APC’s Carrot Dangling In Bayelsa State Ahead Of November 16 Poll, Can This Core PDP State Resist The Lure?

The Oasis Reporters

October 17, 2019

Senator Douye Diri, PDP gubernatorial candidate, Bayelsa State.

Indications that currently, things are not going too well for the People’s Democratic Party, PDP in Bayelsa State can be evidenced from the exodus that has hit Bayelsa Government and the ruling party, PDP ahead of the November. 16 gubernatorial election.

A former deputy governor in the state, Ebebi Peremobowei has just dumped the party.

Ebebi, also a former Speaker, sent his resignation letter dated October 11 to the party’s Chairman in Ward 3 Alaebiri, Ekeremor Local Government Area of the state.

Ebebi’s abandonment of the PDP was described by party stakeholders as a big blow to the party especially as it came at a time he was appointed and listed as a PDP Coordinator West in the party’s campaign council.

Besides, it was gathered that Governor Seriake Dickson, was recently in a warm embrace with Ebebi, who assured him that his initial rumored defection was a fluke.

However, Ebebi in the letter, said he decided to leave the party after experiencing and enduring an excruciating period of a largely fraudulent internal democracy in the state chapter of the PDP.

It is almost like when a woman wants to abandon her husband to “float” outside extremely cogent and unassailable reasons must be adduced to buttress why departure is inevitable.

Nigerians saw that in Osun State where a former PDP deputy governor in the state, Mr. Omisore who equally came back as a gubernatorial candidate in a subsequent election, dumped the party at the eleventh hour to form an alliance with the ruling APC . APC was eventually awarded the governorship through a Supreme Court technicality.

A similar scenario played out in Oyo State, when a former PDP governor of the State, Christopher Alao Akala who was at the verge of assembling a coalition to support PDP’s Seyi Makinde, suddenly received a phone call, turned around and gave extremely unassailable reasons why he was backing out. He had not been courted respectfully enough.

Nobody was fooled, and even in his home town of Ogbomosho, the people largely disregarded his leadership and voted for Seyi Makinde.

In Bayelsa State, Ebebi said: “I have come to this hard decision after experiencing an enduring and excruciating period of a largely fraudulent internal democracy in the state chapter of the PDP, disregard and disrespect for due process as entrenched in the PDP constitution and electoral guidelines, high-handedness and desperation of the party’s leadership.

“The fact that my membership of the party is ending does not diminish the great political experience I have enjoyed. It has been absolutely outstanding.

“I am thankful for the opportunity that Larry gave me to serve the state in various capacities especially as a two-time Speaker of the State House of Assembly and two-time Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, which offered me outstanding political career development and enabled me gain irreplaceable experience in politics”.

Also other appointees of the Seriake Dickson-led Bayelsa State Government, have left their jobs in the ongoing realignments ahead of the election in the state.

The Director, Ethics and Compliance, Due Process Bureau, Benjamin Ogbara and Dickson’s Special Adviser on Culture, Chief Natus Zebakame, tendered their resignation letters on Thursday.

Others are Special Adviser on Agriculture, Godspower Ake; serving Commissioner 1 in the Bayelsa State Local Government Service Commission, Berry Negerese; the Special Assistant on Student Affairs, Iniruo Ipogi and Special Adviser on ICT Development, Clever Ebede among others.

Zebakame in his letter thanked the governor for giving him the privilege to serve the government and the people of the state.

He said: “This is, therefore, a formal notification to the government and the people of Bayelsa State as the decision to resign my appointment is entirely personal”.

Ogbara on his part said he took the decision to resign to enable him go back to his private legal practice.

He also thanked the governor, who found him worthy of the appointment and expressed his best wishes to the people of the state.

But the PDP in a statement by its State Chairman, Chief Moses Cleopas, said that the party would win the forthcoming gubernatorial election with or without those defecting to the All Progressives Congress.

He said the Bayelsa people and followers were not with the defectors who according to him, lack the requisite character, principle and integrity.

Cleopas alleged that the defecting politicians were motivated by greed and the inordinate quest for political positions being dangled to them by the APC.

He said that the PDP won the election convincingly in 2015 in spite of the spate of defections and would repeat the feat in the next election without such unstable characters.

The PDP Chairman said he was reacting to a wild frivolous claim by Ebebi, that he was defecting from the party because of high handedness and fraudulent primaries conducted by the leadership of PDP.

He said that the difference between the party leadership and the defecting politicians was the lack of capacity to resist the temptation of suspicious political offers and even threats.

He recalled that the government regularised Ebebi’s position as a former Deputy Governor and approved a monthly pension of N2.5 million, for him, which he has been collecting since 2012 till date in addition to other forms of material and financial support.

He added that Dickson also appointed Ebebi, as the Bayelsa State Representative for the Niger Delta Development Commission in 2014.

He said that it was rather shocking that Ebebi, whose nominee was still a serving Commissioner, could come out to launch a scathing attack on the government and the party to justify his defection to the APC because of greed and inordinate quest for political offices.

According to the party Chairman, Ebebi was among the first leaders of the party to make a strong case for Senator Douye Diri, later discovered to be his cousin, as the best of the aspirants of the PDP to support in the primaries.

He said that that it was even more shocking because Ebebi had received and endorsed Diri and his team when they visited him in his Yenagoa residence. He also opted to accept the position of Director General of the Chief Timi Alaibe Campaign Organisation, two days later..

He said that same Ebebi attended the flag off campaign rally of the PDP at the Oxbow Lake, on October 7, 2019, where he spoke in support of the PDP and its candidate.

Bayelsa State is high stakes, and one that the APC ruling party at the Federal level would like to take. It is the home state of former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. For trophy sake, Buhari would like to take it.
Besides, Bayelsa State is an extremely wealthy state, being an oil producing state. Added to the fact that the entire South South states have very little love for the ruling APC. They would like to utilize the Federal might to muscle themselves into love, by all means, even if arm twisting, coercion, EFCC’s “sudden financial investigations” are deployed into good use.

The final judgment would be passed by the ordinary people of the state who can resist the lure of financial inducements that may be deployed, and if the electoral umpire would remain neutral.

Would Bayelsa State citizens allow a humiliating political slap on the face of their beloved Goodluck Jonathan, now feted by global agencies as goodwill ambassador ?
Would the cash fished out from their waters and lands be ingeniously deployed to buy their loyalty at the polls on November 16 ?

Political analysts are watching.

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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