Election: How APC Plans To Take Over The south-south And South East

By Stephen Ubanna

Barely 24 hours after Faraday Orunmuwese ,a  Professor  and Vice Chancellor, University of Benin at the instance of the  Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, overseeing the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, elections in the Oil rich  Bayelsa state, south-south geo-political region,  announced David Lyon, of the All Progressive Congress, APC, as the winner of the  last Saturday Governorship election in the  state, president Muhammadu Buhari,  received  him at Presidential  Villa to say ‘’well done my governor elect’’. The Katsina  state  born Nigerian President who could not his feelings  as that the party has penetrated the Niger Delta, was said to be sharing jokes  with his party  m members who were at the Villa over the victory .

The Thank you visit by Lyon, the APC governorship elect  in Bayelsa state   was said to have been master-mindedby  Adams Oshiomhole, the national Chairman of the party  and  Temipre Sylva, a former governor of Bayelsa state and minister of state, Petroleum Resources. With the visit, an elated  Lyon is optimistic that the President will through his weight on the new Administration in  order to enhance the development drive of the state. 

Recall that the the Bayelsa governor elect  had  tweeted shortly  before and after  he was declared the winner of the  state governorship election elect  by the INEC Returning officer  in the state that’’ Bayelsa will  be great again’’. He has his reason for thinking so. The state is no longer in the Opposition party but in the mainstream of Nigerian politics that will attract basic  people-oriented projects in the state from the Federal government which was denied it over the last four years  for being ruled by the Opposition PDP. it t  

Note that the President  may  have anticipated that the party will win the governorship election in Bayelsa   state because of the elaborate preparation and rigorous  electioneering Campaigns carried  out by the party.

 The he party , over the last five years, according to sources had  made several  attempts to penetrate the south –south geo-political region as the south –east  appears to have become a no go-area . The first attempt was said to have been  made in 2015, when the party leadership  succeeded  in getting  Rotimi Amaechi,  then PDP governor of Rivers  state, and now minister of transportation,   who had  fallen out of favour with former  President Goodluck Jonathan of the ruling PDP. Amaechi  was said to have  to have  defected   to the  then Opposition   party when he was no longer getting  the patronage of the  presidency . He had planned   to install  Dakuku Peterside, his godson and  a  one- time member of the House Representatives  as his successor to prove his popularity in the state.

The minister  was said to have done   everything within his powers including embarking on sophisticated electioneering Campaigns in 2015  in order   to win the governorship  election  for the APC but he got it wrong .   Wike,  then PDP governorship Candidate and who eventually won the election   was said to have  whipped  up the people’s sentiment in order  to turn the table against  the former governor and Peterside, then APC  Flag bearer in the state. as they were described  as’’ sell out to a northern controlled  party’’.

 Peterside  may have  lost the 2015 governorship  election in the state but he was compensated  by the President with a political appointment, on the recommendation of Amaechi, the minister of Transportation.

He was appointed the Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA  and his achievements in the agency over the last four years had been legendary that it had been  recognized in  world maritime circles including the International Maritime Organisation, IMO, thus making the country proud.

Timipre Syla: Minister of State, Petroleum Resources

Another  major attempt  that was said to have been  made  by the party  to penetrate  the  south-south geo-political region was   through Akwa  Ibom state by utilizing the  services of Godswill Akabio, a Lawyer and former governor of the state. Akpabio had abandoned  the PDP, which he  had  helped to nurture in the state, in order  to escape probe of his eight years  Administration  over alleged Corruption charges by the Ibrahim Magu led  Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and  defected  to   the APC.

The stage was set, according to political analysts for the party to take over the Oil state.  The former  Akwa Ibom state governor was said to have  thrown his weight behind  Nsima Ekere,  a former Managing Director, of Niger Delta Commission , NDDC,  to ensure that Udom Emmanuel, the PDP governor of the state was defeated in the last governorship election. The party was said to have pumped in billions of naira to prosecute the  election in the state including  using Federal might to upstage the PDP  

Chukwukadibia  Okoro, an indigene of Imo state and  Uyo  based trader told the Value News that the former governor   was  ,frustrated by  the people who were solidly behind Udom,  fondly called ‘’our governor and Leader’’. According to Okoro, the people  had monitored  Akpabio,  APC  chieftains and security Operatives covering the election including  the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, officials,  closely to ensure that   the election  process was transparent in the state. They had their way and the PDP Candidate won.

