GOODLUCK JONATHAN -- CONTROVERCIES TRAIL HIS SUPPORT FOR APC GOVERSNORSHIP CANDIDATES IN BAYELSA STATE ELECTION

IT IS, INDEED, TOO SIMPLISTIC, in political analysis and science, to conclude that the better candidate, amongst the two major political parties, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and All Progress Congress, APC, won the contested Bayelsa State governorship election, on November 16. That conclusion would not command logical reasoning. Rather, it shows lack of depth in understanding and analysing Bayelsa politics.

More understandable, and close to the facts, are claims that some PDP personalities in Bayelsa State compromised the governorship election in favour of the opposition APC. Whatever might be the reason.  It has been alleged that former president Goodluck Jonathan betrayed the PDP, by openly supporting the opposition, APC, candidate David Lyon, before, during and after the election. He congratulated and received a team of APC delegate to his Otueke country home, led by Timipre Sylva, Buhari’s minister of state for petroleum, immediately INEC declared David Lyon of APC winner of the governorship election. The facts seemed to exists.

Benson Odoko, on Sunday, issued a statement as Chairman, PDP Elders Forum. He called on the national leadership of the party to sanction Goodluck Jonathan for “betrayal” of the PDP during the election.  Odoko said the former president visited Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, for undisclosed mission close to the election. That Jonathan kept his distance from the PDP in Bayelsa, throughout the campaigns leading to the election.

Odoko’s words: “The forum was shocked when Jonathan and his wife donated the Aridolf Hotel to the APC as the operational contact point for visiting dignitaries of the party and as the venue for the party’s controversial primaries. These actions of Jonathan clearly portray him as a betrayer of the PDP which gave him the platform to occupy the highest positions in the country, Bayelsa State, and millions of the PDP members just to protect his selfish interest.”

UCHE SECONDUS, PDP NATIONAL CHAIRMAN — WILL JONATHAN BE SANCTIONED?

“The argument that Jonathan worked against the PDP because his preferred candidate, Chief Timi Alaibe, lost in the primaries was a pathetic perfidy meant to cover up the real reasons for this betrayal against Bayelsans and Nigerians”, the statement added.

Bayelsa State, has been PDP’s stronghold since the return of democratic politics in Nigeria in 1999. The political structure of the state has been PDP.  On PDP’s ticket, Goodluck Jonathan was Deputy Governor and Governor of the State. He was vice president and president of Nigeria on PDP’s platform. Governors of the state has been PDP. Political bigwigs in Bayelsa are PDP.  Bayelsa is, and has been home to PDP’s politics up to the grassroot.

The incursion by APC, into Bayelsa State politics, began before 2015, general elections, and has not been strong opposition to the ruling PDP. APC emerged in the state with few actors, led by Temipre Sylva, and few others which were no forces to match the gains PDP has made in the state.  It will amount to fiction, claiming otherwise – what APC is not in Bayelsa State, leading to the November 16, governorship election.

Next, the two major candidates heading for the election – Douye Diri, PDP, and David Lyon, APC, are well known personalities in Bayelsa State. Their pedigrees in politics, public administration, and in other public engagements – within and outside the state are well known.  Governor-elect, David Lyon, of APC, and Douye Diri, PDP candidates, are in distance class from each other.

DOUYE DIRI, born 60 years ago, hold Bachelor of Education in Political Science. Between 2000 to 2015, he held positions as Executive Secretary, Centre for Youth Development in Bayelsa State; Commissioner for Youth and Sport; Council Board Member, University of Maiduguri; Chairman, PDP, Disciplinary Council, Bayelsa State; Deputy Chief of State; Principal Executive Secretary, Bayelsa Government House; Member, Nigerian House of Representative; and Senator, of the Federal Republic; before emerging governorship candidate of PDP, September 4, 2019.

APC TAKES OVER BAYELSA STATE FROM PDP

DAVID LYON, born 49 years ago, was unknown in Bayelsa State political circles. He was not known to have held any public office, in the state and national level. He owned and managed a security firm, Darlon Security Guard, as the Chief Executive Officer, that employed of Bayelsa indigenes. He was not known as a popular figure, but known as a philanthropist, open-minded, generous and grassroot person in the State.

Much of his earnings are spent sponsoring common people in the state on education within and outside the country. Timipre Sylva, President Buhari’s minister of state for petroleum, influenced the choice of David Lyon, as APC governorship candidate for the November 16, election.

AHEAD OF THE GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION, known facts of Bayelsa politics since 1999; as well as known facts about the candidates of the two major political parties – Douye Diri, PDP, and David Lyon, APC; Bayelsa State remains PDP stronghold, and more favoured to win the governorship election.

It would have been a straight win and landslide victory for the PDP, given APC’s politically weak candidate. Overturning the political equation in favour of the opposition APC candidate, David Lyon, would have been “a camel’s head passing through the niddle’s eye”.

Seriake Dickson, out-going governor of State, perhaps, hinged his calculation on this while picking his successor, without due regards for the party’s stakeholders, and his political “godfather”, Goodluck Jonathan.  It back-fired. And the State PDP conspired against him, and unwittingly, dethroned the party from governance in the State.

