By Chuks Ekpeneru
Chieftains of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Bayelsa West have dismissed as untenable the argument of zoning of the Senate seat saying that Serikae Dickson as governor of the state destroyed the principle of zoning.
The National Assembly seats in Bayelsa West had in the past been rotated between the two local government councils, Sagbama and Ekeremor.
The incumbent House of Representatives member representing Sagbama/ Ekeremor Federal Constituency is Honourable Fred Agbedi from Ekeremor.
The senator had been Senator Lawrence Ewrujakpor from Sagbama who resigned the seat to become deputy governor of the state.
The PDP has now nominated Serikae Dickson from Sagbama to vie for the seat while the APC has nominated a former deputy governor of the state, Peremobowei Ebebi from Ekeremor.
Recently, the zoning arrangement was reaffirmed at a meeting of leaders from the different Political Parties in Sagbama.
However, the APC has argued that the agreement of rotational system was only binding on PDP.
According to a chieftain of the party, Chief Perekeme Kpodoh “The issue of zoning which was raised recently was pre-planned by his (Dickson’s) former aides and PDP members to satisfy the whims and caprices of their pay masters. It cannot be binding on APC leaders. In the spirit of true rotation, when the former governor finished spending 8 years as governor, the new deputy governor slot should have gone to Ekeremor. Why didn’t they give the deputy to Ekeremor.”
Kpodoh from Sagbama said further “Those who adopted the gentleman agreement at the meeting in Sagbama were PDP members and they hoodwinked those at the meeting with rhetoric. And they claimed it should be binding on all those that attended. They claimed Chief Peremobowei Ebebi was once a deputy governor. Ebebi’s emergence was not by the people but by the former President, Olusegun Obasanjo. But it did not last. When Dickson was governor, how many commissioner slots did he give to the Ekeremor people? He gave Sagbama over six slots and gave Ekeremor people less than three.”
The APC candidate, Ebebi said those pursuing the zoning arrangement were doing it for political greed “Those advancing such arguments were simply promoting political greed and attempting to make the people of Sagbama a first class citizen while relegating Ekeremor to the background against the principles of justice, equity and good conscience.
“Sagbama through Dickson occupied the governorship position for eight years with his kinsman, Lawrence Ewrujakpor, occupying a sensitive position in his administration as the Commissioner for Works.”
He stated further: “If Dickson had valued the zoning arrangement in the district, he would have supported someone from Ekeremor to emerge as a deputy governor to give Sagbama moral rectitude to lay claim to the senate.
“It would be unjust and unfair for Sagbama having occupied the governorship for eight years to still retain the positions of the deputy governor and a senator, making Ekeremor a political orphan.
“Zoning has been destroyed by Dickson himself. Dickson was governor for eight years and Ekeremor being brothers to Sagbama people, he should have considered Ekeremor for deputy governor.
“He was Commissioner for works before he became a senator. He has abandoned that senatorial seat to become a deputy governor”.