that tell you? It means that this is just mere persecution because no governor can access fund unless through his accountant-general or commissioner for finance. Both of them have been exonerated, and that means there is actually no crime at all.”