As the race for who represents Bayelsa West Senatorial District hots up, a group under the aegis of the All Progressives Congress Frontiers has kicked against the candidature of former Governor Seriake Dickson, arguing that government must not be a family affair.
By Simon Utebor, Yenagoa
The group led by former aides to a former Governor and Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, strongly believed that equality and fair play should be the watchword in the current political atmosphere.
Chief Bodi Arerebo and Chief Perekeme Kpodo, who spoke in an interview in Yenagoa on Saturday, said the endorsement of Dickson by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was a violation of an earlier ‘gentlemen agreement.’
They, therefore, pitched their tent with a former Deputy Governor of the state, Chief Peremobowei Ebebi, who recently dumped the PDP for the APC to contest for the vacant Bayelsa West Senatorial District’s seat.
Bayelsa West district is made up of Sagbama and Ekeremor local government areas of the state.
While Ebebi of the APC is from Ekeremor, immediate past Governor Seriake Dickson, a leader of the PDP, is from Sagbama.
They contended the positions of Senator and member of House of Representatives in Bayelsa West Senatorial District are shared between the two LGAs.
According to the group, Dickson had served at the House of Representatives and also served eight years as governor of the state, hence he should give other people the chance to serve since it is not a family affair.
Particularly, Arerebo added: “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.”
However, 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.
Political stakeholders recently expressed discomfort with Ebebi’s decision because according to them, his entry violates an unwritten agreement on power rotation between the two LGAs.
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.
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 tenure in the spirit of the age-long agreement on power-sharing or rotation in the area.
The former deputy governor, who has indicated an interest in the senatorial contest, is from the same Ekeremor LGA as Mr. Fred Agbedi who represents the area in the lower chambers.