Bayelsa’s election is about life and death – Dickson

By Amako Nneji January 8, 2016 14:06

Bayelsa’s election is about life and death – Dickson

All attention is now on Bayelsa state, as the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, is set to conduct a supplementary poll in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, LGA, as well as pockets of polling units in the remaining 7 LGA,. This is coming after the December 5, 2015 governorship election was declared inconclusive over violence, snatching of ballot boxes, among other electoral violations.

The Bayelsa state election has been marred by violence as a result of the power play and proxy fight between the two leading candidates, the incumbent Governor of the state, Seriake Dickson, of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the Former Governor, Timipre Sylva of the All Progressives Congress, APC.

Sylva in 2012 (as incumbent Governor), was displaced as the PDP candidate by Dickson, then a member of the House of Representatives, by virtue of former President Goodluck Jonathan’s sleight of hand.

The incumbent Governor Dickson is being challenged by the man he succeeded, former Governor Silva of the APC, the party that is now in power in the state.

Political analysts have reiterated that a victory for Sylva on the platform of the APC would therefore be a serious political blow on Jonathan, right in his backyard.

As it stands, Dickson had already won 6 out of the 7 LGAs of the state and was already coasting home to victory, with over 33,000 votes difference, before the cancellation of the southern ijaw LGA’s election.

See; #BayelsaDecides: Dickson, Sylva and the pain of defeat

According to the electoral umpire, the violence that erupted in Southern Ijaw marred the electoral process from being concluded.

It was gathered that the spate of shootings forced many of the residents to stay indoors for fear of being hit in the cross fire.

“Several shots were fired to scare the people and pave way for the carting away of the election materials, but the security operatives attached to the area were up to the task”, said a source.

Barely 24 hours to the supplementary elections in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, supporters of the PDP, and the APC had engaged in an all-out bloody battle that saw the house of the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon. Konbowei Benson, attacked with explosives, suspected to be dynamite by unknown masked attackers.

Also, the brother of the deputy governor of the state, Beinmopre Jonah, recently escaped death by whiskers following an alleged attack on him in Yenagoa by suspected thugs.

See: Bayelsa Poll: APC laying the foundation of another Boko Haram – Dickson

“It is hard to believe that Bayelsa that has received trillions of Naira from Federation Account in the last 16 years as a leading oil-producing state can hardly be justified by the level of development on ground.

“That perhaps explains why elections in Bayelsa are almost always a matter of life and death since it is usually a struggle about who controls the vast resources,” a political commentator posited.

Bayelsa’s election is almost akin to war and the state has been in the news lately, because of its inconclusive gubernatorial polls that can be blamed on the desperation of the two gladiators who are almost evenly matched in all capacities.

Oil-rich Bayelsa is one of the ten topmost states that receives the highest net allocations yet without a significant improvement in the welfare of the people.
The World Prosperity Organization, WPO, had expressed concern over the low level of development and poverty in Bayelsa State.

Bayelsa, the only all Ijaw state in the Niger Delta Region of the state was created by late General Sani Abacha in 1996, to bring development and prosperity to the down trodden oil and gas bearing communities and people in the country.

Records indicates that whereas the state is viable in all aspects of life, the managers of the state’s economy seem to have fallen into wrong hands, hence the fortunes of the state are being carted away to foreign lands, in the name of wooing investors to the state and to the detriment of the masses.

See: Why Buhari must not repeat Kogi “abracadabra” in Bayelsa – Fayose