April 14, 2021

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Jonathan, Wife Disorganises PDP… How Ogbia Elders Warned Jonathan Against Supporting Dickson

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There has been an uneasy calm in the camp of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa state ahead of Saturday’s governorship election, following glaring indications that the former president, Goodluck Jonathan, may have withdrawn his support for the PDP.
TNN learnt that majority of the party’s supporters were left in consternation and dejection as they waited in vain to see the presence of the former president at the mega rally organized by the PDP at the Oxbow Lake pavilion in Yenagoa to mark the end of her gubernatorial campaigns across the state.
This is coming even as the former president’s wife, Patience, is not hiding her support for the APC candidate, David Lyon, ahead of this Saturday’s gubernatorial election. Patience was said to have also convinced the husband to withdraw his support for Dickson and his candidate, Douye Diri of the PDP, before Ogbia elders stepped in an warned their son against further fraternising or supporting Dickson.
Before the rally, which held on Wednesday, the leadership of the PDP and other party faithful had left no one in doubt that Jonathan would attend the campaign, assuring that the event would erase the doubts in some quarters that the former president was annoyed with the party and may not play any role to ensure PDP’s victory at the polls.
However, Jonathan’s conspicuous absence from the rally without any representative further triggered controversy within and outside the party and on the social media, with many adducing that all may not be well with the PDP.
Jonathan, who is said to be obsessed with the unilateral decisions
taken by the leadership of the PDP prior to the party’s governorship primary election, had warned against wrong decisions that may cost the party dearly in the governorship battle.
The ex-president’s pieces of advice, especially on the choice of Dickson’s successor, it was learnt, fell on deaf ears as his opinion was not sought.
In one of the stakeholders meeting of the PDP held before the primaries, the Ogbia born former president categorically warned the state governor to be wary of the possibility of the PDP losing the state to the All Progressives Congress (APC), if the party fails to field the most popular and generally accepted candidate for the November 16 governorship election.
It was gathered that since the emergence of the PDP gubernatorial flagbearer and running mate, Jonathan has been so disappointed and therefore chose to be indifferent in the whole process.
For instance, unlike in 2015 when he fully participated in the PDP governorship campaigns, Jonathan did not show up during the 2019 campaign flag-off, neither was he seen during the mega rally where he was highly expected.
An alleged angry Jonathan was reported to have confided in some of his close associates shortly after the PDP primary election, that produced Diri, that he would detach himself from the state PDP’s political activities before, during and after the governorship election, adding with dismay that he won’t allow anybody from the party to put pressures on him when the chips were down.
No sooner had the former president made that unofficial statement to his political sons at his Otuoke home than he declared a six months leave which would last until after the electioneering processes.
Another pointer corroborating the perceived dissatisfaction of Jonathan is the withdrawal of all his kinsmen from the PDP to the APC ahead of the governorship election.
Some of the political bigwigs in Ogbia who are very close to Jonathan but have dumped the PDP for the APC include Chief Robert Ayalla, Chief Claudius Enegesi, Mike Ogiasa, Mrs. Sodaguo Festus-Omoni and a host of others.
According to some Ogbia indigenes who spoke to TNN ahead of the polls, the governorship election would be a pay back time for the leadership of the PDP for disregarding Goodluck Jonathan and the Ogbia people.
Meanwhile, wife of the former president, Mrs. Patience Jonathan is said not to be pretending about her support for the APC candidate, Chief David Lyon, who she now refers to as ‘my son.’
Also, mother of the ex-president, Madam Eunice Jonathan is said to have given her motherly blessings to the APC standard bearer, who visited her at Otuoke recently.
At the PDP mega rally, it was not only Goodluck Jonathan that was being expected to be part of the occasion but did not come.
Also expected to be present at the event but never came were the deputy governor of Bayelsa state, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John-Jonah, King Amalate Turner and the governor of Rivers state, Nyesom Wike who is also said to be at loggerheads with Dickson on some political issues.
Despite tracing the deputy governor and Turner to their Lagos and Abuja homes, and having them to take photographs with the governor which went viral on the social media, suggesting that reconciliation had been achieved, party members were shocked at the duo’s absence from the PDP mega rally.
Fear Of Insecurity, Flood Grip Bayelsans Ahead Of Guber Poll.
As Bayelsans go to the polls this Saturday to elect their next governor, there are palpable fears of insecurity as well as the 2019 flood that has refused to recede.
Already, there are reports that arms are being stockpiled by politicians in different parts of the state especially in the riverine areas.
