Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa

In a rare political gesture, Governor Henry Seriake Dickson has rallied support for his predecessor and arch political rival, former governor Timipre Sylva, ahead his ministerial screening by the Senate.

Sylva, a leader in the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State, has been locked in a bitter political fued with Dickson since he was removed as governor and replaced by Dickson in 2012.

Dickson, in a statement to congratulate Sylva on his nomination as minister, directed Bayelsa’s two PDP senators not to oppose his nomination during the screening process.

The Governor, in a statement by his Special Adviser, Media Relations, Mr Fidelis Soriwei, called on the senators to support Sylvia’s nomination as minister in the interest of Bayelsa as the Governor of all citizens of the state regardless of political differences.

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The Governor recalled that he congratulated former Minister òf Agriculture Mr Heineken Lokpibiri, and canvassed similar support for him when his name was forwarded to the Senate in President Buhari’s first tenure.

He said that by Sylvia’s nomination, President Buhari displayed appreciation of loyalty, a virtue which he considers critical in political leadership.

He said that he had worked assiduously to enthrone a similar political culture in Bayelsa in the past seven years, and called on political leaders to show the requisite loyalty in appreciation of the support for their followers.

He stressed that loyalty is a two-way virtue which should be considered pertinent both by followers and leaders.