BAYELSA GUBER: Crisis rocks Bayelsa PDP over choice of running mate. |Anyigbaleft

Dickson insists on senator from his LGA.  The choice of running mate to the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)...

Dickson insists on senator from his LGA.

 The choice of running mate to the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, has thrown the party into crisis ahead of the November 16 election.

 

The issue was said to have assumed a dangerous dimension following the insistence of the state Governor, Seriake Dickson, to zone the slot to his western senatorial district in order to pave the way for the incumbent senator representing the zone, Senator Lawrence Erwujakpor to emerge as the running mate.

Despite earlier denials, Dickson was said to have perfected the process of making Erwujakpor, who hails from his Sagbama Local Government Area, a running mate to enable him realize his senatorial ambition in case PDP emerged victorious after the election.

While most party leaders were said to have warned the governor against the plot describing it as political suicide, stakeholders from former President Goodluck Jonathan’s Eastern Senatorial District said they deserved the position for a sense of belonging in the party.

 The stakeholders under the auspices of Bayelsa East Forum for Justice (BEFJ) said having picked the candidate from the Bayelsa Central, it was natural to select a competent party man with requisite political clout and popularity from the East.

Speaking in Yenagoa, the Chairman, BEFJ, Monday Eribo, described the feelers that the slot for running mate had been zoned to the West as sad and an attempt to deprive the people of the East what was due them politically.

Eribo insisted that the plot was motivated by greed and warned that if not rescinded it was capable of handing over the state on a platter of gold to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

 He said: “So, we are therefore condemning and rejecting it and calling on our beloved Governor Seriake Dickson not to fall for such grievous political mistake. We are also calling on party leaders at the national and state levels to wade into the matter and on time.

“We urge our flag bearer, Senator Douye Diri, to name his successor from the East. We understand he is under pressure at the moment but he should do the right thing if we must win the election and the right thing is what he knows.

“Let us state categorically that the man they are planning to use as running mate, Senator Lawrence Ewrujakpor is a bad market at this point in time because he hails from Sagbama Local Government Area. If Ewrujakpor is a true party man we urge him to come out now and disassociate himself from the plan to foist him on us.

“Let us remind our countryman governor that he must win the governorship election for our party first before talking about his senatorial ambition. Also, those clamouring for speakership from our zone should not forget that if we lose the election, their ambition of becoming speaker will hit the rock”.

Also, Concerned Bayelsa PDP Stakeholders (CBPS) condemned in strong terms the decision of Dickson to zone the running mate of the party to his senatorial district.

The concern stakeholders in a statement described the decision as an outrageous political mistake that would work against the PDP in the November 16 governorship election.

In the statement signed by Chief Ere Opukiri and Omonibo ThankGod, the stakeholders rejected the governor’s action, saying it betrayed his earlier stance that he would not take the running mate to the West in the interest of justice and fairness.

They wondered what had changed and called on the governor not to fall for the temptation of zoning the position to the West, especially Sagbama where he hails from.

They maintained that if he went ahead with the decision, there would be mass exodus of members of the party, especially from the East, which would reduce the chances of the PDP to retain the governorship.

They said: “We are shocked that Governor Dickson who was opposed to the ambition of Fred Agbedi to take over from him because of zoning will now make a u-turn to favour his kinsman from Sagbama.

 “The position of running mate we feel should go to Bayelsa East. This will balance the political equation and give the people of that zone a sense of belonging. It will be inappropriate to do otherwise.

“Governor Dickson had earlier denied that he will support someone from the West to emerge as running mate. We wonder what has changed. Those who are behind it should know that it is a suicidal political move”.

Another group under the auspices of Youths for Douye Diri further called Dickson not to facilitate the emergence Ehrudjakpor as running mate to their principal.

Secretary-General of the group, Comrade Beinbebo Akpiri said the report that Dickson had settled for Ehrudjakpor was a sad political development for the PDP.

 Akpiri in a statement in Yenagoa, warned against the imposition of Ehrudjakpor on the party, stressing that it would not fly because of the current political realities.

He said Dickson should bury his ambition to go to the Senate and concentrate on winning the governorship election with a more acceptable running mate.

Akpiri explained that the slot should be given to a loyal, popular and acceptable party man from Bayelsa East to strengthen the PDP’s chances at the governorship poll.

The youth leader expressed displeasure that leaders of the PDP were keeping mute over the issue even when they were not comfortable with the governor’s decision.

The Youths for Douye Diri called on the Prince Uche Secondus led National Working Committee to prevail on Dickson to have a rethink otherwise PDP would become history in Bayelsa State.

But the leadership òf the state chapter of the PDP said that it would stand by any faithful and loyal member of the party that might be nominated by its candidate, Senator Douye Diri as running mate.

The State Chairman and Secretary of the party, Moses Cleopas and Chief Godspower Keku, respectively, said in a statement on that since the party’s candidate came from the Central Senatorial District, Diri was at liberty to select any suitable person from either the East or the West.

They said that the party would be left with no option than to zone the speakership of the House òf Assembly and other offices in the party and government to the remaining zones for equity and fairness in accordance with the established tradition in the state since 1999.

The PDP State leadership stated that the party was not too concerned about a running mate which according to them was like a senior adviser to the governor, not different from marrying a wife which must be done by the candidate himself.

They stressed that the party had no reason to lose sleep over the issue of running mate.

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ANYIGBALEFT: BAYELSA GUBER: Crisis rocks Bayelsa PDP over choice of running mate. |Anyigbaleft
BAYELSA GUBER: Crisis rocks Bayelsa PDP over choice of running mate. |Anyigbaleft
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