- Senatorial ambition suffers setback
BY UBON EKANEM – Mounting pressure from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s stakeholders over the Party’s running mate in the November 16 Bayelsa State gubernatorial election may force Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State to put his Senatorial ambition on hold for now.
And the governor, determined to pacify the aggrieved stakeholders and reunite the Restoration family, in working on an all-inclusive arrangement that would have him capitulate on his earlier choice of running mate for PDP’s candidate.
Competent sources hinted that with opposing forces growing by the day, Governor Dickson’s kitchen cabinet reluctantly agreed to organise a stakeholders’ meeting with the aim of reviewing their hitherto unbending stand over the contentious issue.
According to an insider, though it was initially difficult convincing the governor to see reasons, he eventually aligned with popular sentiments to choose a new candidate within the timeframe allowed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for substitution of candidates.
The proposed stakeholders’ engagement is meant to resolve the crisis brewing within the State ruling party following Governor Dickson and some party chieftains’ insistence to push for Senator Lawrence Erhujakpor, who hails from the Governor’s Sagbama Local Government Area, as running mate to PDP’s candidate, Douye Diri.
Amidst worrying political intrigues and allegations that the governor was pursuing a selfish agenda, concerned PDP stakeholders were vocal in condemning the internal antics, describing it as “clannish, selfish and recipe for failure” at the forthcoming election.
However, given Dickson’s current agreeable disposition, some of the aggrieved Stakeholders are now singing new tunes ahead of the November poll.
They are already having kind words for the Governor following his decision to bring everyone on board and strengthen the Restoration family for the tough political battle ahead.
Among the groups applauding the countryman governor and Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum for his change of mind is Bayelsa East Forum for Justice (BEFJ).
In its latest statement, the BEFJ lauded Governor Dickson for his decision to review the choice of Erwujakpor, following outcries from members of the party.
According to the Chairman of BEFJ, Monday Eribo, the governor by deciding to convene the meeting, has again proved to be a great leader who listens to his people and their genuine concerns.
Eribo said by listening to the people’s outcry against the proposed running mate, Governor Dickson has again endeared himself to the hearts of loyal PDP members, who are overly ready to support with him till the end of his tenure.
The BEFJ Chairman urged the Party leaders and stakeholders invited for the meeting to look at the issue of running mate dispassionately and ensure that it was zoned to the East.
Eribo, a former three-time Commissioner in the Local Government Service Commission, charged the stakeholders to ensure a competent person from the East is picked for the Deputy governorship slot before the INEC deadline expires.
“What the candidate of the PDP for the November 16 governorship election, Senator Douye Diri needs is someone who enjoys the support of not only Ogbia people but people across the state and it must be someone who is very committed to the Restoration agenda.
“Picking someone from the East, particularly Ogbia, will also be a mark of honour and respect to former President Goodluck Jonathan and will balance the political equation in the state”, Eribo said.
Commending other stakeholders for speaking out against perceived injustice, Eribo said; “We thank individuals and groups who came out to voice their concerns over the choice of Senator Lawrence Ehrudjakpor”.
“History will never forget them, as they spoke up when it mattered most”, he said