Connect with us

Bayelsa/Kogi 2019 Election

Stakeholders Warn Dickson Over Bayelsa PDP Ticket



Asolo Eyedoude 

Party members including stalwarts of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State have raised doubts on the sincerity of Governor Seriake Dickson to hold a stakeholders’ meeting to resolve the crisis rocking the party following the choice of its running mate for the November 16 governorship election in the state.

Party members, groups and other stakeholders descended heavily on Dickson and the PDP leadership for nominating a Senator representing Bayelsa West at the National Assembly, Senator Lawrence Ewrujakpor, as the running mate to the party’s candidate, Senator Douye Diri.

Critics of the nominee accused Dickson of driving a selfish agenda to replace Ewrujakpor, who hails from his Sagbama Local Government Area, at the Senate in exchange for the running mate slot against all political permutation by the PDP to win the forthcoming poll.

Others insisted that the governor was blinded by his ambition, which they said was against his earlier principles of equity, balance and fairness and appealed to the governor to take the slot to Bayelsa East and consider giving it to Ogbia, the local government area of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Following the hullabaloo generated by the decision, Dickson promised to convene a stakeholders’ meeting to review the decision within the timeframe of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for substitution of candidates.

But party leaders were worried that a day to the expiration of the INEC September 23 deadline for substitution of candidates, the governor had yet to fix a date for the stakeholders’ meeting.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan was said to have waited for the stakeholders’ meeting and left the state in anger.

A PDP leader, who spoke in confidence, said there was no possibility of holding the meeting adding that Dickson only made the proposal to douse tension that erupted in the party following his choice of Ewrujakpor.

He said even if the governor managed to convene a meeting, it would be mere formality as his cronies would be positioned to shoot down any opposition against his chosen running mate.

He said: “The governor’s proposal for a stakeholders’ meeting was a smart but deceptive move. He discovered that the PDP was having many backlashes following his choice of a running mate. Having observed that the opposition was too loud, he decided to douse the tension by proposing the meeting. But by all indications, he has made up his mind on Erwujakpor.

“He has set his sight on the Senate and we are suspecting that there is a secret agreement that Erwujakpor should resign from his seat as a condition for the running mate slot. Therefore, even if the PDP loses the governorship election, the governor will still contest the senatorial election to replace Erwujakpor before handing over in February 14.

“But even if he eventually holds the stakeholders’ meeting, it will be a mere formality. His foot soldiers will be positioned at such meetings to endorse Ewrujakpor. The governor believes that he can still win with Ewrujakpor.

“I can assure you that any attempt to allow the senator from Dickson’s local government area as a running mate is a calculated attempt to hand over the state to the opposition. We cannot win that election because it doesn’t make sense and the people of Bayelsa are not fools. Some people are telling the governor that he will win, but they are lying to him.

“If you lose the entire Bayelsa East, how do you expect to win an election with Kolokuma-Opokuma that has the least number of votes in the state; Yenagoa, that is legendary for dry voting or is the governor banking only on his Sagbama vote?

“If the governor is serious with this election, he should take the running mate to the East to ensure balancing. He must purge himself of his senatorial ambition first to see clearly and help the PDP unless he wants to be the last PDP governor in the state”.

But other party leaders, who described Dickson as a listening governor, said the governor would change his mind on Ewrujakpor and seek his substitution before the end of the INEC timeline.

Party stakeholders including members of the Bayelsa East Forum for Justice (BEFJ) appealed to Dickson to save the PDP from imminent destruction at the poll by changing his mind on his choice of running mate.

The BEFJ commended Dickson for his decision to review the choice of Erwujakpor, saying everybody was waiting for the meeting,

Chairman of BEFJ, Monday Eribo, said the governor by deciding to convene the meeting, had again proved that he was a leader that listened to genuine complaints.

He said for listening to the loud outcry against the intended running mate, Dickson endeared himself to the heart of loyal members of the party, who were ready to stand with him till the end of his tenure.

Eribo urged the leaders and stakeholders invited for the meeting to look at the issue of running mate dispassionately and ensure that it was zoned to the East.

Eribo, a former three-time Commissioner in the State Local Government Service Commission, appealed to the stakeholders to ensure the selection of a competent person from the East before the expiration of the INEC deadline.

He said: “What the candidate of the PDP for the November 16 governorship election, Senator Douye Diri needs is someone who enjoys the support of not only Ogbia people but people across the state and it must be someone who is very committed to the Restoration agenda.

“Picking someone from the East, particularly Ogbia will be a mark of honour and respect to former President Goodluck Jonathan and will balance the political equation in the state.

“We thank individuals and groups who came out to voice their concerns over the choice of Senator Lawrence Ehrudjakpor, saying history will never forget them, as they spoke up when it mattered most”.

Other party chieftains warned that the PDP was at the verge of collapsing if after the September 23 the meeting failed to hold to substitute the running mate.

“What will hit PDP is an exodus beyond imagination. Those that will remain in the party will stay there to work against the governor and bring his leadership to an end. Everybody is waiting for the stakeholders’ meeting”, a source, who spoke in confidence said.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *