By John Okeh
It seems all is not yet heard on the landmark judgement of the Supreme Court which sacked David Lyon, who was one-day away from being sworn in as the first non PDP governor of Bayelsa state since the return to democracy in 1999. In a chat with some journalists in his Abuja residence, a Bayelsa state APC chieftain, Rt. Hon. Odudu Livinus Lokiri, accused the Minister of State for Petroleum, His Excellency Timipre Sylva of selling the hard-earned victory of the party to PDP. According to Hon. Odudu, “we are very much aware of how the then Governor of the state, Rt. Hon Seriake Dickson, who was desperate to install a successor that will conceal the monumental corruption he presided over as Governor, met with Sylva who on his own, does not want an APC governor in Bayelsa state so that he will continue to stand out as the most important APC political figure in the state, and negotiated the selling of our (APC) victory in the 2020 Bayelsa Governorship elections to PDP’s Senator Douye Diri”.
Odudu further alleged that Sylva is running Bayelsa APC like a power-drunk dictator with no regards to other stakeholders of the party in the state. He wondered why the recommendations of the Senator Abdullahi Adamu led reconciliation committee that the contentious outcome of the Bayelsa APC congress be put on hold until the aggrieved parties find a common ground has not been followed by Sylva and his group of anti APC elements in the state. He called on the newly elected national chairman of the party, Senator Abdullahi Adamu to make haste to intervene in the snowballing Bayelsa APC crisis and stop what he referred to as ‘Sylva’s draconian leadership’ before the minister of state for petroleum puts the final nail on the coffin of APC in Bayelsa state.
Hon. Odudu who also used the opportunity to speak on other pressing issues, decried the continued marginalization of Bayelsa state at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), accusing the Minister for Niger Delta, Senator Godswill Akpabio of denying Bayelsa state their turn to produce the Managing Director (MD) of the commission for close to two years now. He regretted that Sylva who should have stood as the voice of Bayelsa people at the federal level, is in connivance with Akpabio in the unholy alliance against the interest of Bayelsans. He called on the President, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, to intervene and ensure justice, equity and fairness is entrenched in the commission to avoid ugly reactions that might worsen the already fragile security situation in the country.
Rt. Hon. Odudu Livinus Lokiri also used the opportunity to comment on the politics of Bayelsa West Senatorial District. He accused the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) of conniving with Senator Seriake Dickson to disenfranchise majority of the electorates in the Sagbama and Ekeremor LGAs that make up the senatorial zone. He recalled that in the 2015 elections, INEC, acting on Dickson’s instructions, oversaw a lopsided distribution of both the sensitive and non sensitive materials to Dickson’s rigging agents in the two LGAs to ensure a premeditated outcome, and thereby disenfranchising majority of the electorates who were not allowed to exercise their constitutional rights. According to him, “they repeated same thing in the 2019 election, and the recent by election that brought Dickson to power as the senator representing the zone”. He warned that INEC as an unbiased umpire must resist the temptation of dancing to the tone of Dickson and helping him to create a fake impression that he possesses a political stronghold in the zone. He said INEC’s connivance is an invitation to anarchy and that stakeholders of the senatorial zone might be unable to prevail on the already angry youths from using unconventional means to agitate for their rights to vote and be voted for in Bayelsa West Senatorial District if same rigging tactics is employed by Dickson and his collaborators. He said the claims by Senator Seriake Dickson that he operates a bank in his Toru-Orua country-home and has the financial war-chest to buy anybody should be investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes commission (EFCC) and other relevant authorities. Consequently, he urged the anti-graft agency to immediately arrest and investigate Senator Seriake Dickson for financial crimes, including inducement of voters with money during elections.
Ending the chat, Lokiri urged the stakeholders of the two LGAs that make up the Bayelsa West Senatorial Zone, Sagbama and Ekeromor to stick to the zoning arrangement, insisting that the senatorial position in 2023, going by the zoning, is for Ekeromor LGA and called on the people of Ekeremor to also give up the House of Reps position to Sagbama LGA to ensure equity and fairness. He stated that Ekeremor people are not cowards and will not tolerate any moves to deny them of their due position. He also warned that there will be severe consequences if Sagbama insists on jettisoning the zoning arrangement that has guaranteed peaceful and harmonious coexistence in the zone for many years. However, he expressed optimism that Senator Dickson, who was at the forefront of the call for a strict adherence to the zoning will support Ekeromor to produce the next senator representing the zone in 2023.