bayelsa

Governorship tussle in today’s election in Bayels state- the heart of the mangrove of the Niger Delta region- may be tougher than expected as Bayelsans go the pool to choose between two brothers who should govern them for the next four years.
The contestants incumbent governor Seriake Dickson and former governor Chief Timipre Sylva are Ijaw.
The battle, many say, is comparable to two elephants slugging it out on the grass, except that the electorate are the proverbial grass that suffers. It can also be likened to the case of former governors of Rivers state, Sir Celestine Omehia and Rt Hon ChibuikeRotimiAmaechi of All Progressives’ Grand Alliance APGA and People’ Democratic Party PDP respectively.
Chief Timipre Sylva will want to use this opportunity to prove his popularity and acceptability to Bayelsans in particularly attempting to establish that he lost his second term ambition to oppression by the former President Dr GoodluckEbele Jonathan, rather than alleged corruption.
Besides, with the All Progressives’ Congress, APC, at the centre, the thinking is that the party appears hell bent on snatching the state, one of the traditional PDP strongholds. The APC candidate will use this chance to win what looks like a return match between them and ensure that Bayelsa state does not belong to the opposition.
Some have claimed that the way and manner the APC plans to recover the states won by the opposition PDP also calls for worry, as they suspect it might resort to federal might- machinery of power at its disposal-the security operatives, to secure victory.
On the other hand, the power of incumbency still matters a lot in Nigeria’s politics; hence the serving governor has a solid political base. The death of former governor DSP Alamesieghia over a circumstance linked to withdrawal of amnesty granted him by their brother and former president Goodluck Jonathan, pulled the Ijaws together to fight a common enemy-the APC and all its supporters.
The Ijaws still respect their leaders and elders, and that makes governor Seriake their preferred candidate. To boost his chances of victory, he paid the civil servants their salaries up to date, and has made a name as one, who does not owe his workers.
One thing stands out in this election and that is the level of mobilization by both parties. The other is the interest it has generated as most people have returned home to cast their votes to candidates of their choices.
The chances of the Governor appear brighter, because of President Buhari’s inability to prove the sincerity of anti-corruption campaign and policy thrust.


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