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Cablegate: Nigeria Spot Report: Bayelsa Pdp Bombed 2 Days

VZCZCXRO9946
RR RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHOS #0168 1301602
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 091602Z MAY 08
FM AMCONSUL LAGOS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9899
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 9613
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO 0194
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH AFB UK
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RHMCSUU/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUSSNRB/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE

UNCLAS LAGOS 000168

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED - HANDLE ACCORDINGLY
SIPDIS

OSLO FOR HELENA SCHRADER
DOE FOR GPERSON, CHAYLOCK
TREASURY FOR ASEVERENS, SRENENDER, DFIELDS
COMMERCE FOR KBURRESS
STATE PASS USTR FOR ASST USTR FLISER
STATE PASS TRANSPORTATION FOR MARAD
STATE PASS OPIC FOR ZHAN AND MSTUCKART
STATE PASS TDA FOR NCABOT
STATE PASS EXIM FOR JRICHTER
STATE PASS USAID FOR GWEYNAND AND SLAWAETZ

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL NI
SUBJECT: NIGERIA SPOT REPORT: BAYELSA PDP BOMBED 2 DAYS
BEFORE BY-ELECTION CAMPAIGN

1. (SBU) The secretariat building of the Bayelsa State
People's Democratic Party (PDP) was bombed with dynamite on
May 8, two days before the state PDP chapter was to announce
former governor Timipre Sylva as its candidate and begin
campaigning for the gubernatorial by-election. A reliable
contact within Sylva's office told Poloff on May 9 that there
were no known injuries resulting from the attack and the
motive was unknown. A Bayelsa government official in the
protocol office confirmed Vice President Goodluck Jonathan
(former Governor of Bayelsa) plans to attend the PDP kick-off
in Bayelsa on Saturday; President Yar'Adua is scheduled to
join the Vice President and, as of May 9, had not notified
state representatives of a change in his plans. However,
media reports on May 9 indicate that Yar'Adua may cancel his
trip due to security concerns.

2. (SBU) Our contact in the former governor's office
suggested the attack on the PDP secretariat may have been
caused by people trying to "create insecurity" because they
wanted the elections to be postponed. He thought one of two
groups may have been responsible; either PDP members who
support candidates other than Sylva or members of opposition
parties hoping to postpone the election. However, he thought
the latter possibility as unlikely as there are virtually no
active opposition parties in the state.

3. (SBU) Further supporting his hypothesis, our source in the
former governor's office noted the office of the former
Deputy Governor was recently burgled, suggesting to him
someone was seeking documents which could sully the
governor's campaign; no such documents exist, he claimed. He
predicted the attack on the PDP secretariat would not affect
the upcoming May 10 PDP rally to announce Sylva as the
party's gubernatorial by-election candidate.

4. (SBU) Comment: Our contact's suggestion that a non-Sylva
PDP faction may have been responsible for this attack is
reasonable. Sylva was a PDP consensus candidate in the 2007
elections and interlocutors throughout the Niger Delta since
then have commented on Sylva's tenuous support from within
the Bayelsa PDP. End Comment.

5. (U) This cable was cleared by Embassy Abuja.
BLAIR

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