The candidacy of former governor of Bayelsa state, Seriake Dickson, may have run into murky waters of ‘ethnic politics’ as kinsmen from his home-state are rooting against him over what they termed his attempt to turn governance in the state into a ‘family affair’.
Dickson who is gunning for the Bayelsa West Senatorial District seat and recently emerged as lone candidate, is of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) while his main opponent in the race in the opposition party, All Progressive Congress, (APC), is the state former deputy governor, Chief Peremobowei Ebebi.
The Bayelsa West senatorial seat which the two contenders are battling for, is for both the people of Sagbama and Ekeremor local government area/s of the state. Dickson who was the immediate past governor is from Sagbama axis of the district while his arc rival, Ebebi of the APC is from Ekeremor.
BIGPEN reports that some kinsmen of Dickson who are opposed to his vying for the senatorial district seat after being a former governor from the area, are pushing a narratives that the seat ought to go to Ekeremor which they argued have never taken a shot at the senatorial seat.
Coming under the auspices of the All Progressives Congress Frontiers, the kinsmen said that they would rather pitched their tent with the former Deputy Governor of the state, Chief Ebebi, who recently dumped the PDP for the APC to contest for the vacant Bayelsa West Senatorial District’s seat.
According to them, the endorsement of Dickson by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as a sole candidate was a violation of an earlier ‘gentlemen agreement’ by stakeholders from the area.
Addressing newsmen in Yenagoa, two former aides of a former governor of the state and current Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, posited that it would be unfair for Dickson to control the positions of Senator and member of House of Representatives in Bayelsa West Senatorial District that ought to rotate between the two local government councils.
The kinsmen who spoke through the two former aide of the minister, Chief Bodi Arerebo and Chief Perekeme Kpodo, maintained that Dickson had served at the House of Representatives and also served eight years as governor of the state, hence it would be fair for him to step aside from the race for an Ekeremor man to serve since “it is not his family affair”.
Specifically, Arerebo said,“You see, that is the reason why some of us have added our voice to the numerous Sagbama and Ekeremor people that Dickson should give chance to others, to be honest, and candid.
“Dickson, when he was in the House of Representatives, his friend and in-law Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, was with him when he became Governor, the same Ewhrudjakpo, was with him.
“Then he sent Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo to the Senate and he brought him back to become Deputy Governor and he now wants to go to the Senate. Is it a family affair or something? It shouldn’t be so.
“There is a zoning formula in Bayelsa West District. He (Dickson) is the person that is breaching it. So that is why we are saying that Ekeremor should produce the next Senator.”Meanwhile, pundits in the state, however believed that the narrative being pushed by the Ekeremor people against Dickson was not entirely the true.
One of the political watcher in the state, contended, “there appears to be a misconception about the zoning arrangement in the district as deep resentment and anger have trailed the decision of Ebebi to join the contest”.
According to reports, stakeholders had recently expressed discomfort with Ebebi’s decision because according to them, his entry violates an unwritten agreement on power rotation between the two council areas.
“Top political stakeholders reportedly held a critical meeting where it was decided that Ekeremor people should not contest the vacant position in adherence to the existing agreement on power rotation since they already have the incumbent House of Representatives member”, one of the chieftain said.
According to him, political leaders of Sagbama and Ekeremor had issued a joint statement where it was said that Sagbama should complete the tenure of Ewhrudjakpo for an Ekeremor person to start afresh a new tenure in the spirit of the age-long agreement on power-sharing or rotation in the area.
But the former deputy governor, Ebebi who has indicated interest to fly the APC senatorial ticket, reportedly reneged on the said agreement, even when he is from the same Ekeremor LGA as Mr. Fred Agbedi who currently represents the area in the lower chambers.