There is apprehension in Bayelsa State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of tomorrow’s governorship primary where the flagbearer of the party for the November 16 governorship election will be elected.
Though 21 aspirants are expected to participate in the primary, findings indicate that it will be a straight fight between Timi Alaibe, a former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and Douye Diri, the senator representing Bayelsa Central Senatorial District.
Diri, who is the anointed candidate of outgoing governor, Seriake Dickson, is the favoured candidate of the Restoration Team while Alaibe also commands some degree of followership among the party supporters.
Few days ago, Alaibe and some aspirants had petitioned the national leadership of the PDP to complain about the outcome of the three-man ward delegates’ congress which was conducted by Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State. The party is yet to take a position on their petition.
In the national delegate congress which was held under the supervision of Ude Oko Chukwu, deputy governor of Abia State, over 90 percent of the delegates that emerged are perceived loyalists of Governor Dickson.
Since Governor Dickson has total control of the delegates, it is expected that his preferred candidate, Diri, will likely clinch the PDP ticket.
However, it was gathered that Alaibe is already talking to some of the other aspirants on the need to come together and present a formidable aspirant which will match Dickson’s anointed candidate.
For the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa, six aspirants will be participating in the governorship primary billed to hold tomorrow. They are Aganaba Steven, Heineken Lokpobiri, Ebitimi Amgbare, Diseye Poweigha, David Pereworimini Lyon, and Ongoebi Etebu.
Analysts, however, said the primary will be a two-horse race between Lyon, who is the preferred candidate of Timipre Sylva, former governor of the state and current Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, and Heineken Lokpobiri, immediate past Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development.
According to our source, “Timipre Sylva is seriously using his political clout in Bayelsa for the emergence of Lyon, so it is expected that the odds favour Lyon to get the APC ticket in Bayelsa. Even if Lokpobiri emerges as the candidate, it is unlikely that Sylva will support him in the governorship election.
“For the governorship election in Bayelsa, it will not be a smooth ride for Dickson and PDP because Sylva wants to deliver the state to APC at all cost in order to prove his worth that he is still a force to reckon with in the politics of the state.
“It will be very difficult for Dickson’s candidate, Diri, if he emerges the PDP candidate because David Lyon is more closer to grassroots and Timi Sylva wants to use every avenue to deliver Bayelsa for APC”, he said.
In Kogi, 13 aspirants have been cleared to participate in the PDP gubernatorial primary election. They are former Governor Idris Wada, Senator Dino Melaye, Erico Ameh, Aminu Suleiman, Grace Adejoh, Abubakar Ibrahim, Kabiru Haruna, Musa Wada, Saliu Atawodi, Mohammed Adah, Victor Adoji, Bayo Averehi, and Emmanuel Omebije.
Analysts believe that the primary is a three-way race with Melaye, federal lawmaker representing Kogi West, Wada, a former governor of the state and Abubakar, the son of Ibrahim Idris, a former governor of Kogi State.
They, however, said Abubakar may likely emerge the flagbearer because he has the structure of the party.
Coming from Kogi East is also another added advantage for Mohammed because the permutation is that the PDP will likely pick its flagbearer from Kogi East Senatorial District (Igalaland) which has the largest voting population in the state.