Bayelsans are grumbling over the outcome of the gubernatorial primaries conducted in the state September 3, 2019 while the PDP picked Senator Douye Diri as its flag bearer, the APC chose a late entrant to the contest, oil dealer, David Lyon.
The two choices seen as products of the selfish desires of the two kingpins in the state, Governor Henry Dickson and former governor, Chief Timipre Sylva, is sending cold down the spines of Bayelsans who feel short- charged even ahead of the November 16, 2019 elections.
While many are grumbling in the privacy of their homes for fear of being victimized and attacked, a few hard fighters are speaking out on platforms. Even some APC members feel Timi Alaibe, who placed second after Diri, would have made a better choice. Diri defeated more popular Timi Alaibe, a more experienced and loved candidate with 561 votes against his 365 votes, even with the heavy backing of Governor Dickson. Many had rooted for Alaibe and still insist he is a better candidate for the PDP.
A social activist in Yenagoa Wisdom Ikuli also points to the distasteful act of imposing a Douye Diri, who is related to Gov. Dickson maternally on the PDP. He likened Gov. Dickson imposition of Diri to the attempt by former Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha’s failed attempt to impose his son-inlaw Hon. Uche Nwosu on the APC in the state in the last elections.
In the APC, while Sylva describes Lyon as best for the job of snatching power from the PDP, Lyon is seen not to be experienced enough for the complexity of state governance. They acknowledge his philanthropy but argue that Bayelsa needs a capable hand to put the small oil rich state where it should be, a quality they do not see in the APC candidate. The position is that Lokpobiri would have made a better candidate.
National Point however, gathered that the king makers chose weaker candidates they can control. And Lyon is said to have many Bayelsans as beneficiaries of his open-handedness and loaded enough to give APC the desired votes in the coming elections coupled with his coming from a zone with very high voter population, Southern Ijaw.
Though the APC contestants were made to sign a pact obliging them to accept the outcome of the primaries before the exercise, one of the key candidates, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri is kicking against the election of Lyon. Lokpobiri has been a long player in the political field, state legislator, speaker, senate member and key APC member in Bayelsa state. He was also a Minister of state for Agriculture in the first tenure of the Buhari administration.
He has openly rejected the outcome of the APC primary.
Lokpobiri said he and his team never participated in any primaries. Lokpobiri, who is a frontline APC aspirant in the state said there was no way he would be defeated in any election in Bayelsa by Lyon adding that the majority members of the APC were supporting him.
He wondered why a primary was said to have started in a hotel in Yenagoa and ended in the hotel sidelining the secretariat of the party in the state.
According to him, party members gathered at the secretariat in Yenagoa and waited in vain for the arrival of the committee saddled with the conduct of the primaries.
He also queried why a result was purportedly declared by someone other than the returning officer and governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni, who chaired the committee.
Former APC chieftain and deputy national publicity secretary Timi Frank said the PDP has made it easy for the APC to win the November 2019 election by failing to pick Alaibe as flag-bearer.
Frank in a statement in Abuja, Friday, congratulated the APC candidate ahead of the election.
Said he: “It is not my wish for the APC to win the forthcoming Bayelsan governorship election as Iam not a member of the APC neither am I a supporter of the party, but from the look of things, the choice made by Dickson and the PDP is not inspiring. Actually, it is disappointing.”
Timi said history is about repeating itself as he reminded of Sylva’s failure in 2015 against Dickson.
“I want to remind those that are surprised that this was the same position I took against my former party, the APC in 2015,when the former governor and now Minister of state for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva was nominated. He lost the election.
“History is about to repeat itself albeit in PDP because it is making the same mistake that the APC made in 2015. Therefore, the handpicked PDP’s candidate will lose the forthcoming governorship election in Bayelsa State”.
Timi pointed out that the mood in the state proves his point .”To prove my point, it could be recalled there was neither excitement nor jubilation from Bayelsans after the ‘arangee’ primaries that produced the PDP candidate”.
Timi Alaibe – My sincere desire was to bring into governance my experiences and exposures both in the public and private sectors spanning more than three decades. I came with a mission and a vision clearly articulated and made public”.
Duoye Diri- “We acknowledge the efforts of the aspirants who gave their best shot for the ticket. Our victory is a collective one so we enjoin them as true party men to stand with us as we move closer to making this project a reality”.