David Lyon and APC, however, won the election, declared by INEC Returning Officer, Faraday Orumwese, Vice Chancellor, University of Benn.  He was declared winner in six, out of eight local government council in the state. A victory made simple due to PDP’s divided house, ahead of the governorship election.

SULE LAMIDO — ALLEGES BETRAYALS OF PDP IN BAYELSA STATE GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION

SULE LAMIDO, PDP chieftain, an erudite politician and fearless critic, lashed Bayelsa State PDP’s decision to handover the State to opposition APC.  He described the action as “PDP betrayer”.  He was not in support for call for the sanction of Goodluck Jonathan by the national leadership of the party, for his perceived support for Governor-elect David Lyon, APC candidate.

Lamido said: “People have done worse than Jonathan… betrayal is the hallmark of the PDP. To me Jonathan is a creation of an accident hoisted by Obasanjo on Nigeria. I really don’t talk about him as somebody who should be punished for what he did. It doesn’t make sense,” according to The Sun interview.

“What I am saying is that people have done worse than Jonathan. People who are senior to him, people who are more elderly than Jonathan and who offer bigger option than Jonathan. Naturally, it is his home state, otherwise he is simply copying from his political elders and leaders.

“To me, when you say PDP, 80 per cent of the stronghold of APC is PDP; you know it. Anybody who was anything in the National Assembly between 1999 to 2015 was PDP. Anybody who was anything today in Government House was PDP. So, to me, betrayal is part of the hallmark of the party. Tell me anybody who has not betrayed PDP? Anybody you can think who PDP had honoured and dignified and made, who PDP invented that has not come to hurt PDP,” Lamido added.

Lamido did not end at this.  He alleged that Jonathan betrayed PDP in Bayelsa State, because the federal government was “blackmailing him”. He argued: “Because I can’t imagine a former president selling his own state to the opposition – to the very party which called him names, which demonized him…”

PDP — SILENCE IN THE HOUSE OVER BETRAYALS ALLEGATION

Lamido said: “They are holding him by the balls. Because he (Jonathan) sure knows his problem with Buhari and with this government. And the issue of Malabo, I think, played a key role, I said so. So, the election were won and lost by PDP. PDP history, PDP tradition and Jonathan were behind him. That I can say anywhere because the issue of Malabo is an issue I know very well. I had cause to discuss it with him”.

GOODLUCK JONATHAN, on Monday, responded to Lamido’s bombshell that he traded Bayelsa State governorship election to the All Progressive Congress, APC, to appease Buhari’s government, and insulate himself from blackmail.  Ikechukwu Eze, Media Adviser to Jonathan’s statement said it was not only in Bayelsa State that PDP, or APC, lost elections to another party.

Holding Jonathan responsible for PDP’s loss in Bayelsa, according to the statement, without first investigating the issues that determined the fate suffered by the party in the state was both disingenuous and detrimental to the image and aspirations of the party.

Eze said it was true that Jonathan, former Deputy Governor and Governor of Bayelsa State, former Vice President and President of Nigeria, was loved and respected by his people. But it would amount to playing God for anybody to expect the former president to command “vice-like grip” on every Bayelsan in all the local government councils in the State.

“Jonathan would want to counsel Lamido and others in his shoes to look at their national passports. They would see that their citizenship is Nigeria. We are first Nigerians before we are members of any political party or social organisation. If Lamido does not know that, then it is a pity.

JONATHAN TO LAMIDO — NO HANDS IN MALABU DEALS

“We chose to make this clarification just to set the record straight, especially as a number of the former President’s close associates have been asking questions about the blatant statement credited to Lamido. Where was Lamido when Jonathan campaigned vigorously and helped the PDP to win Bayelsa governorship election in 2015, under the same President Buhari?” Eze, asked.

Eze’s statement said Jonathan did not trade off Bayelsa to avoid been implicated on Malabu oil scam. Lamido, probably, knows very little about Malabu case, which does not deserve his comment. Malabu oil block was not given out by Jonathan.  It was a deal sealed during late General Sani Abacha’s regime as Head of State

“Jonathan is convinced that Lamido’s intervention in this matter was deliberately designed as a form of blackmail. Having tried many other ways to discredit the former President to no avail, Lamido is now scheming to project Malabo as Jonathan’s Achilles heel. Here again he has failed because the true story of Malabo is already very well known to Nigerians,” the statement added.

Jonathan, he said, is innocent of Malabu scam. Jonathan did not ask for, or, collect any bribes over the Malabu deal; neither had he been charged for asking or collecting bribes; nor ever be charged for asking, or collecting bribes, as such never happened.

“We call on anyone, including Lamido, who has any shred of evidence linking former President Jonathan to any wrongdoing in the case of the Malabu incident to waste no time in publishing such evidence or forever remain silent,” Eze’s statement concluded.

Political analysts, observed, that Goodluck Jonathan should, by now, be more seasoned in his political decisions, knowing the situations in the country, presently, compared to where Nigeria was economically, politically, and socially, before the APC government emerged in 2015 general elections. They predicted that Jonathan gambled his decision to suport the APC’s candidate for the governorship election, if that ever took place.

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