Bayelsa: PDP chieftain blames Gov. Dickson for party’s loss of National Assembly seats
A chieftain of the peoples democratic Party in Bayelsa State Chief Iboro Edaba-Ige has blamed the party’s loss of some National Assembly seats during last week’s polls on Governor Seriake Dickson who he accused of high-handedness and wrong choice of candidates for National Assembly positions.
In a statement in Bayelsa Chief Edaba-Ige declared that it was wrong for agents of the Governor to blame the party’s not-so-impressive showing during last Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections on former President Goodluck Jonathan, noting that the Governor should blame himself for unilaterally selecting unpopular candidates against the wishes of majority of PDP members in the state.
The statement read: ‘To be forewarned is to be forearmed’, but like the proverbial dog that wouldn’t listen to the hunter’s whistle, Bayelsa Governor Seriake Dickson refused to heed the voice of wisdom that cautioned him about balkanizing the People’s Democratic Party in Bayelsa state.
That was my immediate reaction when I read a story in The nation of Wednesday February 27, 2019 titled ‘Disquiet in PDP as Jonathan loses senatorial district to Sylva, APC’. The writer of this obviously sponsored story tried futilely to push a false narrative which alleged that former President Goodluck Jonathan could not deliver his community and senatorial district to the party in the just-concluded elections.
The truth is that before the elections, many leaders, worried by the Governor’s manifest duplicity, had warned that the victory of the PDP in Bayelsa was never an inevitability. Their fear was that while the people of the state, like the rest of Niger Delta have come to find sense of belonging in the diversity and strong internal democracy of the party, which ensures that all interests are sufficiently carried along in decision making, Governor Dickson remained the odd man out who wanted all or nothing for himself alone.
Rather than seeking to spin the narrative by characteristically blaming Dr Goodluck Jonathan, a peace-loving former President who has since given room for others to take the reins in the state while playing the role of the continent’s leading statesman and father of all, the Dickson camp would do well to look where they slipped and lost the confidence of the people. We should tell them straight away that they lost PDP members in the state when they unilaterally selected unpopular candidates in the sham party primaries of October 3rd 2018.
It is rather mischievous to pin their self-inflicted failures on the former president, when the state governor was fully in charge of the party structures and the entire machinery of the state.
Even at that, the point has to be made for the avoidance of doubt that contrary to their claim, the result declared by INEC showed that the former President, convincingly won his polling booth, Ward and local government for his party in the Feb 23 elections, before the Governor’s greed deprived the party of some National Assembly seats it had traditionally won, effortlessly.
It would be recalled that on Wednesday, Governor Dickson constituted a six-member Judicial Commission of Inquiry to identify perpetrators and sponsors of the violence that led to loss of lives and destruction of property in the State. According to the Governor, these agents of destruction were allegedly hired leaders of the main opposition party in the State to destabilize the Presidential and National Assembly election in some parts of the state, especially in the Senatorial district in question, Bayelsa East, where the PDP commanded great advantage. It is therefore ridiculous that the Governor and his camp would speak from both sides of the mouth; laying the blame for their defeat at the doorsteps of the opposition and their agents of the federal might and at the same time turning around to accuse Dr Jonathan of working against the only party he has helped build and stabilize since the commencement of the fourth republic, especially in this clime where political cross carpeting is treated as the norm. it is on record that Dr Jonathan was one of the pillars who stood by the PDP, when many threatened to jump ship and many others abandoned the party during its dark days, playing a leading role in the resurgence of the party.
It in deed sad that this kind of divisive and vitriolic rhetoric is coming at a time when the PDP ought to be maintaining a united front against her collective enemy, especially in her bid to right the wrongs done to it in the last presidential and National Assembly Elections. It is therefore disheartening that at a time like this, a sitting governor would be working overtime to raise the flag of disunity within the ranks of the party, as a way of diverting attention from his folly of not working for the coomon good and overall interest of our party.
Governor Dickson should begin to work for reconciliation, rather than grandstanding over a matter that is of his own doing. Dickson would do well to remember that it was these same party leaders who stood by him, at a time when the APC was about to rob him of his seat in 2016, and ensured that the people’s mandate is protected for him to retain his seat as governor.
The national leadership of the PDP must show courage and intervene, to call Dickson to order in order to avoid the ire of the people of Bayelsa state who have stood by the party in spite of the humiliation their governor, whom they elected has subjected them to. In the interest of the long term viability and acceptability of the PDP, Dickson must mend fences and reach out to all party leaders, rather than continuing to drive a wedge between the people and their beloved party. PDP will outlive him and he cannot convert himself into an emperor in a party owned by the people, a people who are sophisticated enough to choose those who will represent them in government.