With a few weeks left for the conduct of primary elections ahead of the state and national
assembly elections in Bayelsa State, full political activities are yet to kick-off in the state. Particularly for PDP members, they have been warned not to embark on any public political activity without the consent and approval of the governor, Seriake Dickson.
This is occurring even as the leadership of the party last week declared open the sales of intent and expression forms for all elective positions under its platform.
Apart from the governorship aspirants who are yet to declare publicly, the three senators representing the three senatorial districts have not also indicated whether they would seek re-elections, neither have members of the House of Representatives.
Also, the state house of assembly is not left out. Out of the 24 lawmakers in the Assembly, only Sonny Goli of the APC, representing Brass constituency 1, who has printed posters for the Brass/Nembe federal constituency.
The loud silence of the politicians, especially those whose elections are expected to hold in 2019, is becoming worrisome. And only one reason has been adduced for this: they are waiting for Dickson before they can take the next step.
Also waiting for the governor's whistle are the myriad of gubernatorial aspirants preparing to succeed him in 2020. The election is however expected to home later in 2019. They all belong to the governor's PDP.
Kombowei Benson: Mr. Friday Kombowei Benson is a three time member and two time speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly. He is from Korokorosei community in Southern Ijaw Local Government area of the state. SILGA is also of the Bayelsa central. Benson is said to be one of those in the good books of Dickson as his possible successor. The Speaker recently pulled a team of great men of God including the international evangelist, the Rev. Dr. Umar Ukpai to Southern Ijaw for prayers. Political watchers in the state adduce that the three day prayer mission may have been part of the speaker's spiritual preparation for the epic battle. He is not likely to talk about this until Dickson tells him to go ahead.
Kemela Okara: He is the immediate past commissioner for trade and investment and the present Secretary to the Bayelsa State Government SSG. Okara who hails from Bomoundi in Yenagoa Local Government area of the state is younger brother to the literary icon, Dr. Gabriel Okara. Yenagoa is equally one of the LGAs in Bayelsa central. Though Okara is not a core politician, sources said his calm and gentle disposition thrills Dickson a lot and may be comfortable with him as his successor. Again, he is waiting for Dickson's whistle before he can act on this dream of his.
Reuben Okoya: This is a former commissioner in Bayelsa and an aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan. He is a native of Ekpetiama in Yenagoa local government. Okoya enjoys a cordial relationship with the former president and is believed to be Jonathan's preferred governorship candidate for the PDP in 2019. Of recent, the dark skinned politician is making appearances in every notable occasion in all parts of the state and making waves ahead of the polls. But is he also studying Dickson's body language?
Boladei Igali: He is from Eniware community in Southern Ijaw Local Government area and a former Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Power. He is also a one- time secretary to the Bayelsa State government. In 2011, the former SSG tested the political ground as he showed interest in the guber race but was prevailed upon for Dickson to come in. There are speculations that the retired civil servant has not dropped his political ambition to become the chief executive of the state on the platform of the PDP. Perhaps he has not given expression to this because of this same reason.
Talford Ongolo: This lawyer is an experienced hand in the game of politics. A native of Oporoma, headquarters of Southern Ijaw LGA, Ongolo has been speaker at the old Rivers State House of Assembly. He is the present chief of staff, Government House, Yenagoa. The chief of staff, according to our sources, is interested in the coveted job but is waiting for a green light from his political master.
Erepamo Osaisai: He is one of the founding fathers who played a very key role in the events that led to the creation of Bayelsa State in 1996. He hails from Koluama 11 in southern Ijaw Local Government council, is said to be extraordinarily, academically intelligent with a first class degree. He wants to govern the state he contributed so much for its creation so as to bring the dreams of the founding fathers bear. But will Dickson give him his blessing? And is he likely to fire down without the governor's blessing? Will Jonathan, his bosom friend play a role here?
He is about the only person who has served in all the administrations in the state, from the day Bayelsa State was created. He has occupied various positions. There are speculations that he is one of the favourites of Dickson. But the governor has chosen to keep to his chest the person he would like to handover to.