A former president of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Jonathan appears to be watching political developments in his home Bayelsa State with suspicious interest, especially as the governor, Henry Seriake Dickson begins to shop for his successor.
The second term mandate of Dickson is expected to end in February 20120. The election that will produce his successor is expected to hold around the end of 2019. But as at today, moves are already being made by interested politicians towards taking over from Dickson.
One of those who is interested in who becomes the next governor is Jonathan. He played a key role in the emergence of Dickson as governor in 2012. In 2016, Jonathan stepped up his support for Dickson, even though he was no more in power.
The PDP campaign song at the time was that it would be a very serious embarrassment for Jonathan if he lost the seat to Timipre Sylva of the APC.
But in the recent past, the relationship between the duo has been everything but harmonious. If anything, two of them appear to be pretending that all is well. TNN learnt that while Dickson has already commenced the search for his successor, he is afraid that Jonathan may pull a surprise at the dying minute.
A chieftain of the PDP who is close to both of them confided in TNN that Jonathan is just watching Dickson. In his words: The man is just watching him (the governor). He thinks Mr President (Jonathan) does not know the game he is playing.”
When his attention was drawn to the recent visit of the president to the governor, he simply laughed and said “that is the game he is playing. Or what did you want the former president to do? Let me ask you, what do you make of the invitation of Obasanjo to commission a project and they sent an invitation to the former president to just come and sit down, so that they can further humiliate the man? Is that how to do things?
“Let him continue to think that he is fooling Mr President. But we will see how it goes. He knows the man has no money to fight him. He is in power and he has all the money. Let him continue. He wants the world to believe that he respects Mr. President, yet, he is doing a lot of things behind the man.”
Meanwhile, there are speculations that Dickson may be looking at the direction of Mr Douye Diri as his successor. TNN learnt that the plan is for Diri to first contest for the senate seat, to take over from Senator Emmanuel Paulker, and thereafter, vacate the seat for the governorship seat the next year.
But some top politicians from the state have confided in TNN about the plot to frustrate the move. One of them claimed that everything would be done to make sure that whoever Dickson would bring as his successor is frustrated and made to fail, because “if we allow it, it will simply mean that Dickson would have got a third term through the back door.