September 23, 2021

TNN Newspaper

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Dickson Seeks Safe Landing, Negotiates With Sylva PDP, APC Guber Candidates Emerge

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The two leading political parties in Bayelsa State, the PDP and the APC, will hopefully produce their gubernatorial candidates for the September 3 election this week.
In the PDP, the governor, Chief Seriake Dickson is believed to be looking at the direction of Senator Diri, Kemala Okara and Nimobofa Ayawei. But Senator Emmanuel Paulker, Chief Ndutimi Alaibe, Dr Erepamo Osaisai and the deputy governor, John Jonah are not taking things lying low.
They are determined to pull the rug off Dickson’s feet. There are signals that the major aspirants are contemplating producing a consensus candidate amongst them, to frustrate Dickson’s choice.
While the PDP adopted the indirect mode of primary, its APC counterpart is opting for the direct system in the conduct of their respective primary election.
Meanwhile, feelers from the governorship delegates of the PDP camped in various hotels in Yenagoa, the state capital, have it that money influence may not play any significant role as many had feared.
According to a source close to the hotels where they are lodged, most of the delegates have made up their mind to replicate what happened at the Ijaw National Congress (INC) election, where delegates never allowed money to buy their conscience.
At the INC election, it was gathered that the delegates who were offered cash gifts to vote certain candidates collected the money, but went ahead to vote candidates of their choice.
One of the PDP delegates in one of the hotels who craved anonymity was quoted as saying “we have resolved to elect the candidate that will be acceptable to all Bayelsans.
“Whosoever brings his money either from government or the individual aspirants, we will collect it because it is a gift but believe me, we are going to vote whoever we want and who can win election for the PDP at the general election.
“Don’t forget what happened at the INC election. Delegates were offered cash gifts but at the end of the day, they voted their mind because we are getting wiser.
“Come to think of it, how much can be enough to buy one’s conscience to mortgage his future and the future of his children and unborn children?”
In another development, TNN learnt that a last minute confusion has heat the restoration camp of the governor on the final choice of the aspirant to be adopted, ahead of the governorship primary election.
Dickson had reportedly endorsed the candidacy of Diri and asked other members of the team to work with him.
In another breadth, it was learnt that the governor was later advised to abdicate the endorsement of Diri on the ground that if he eventually becomes governor, he may be loyal to one of the strong contenders, Chief Timi Alaibe, who is known to be his former political godfather.
In the meantime, there have been unconfirmed reports of talks between Dickson and Chief Timipre Sylva, leader of the APC in the state, on the possibility of a soft landing for him in the event that he loses out at the general election.
Dickson’s fears were said to have grown after Sylva succeeded in getting the petroleum ministry. From the governor’s camp, it is feared that with Sylva’s growing popularity and support from Aso Rock, it would be difficult for the APC to lose this time.
A source confided in TNN last week that “the last time, that is 2015, there was so much sentiment. A lot of people had the belief that if the PDP lost, the shame would have been too much for Goodluck Jonathan, the immediate past president.
“People actually supported the PDP to win because of Jonathan, not necessarily because of Dickson. But now, Dickson has fallen out of favour with the man who made him win the election. So tell me, how can his candidate win again?”
Apparently because of this, Dickson is said to have been talking to Sylva for last minute understanding. In fact, he was said to have suggested to Sylva to allow him nominate a running mate for David Lyon who is tipped to be the APC candidate.
It was however not clear if Sylva had accepted his proposal. But sources said Dickson has become unusually friendly with Sylva in the recent past.

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