With a few months away from the Bayelsa state governorship election, there are strong indications that aspirants under the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may have been cowed by some powerful forces within the party in the state.
With the date of the governorship polls rescheduled by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), primary elections also have been drawn closer and serious minded aspirants ought to have publicly declared their interests to run for the exhorted office.
However, none of the rumoured aspirants has been bold enough to officially throw their hat into the ring for the battle to commence, a situation pundits consider as a threat to the real practice of democracy where prospective aspirants are free to express their feelings and make their positions known to their supporters.
A chieftain of the PDP who craved anonymity told TNN that he was not comfortable with the style of politics being played within the ruling party where all the perceived aspirants would be waiting to be anointed by the governor before making their interest known to the public.
He said "this is a bad omen for our great party as we go into the governorship election. We need a competition among all the aspirants; let them come out bold enough to tell us which stuff they are made of so that we can pick the best out of them at the party primaries and present to Bayelsans a formidable candidate that can defeat any opponent during the general election".
The PDP stalwart further stated that the attitude of the supposed aspirants does not depict the character of a confident leader, adding that it was difficult for such persons who play the cowardice game to make good leaders.
TNN gathered that a recent statement credited to the leadership of the PDP in the state, warning prospective aspirants on the platform of the party to guard their utterances, may have further silenced the aspirants.
Though the party did not specify those who made the said unguarded statements, it said reckless utterances by some of the likely aspirants could overheat the polity and enthrone unnecessary tension and anxiety in the state ahead of the election.
In a statement signed by its state Secretary, Chief Godspower Keku, the PDP said it was disturbed by recent media statements sponsored by some of the prospective aspirants to undermine the peace in the state.
The statement noted that the PDP-led Restoration Government worked hard in the last seven years to ensure a stable political space devoid of the usual volatile atmosphere ahead of crucial elections.
"With just a few months to the governorship election, the calmness, peace and tranquillity in the state political space was unprecedented and a remarkable indication of the political dexterity of Governor Seriake Dickson.
"Those fond of going to the media with irritating stories about the party and the governor were in the habit of giving their supporters a false impression about their political worth and capacity to win elections.
"Elections were not won on the pages of newspapers. Those willing to contest should rather intensify consultations with their constituents and gather more support to help them realize their ambition.
"The PDP remains the party to beat in the state and with Dickson leading at the front; it will repeat the same feat it did in the 2015 governorship election.
"All aspirants and party faithful including persons willing to contest the governorship election should close ranks with the governor to secure victory in both the local government and governorship elections.
“As the political space is beginning to charge up, the leadership of the PDP in Bayelsa will like to call on all intending aspirants for the governorship to be careful of their utterances, particularly in the media.
“We have seen sponsored media publications which in our view seek to undermine the peace in the state. It is highly unnecessary the intentions of those behind it as any attempt to push it further will over heat the polity.
“The Restoration Government under His Excellency Governor Henry Seriake Dickson has worked hard to ensure political stability which has won the governor accolades at the national level. Unlike in the forgone past, we have elections just few months away and yet the usual heightened tension and anxiety are not in play.
“Let us remind those who need to know that we have the capacity to win elections over and over again. We did it in 2015 and in the just concluded state and national assembly elections and we will surely do it again. Governor Dickson is still the man on the saddle and he is firmly in charge of the party and the state.
“We therefore urge those who are always propagating falsehood with wrong impression of having the capacity to win election to stop deceiving their supporters but should rather increase their mobilization and consultations. For us as a party we will continue to provide a level playing ground for all”, the statement said.