By Nimi Princewill.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State are set for a face off over whose anointed candidate will emerge as the PDP’s flagbearer in the forthcoming governorship election in the state, slated for November 16, 2019.
Jonathan, who was recently appointed by Governor Dickson as “Honorary” Special Adviser on Bayelsa State Education Trust Fund, has reportedly outlined six aspirants for the party to choose from for the guber ticket, while Governor Dickson prefers someone from his government to carry on his administration’s legacy.
INSIDER gathered that the former president is interested in the following candidates:
1. Former Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. Timi Alaibe (Jonathan’s most preferred candidate)
2. The Coordinator, Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), Mr. Reuben Okoya
3. Senator Emmanuel Paulker
4. The pioneer Director-General/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC), Dr. Franklin Osaisai
5. The Group Chief Executive of KDI Group, Mr. Keniebi Okoko
6. A retired Federal Permanent Secretary, Dr. Godknows Igali.
The alleged rift between the governor and the ex-president is said to have thickened, following Jonathan’s speculated plot with the National Working Committee of the PDP to allow him have his way.
Nonetheless, Governor Dickson who is known to have been a local associate of former president Jonathan for over 20 years, insist on transparent primaries as he controls the state’s party structures.
Jonathan who ranks as the highest PDP leader in the state, desires the sole prerogative to choose the party’s guber candidate having anointed Dickson and it yielded good dividends to the state.
An anonymous source close to both leaders, disclosed that, “The ex-President is already working in concert with ex-First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan to mobilize women in the state against any candidate anointed by Dickson.
“He has also reportedly recruited Governor Nyesom Wike to help mobilize support for him in his quest to produce the next governor of Bayelsa State.”
On Governor Dickson’s persistence, the source quoted the governor’s camp as saying, ”We shall stop Jonathan and his men from producing the next governor both at the level of the PDP guber primaries and the election proper in November.
“In this year’s general election, they fielded candidates in the opposition parties particularly in the African Democratic Congress (ADC) against the PDP and we defeated them.
“They wanted to undermine the governor and humiliate the PDP but we proved to them that Bayelsa is PDP and PDP is Bayelsa. In the upcoming PDP guber primaries, we shall not allow those who did anti-party against PDP to win election in Bayelsa State. President Jonathan and his anointed candidates will be defeated squarely.
“The leader of the party in the state is Dickson, not Jonathan. The governor has directed the PDP State Working Committee to conduct a free and fair election. We are confident the primary will throw up somebody from Governor Dickson’s system because we have the delegates and he that controls the delegates is actually the one in charge of the electoral college.”