John ODHE, Yenagoa
Ahead of the 2023 general elections, there appears to be cold war between the incumbent governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri and his predecessor, Senator Seriake Dickson over who controls the political structure of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.
The situation is said to be creating an uneasy calm in the fold of the PDP in the state, following what many party faithful describe as overbearing political influence of the immediate past governor, Senator Dickson.
The governor is still being seen in some quarters as being under the political clutches of his predecessor despite spending more than two years in office.
Already, there is a belief that majority of Diri’s cabinet members and other political appointees were foisted on him by the former governor who is said to be taking advantage of the ground that he (Dickson) orchestrated the governor’s emergence.
This political assertion is also the view of a socio-political pressure group under the aegis of Apostles of Good Governance (AGG) which alleged clandestine moves by some politicians especially the immediate past governor, Senator Seriake Dickson to continue to control the political activities in the state in spite of the fact that this administration is being led by Diri.
The group in a statement signed by its coordinator, Kimiowei Philips and Secretary, Miss Gladys Okiya further alleged plots by Dickson to control 60 per cent of the next dispensation’s political offices especially the legislature.
“This has come to the fore as Dickson has directed that all ‘first timers’ in the State House of Assembly be allowed to return for second tenure.
“From our records the first time members in the State House of Assembly are 12 in number and all or most of them are Sen. Dickson’s cronies.
“If this is allowed to happen, it therefore means that Dickson’s control of 60% of the Legislature will be actualized and this will pose a potential danger to the Prosperity Government which will be at the mercy of Sen. Dickson who can mastermind the impeachment of Gov. Diri at anytime.
“Furthermore, we urge the Prosperity Government of Sen. Douye Diri, to rise up to the occasion and stand its ground as we foresee a plot to destabilize the Prosperity Government going into 2023 General elections even as orchestrated by some persons within the Prosperity government whose loyalty is more to the forces outside the prosperity government.
“A stitch in time, they say saves nine,” the statement read.
Our findings revealed that aggrieved members of the PDP in the state especially those who had intentions to contest elective positions but were ‘harmonized’ out by the powers that be are now considering mass defection from the party to other opposing parties in the weeks and months ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Already, one of the victims of harmonization and Executive Assistant to the state governor on NYSC, Mr. Suoyo Appah has resigned his appointment and dumped the PDP for the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) following what he described as lack of internal democracy in his former party.
Appah has since picked up APGA’s interest and nomination form to contest for the Kolokuma/Opokuma Constituency 1 in the State House of Assembly having been skewed out against his political will.
Efforts to reach the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Information, Orientation and Strategy, Mr. Ayiba Duba for comments on the alleged remote political influence on the governor by his predecessor proved unfruitful as he did not pick the call put to his cell phone by our correspondent.
Dickson’s perceived political influence on his successor came to the fore last week during the screening of aspirants by the PDP in the state when when the member representing Sagbama/Ekeremor Federal Constituency, Fred Agbedi, who had already picked his Bayelsa West Senatorial District was asked to jettison the ambition and prepare to return to the lower House and allow Dickson to sail in defiance to the existing zoning arrangement in the zone.