Within the week, there was a report that some unidentified gunmen in four speedboats stormed Igbomotoru community in Southern Ijaw local government area of the state at night, shooting sporadically into the air.
Community folks who were rattled by the staccato gunshots scampered for safety as many fled into the nearby bush already surrounded by water.
Speaking to TNN on the development, a native of the community and Publisher of a Yenagoa based local tabloid, the National Investigator, Mr. Ayibaetari Easterday described the incidence as worrisome and called on the law enforcement agencies to unravel the arms and those behind them.
Noting that the people of Igbomotoru had been leaving in fears since the ugly incidence occurred, the publisher stressed that if nothing was done before the election, the development would cause voter apathy in the area.
“Up till this moment, no one, not even the police, has been able to locate the whereabouts of the cache of arms that landed the community in the said four speed boats.”
Apart from the insecurity that is threatening the conduct of the governorship election, the issue of flood has become very worrisome as many of the electorate who had been displaced by the flood and are yet to return home stand the risk of being disenfranchised.
It could be recalled that the metrological agencies have predicted that the 2019 flood may not be receding as soon as expected due to the opening up of new dams by some Nigerian neighbouring countries.
We Are Ready -INEC
However, the national chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mamood Yakubu has assured that the November 16 governorship polls would go on as scheduled despite the fears of insecurity and the ravaging flood.
Yakubu, assured the key political actors at the 2nd​ stakeholders meeting held in Yenagoa, that the commission was ready to conduct a free and fair election as all non-sensitive materials needed for the election had arrived Yenagoa, the state capital and domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Promising to be neutral, the INEC boss described buying or selling of votes as illegal and vowed to arrest and prosecute anyone found wanting.
On the flood victims, he said the commission had made preparations to ensure that they vote wherever they would be on the election day, stressing that no one would be disenfranchised as a result of the flood.
IG Bans Operation Dou-Akpo, Talks Tough
Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu has placed an interim order restraining officers and men of the Bayelsa state established security outfit, Operation Dou-Akpo from participating during the election on Saturday.
While speaking during an interactive session with political stakeholders in Yenagoa, the police chief also ordered that vehicles of the outfit should not been seen in any part of the state during the polls.
Acknowledging that the success of the election would depend largely on the police, he said “I just want to advise you not to succumb to the political enticement from politicians. When you do, there would be problems. If you see anyone buying votes, it is illegal, please arrest the person.”
He told the police personnel that their job was to secure materials to the polling units and ensure that nobody was molested during the election.
“You must ensure that there is peace and security at the polling units. After the election, you are supposed to protect the votes and results of the unit to the collation centre. By so doing, you will beef up the security at the collation centres and ensure nothing happens to the results.”
He also informed the personnel that there would be a detachment of mobile policemen on patrol to assist and secure arrest of erring politicians if it goes beyond their capacity.
The IG also informed the officers and men of the Bayelsa police command that their welfare packages had been paid into their accounts to cover the days of duty during the elections with over 32,000​ personnel ready to be deployed to Bayelsa State​.
While charging his men to be professional during and after the polls, the IG warned those who have the penchant for electoral violence to steer clear of the state or be ready to face the consequences.
“Moving about from one polling unit to the other is not your business. It is the business of the election officials. Don’t allow yourself to be used as a tout. If you do, we shall isolate you, pick you and prosecute you.
“If arms have been stockpiled somewhere for you to use on the D-Day, you better rethink. We will not allow you move with any arm. If you think you can break the law and disrupt the process, please try it and you will see what will happen,” he warned.
Political Parties Sign Peace Accord
During the Stakeholders meeting, over 30 political parties including the PDP and the APC signed a peace accord entered into by parties and candidates to pledge, affirm and commit all to non-violence before, during and after the election.
The governorship candidate of the PDP, Senator Douye Diri and the deputy governorship candidate of the APC, Senator​ Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo​ signed the peace pact before a large crowd of stakeholders.
The INEC boss explained that the peace pact was to secure the commitment of key players to a free, fair and credible process in Bayelsa. ”We need the commitment of especially the political parties and candidates to realize these goals,” he said.

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