Royal Rumble in Bayelsa As APC, PDP in War of Words…Dickson, Jonathan Clash Looms


The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa state and the All Progressives Congress (APC) are currently engaged in a supremacy contest as the 2019 governorship election looms with both parties bragging to sweep the polls.

Acting Chairman of the APC, Bayelsa chapter, Mr. Joseph Fafi, has stated that the days of the PDP in Bayelsa were numbered following recent claims by Governor Seriake Dickson that the PDP remained the dominant party that would continue to produce the governor in the state.

Speaking in an interview with newsmen on Wednesday in Yenagoa, Fafi boasted that the ruling PDP that won the 2015 gubernatorial poll cannot win any elections in the state any more as cracks between former President Goodluck Jonathan and Dickson’s camp in the PDP might weaken the ruling party.

According to TheWill, Dickson had during the recent inauguration of a 10-member Contact and Mobilisation Committee of the PDP with a mandate to reach out to its former members who jumped ship, asked the committee to mop up all the opposition parties in the state.

But Fafi, reacting to the boast by Dickson, said the ruling party in the state was already aware that they had come to the end of the road in Bayelsa insisting that the APC had remained stronger and better having learnt from its past crisis with the removal of three former executive committee members of the party.

“Personally, I believe in action more than words. I can assure you that even those saying so are aware that it is the end of the road for PDP in the state. They are aware, they are just trying to encourage themselves,” he said.

“We are taking all the necessary steps to see that the state is controlled by the APC. We cannot be an opposition party to the federal. We have to move with the change agenda – the moving train at the centre.

“It is the end of the PDP in this state. PDP cannot win any elections again in this state, I can assure you that and we are taking every step to ensure that. We have gone through some crisis that is why it seems that we are silent.

“We are working very hard behind the scene so that by the time we unveil our plans, Bayelsa people will have no other option but to realise that their future lies with the APC.”

He revealed that the former Chairman of the party, Tiwei Orunimighe, had gone to court to challenge his removal and those of his vice, Eddy Julius and the Secretary, Marlin Daniel.

“Tiwei Orunimighe has gone to court, which is his fundamental right, to seek redress, which is what should have been done in the first place instead of the crisis that was avoidable.

“That has not stopped us. We are moving on, whatever the court says, everybody will abide by it. But we are moving on as a family,” Fafi said.

Meanwhile, there are indications of a frosty relationship between Jonathan and Dickson which dates back to Jonathan’s days as President when efforts were made to frustrate the re-election of Dickson who was in firm control of the party hierarchy in the state.

Prior to the 2015 gubernatorial polls, Jonathan’s men and other loyalists of Dame Patience Jonathan allegedly struggled unsuccessfully, under the auspices of the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria, to wrest control of the PDP state Executive from Dickson and eventually pitched tent with the APC.

Although both men have continued to deny having any rift with each other, Dickson is believed to be uncomfortable with the comments credited to Jonathan’s loyalists who are throwing accusations at the Dickson led government.

Dickson had said at the weekend, during a PDP meeting in Yenagoa, that he got assurances from Jonathan who denied involvement in the activities of his loyalists who were dropping his name in their efforts to discredit the current administration in the state.

Dickson wondered why Jonathan could neither control his men nor call them to order as they made daring efforts to undermine his administration and is believed to be aggrieved at the weakness of the former President to sanitise the ranks of his supporters who he described as fair weather politicians.

He recalled and told the PDP leaders that he has been at the epicentre of Jonathan’s political think thank haven fought battles from Jonathan’s days as Deputy Governor to late Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha pointing out that he was side-lined and treated unfairly during Jonathan’s Presidency by opportunists who managed Jonathan.

In the same vein, the Speaker of the Bayelsa House of Assembly, Kombowei Benson, an ally of Dickson has denied plans to impeach him in order to pave way for eventual impeachment of the governor declaring that the Dickson camp remained in control of the party.

Benson however warned that the Dickson camp may pull out if the persecution from the Jonathan camp continues saying that PDP was not indispensable.

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