The loss of the Oil rich   south-south state to the PDP  despite  all the elaborate preparation  and the billions allegedly  spent to prosecute  the election may have forced   Oshiomhole, a former governor of Edo state and national Chairman  of the Party,  Amaechi  and other Chieftains of the party with the support of the Presidency to go back to the drawing  board  to ensure victory in the  Bayelsa governorship election.

 They were said to have used  Sylva, who incidentally was  a former governor of the state as the arrow head  and  other Chieftains of the party both at the state and national level  to penetrate  the  people and turn the hand of the clock against the PDP in the state. Political watchers believe that  They were acting out a script  which was said to have been prepared by the party leadership, presidency  and  Consultants engaged  to draw a road map   on how to win the state since attempt to win the Oil rich Akwa Ibom failed.

There are indications that  the President gave them a matching order  to ensure that the party  take over  Bayelsa, another Oil rich state in the Niger Delta region. The trio were said to have taken it as a big challenge  as   Sylva,  was said to have assured the party  that there was no cause to worry as the state is safely in the hand  of the party.  He was right. The party won the governorship election which was conducted on Saturday, November 16, 2019 by INEC, thus throwing the PDP Camp into disarray  and blame game.

The minister may have spoken the mind of  Buhari, the APC, Leader, by virtue of his position as the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, when he declared  that  the Bayelsa  state governorship election victory was ‘’significant to the party as it aims  to secure  a landslide  grip in the country’s southern region’’.

He further declared that the victory in the state ‘’ has  given  the party  a footprint  in the Niger Delta region and thus,’’ making  it to have a national outlook’’. He may have sent a  clear-cut message to the PDP  national leadership and gladiators from the region that by winning the Oil rich Bayelsa state  in the last Saturday governor ship election, the’’ party has repositioned itself  on the part of ‘’gradually  taking over the south-south and the south east’’.

‘’From a  small seed, the biggest tree  will grow’’,  he had said. An elated Sylva is optimistic  that they  will grow the party  in the two regions now that they have  a base in Bayelsa state. He noted that the party had won the election because they had a good Candidate in the Person of Lyon compared to   Douye Diri, a Senator of Federal Republic of Nigeria, who was allegedly imposed  on   the PDP by Seriake  Dickson, the state governor  without consulting  former President Goodluck Jonathan, an indigene of the state and a respected  party Chieftain.

But  Dickson, the PDP, governor of the state will not take it. He was said to have  told those that cares to listen that  he went to the former President  and elder Statesman sixteen times  in order to ‘’agree on a  governorship  Candidate  for the party that both of them could hold hand’’. 

  Addressing a Press Conference  at the Dappa Biriye  Conference Centre, Onopa Villa, Yenogoa, the state Capital recently, on the party loss of the governorship election to APC,  he had alluded to the fact  that in an ‘’attempt  to back a Candidate who people perceived  he  was not supportive of him and his Restoration  government  to be  the flag bearer of the PDP, to humiliate him  he will ‘’shoot that Candidate down  hundred times if he is presented hundred times’’.

David Lyon: APC Governor elect, Bayelsa state

 He noted that ‘’Those  who had  packaged  that ambition  in that manner  didn’t  mean well  for the person  they were supporting  and did not also mean well for me , for the party  or for the  former President  because whoever emerges , we are all his people’’.

   In  a voice laden with emotion , he had  alleged that ‘’APC,’’ forcefully took over the state’’, describing those  associating  the  former President with  Lyon, the APC Candidate, who won  the Saturday election as unfortunate’’. He  fears  that the’’ country  is moving  toward  a full blown one party  state by APC , using Federal might to  forcefully takeover Bayelsa state  and plan to take over the entire south-south and south east  in subsequent elections. Bad News  for the country’s nascent Democracy if his prediction eventually comes to pass.  

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