All seems not to be well with the All Progressives Congress Party (APC) in Bayelsa State as the party is divided ahead of the November 11, 2023 governorship election in the state, which is reportedly being contested by no fewer than ten political parties.
Political watchers are of the view that the fight for the soul of Bayelsa state is between Governor Douye Diri, who is seeking re-election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former Minister of State for Petroleum and one-time Governor of the state, Chief Timpreye Sylva.
Governor Diri is said to be taking advantage of the in-house fighting in APC to warm his way to the hearts of the people one more time and working round the clock to bring members of the divided APC in the state to join forces with him in order to secure his second term in office.
The aggrieved members of the APC in the state may jump ship soon to endorse Governor Diri and dump Chief Sylva.
Our checks revealed that Governor Diri has contacted big wigs in the APC, especially those the former Minister of State for Petroleum and ex- Governor of the oil rich state, Chief Sylva, may have stepped on their toes, including the Minister of State for Petroleum (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, and 2019 governorship candidate, David Lyon, to win them to his camp.
A reliable source revealed that Lokpobiri and Lyon are secretly working for the reelection of Governor Diri.
The duo have axe to grind with Chief Sylvia and have stayed away from the campaigns and political activities of the former Governor in the build up to the next month governorship election in the state.
Investigation revealed that all efforts to resolve the lingering crisis in the divided Bayelsa APC by the National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Abdullahi Ganduje, and other top leaders of the party proved abortive.
Our source disclosed that Governor Diri is taking advantage of the situation to further divide the opposition ranks by giving a lot of concessions ahead of the poll.
The source claimed that the Governor has promised to hand over to Lokpobiri as Governor, with Lyon as Deputy governor, if both of them duo can fully dump Sylva and join forces with him to win the November 11 governorship election.
According to our source; “Governor Diri has not only conceded 50 slots of Senior Special Assistants (SSAs) each to Lokpobiri and Lyon, he has also promised them some measures of influence on decision making”.
“This unholy alliance between the Governor and APC top chieftains implies that the two may have to defect to the PDP after Lokpobiri has served his term as Minister in the Tinubu administration ahead of the battle to succeed Diri in 2026”, our source added.
But our source alleged that Governor Diri is threatened by the cold attitude of his predecessor, Senator Seriake Dickson, who has stayed away from his administration and likely not to give him the needed support.
It is being speculated that the former Governor and his camp nurse a feeling of alienation and marginalization and efforts by the PDP national leadership to broker truce has not seen the light of day.
Senator Dickson was said not to be comfortable that Governor Diri was going about his reelection, in alliance with the some opposition elements without carrying him along.
According to our source, apart from Lokpobiri, Lyon and other members of the APC family, Governor Diri has equally reached out to other big wigs in his party, PDP.
The Governor, our source disclosed, has also promised Senator Benson Agadaga (Bayelsa East) the succession opportunity.
Senator Agadaga is from Ogbia, the base of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
“Diri is promising succession across party lines by making overtures to APC and PDP. He also promised the Director General of his campaign council, Hon. Mitema Obodor, who is a member of the House of Representatives for Ogbia Constituency of succession. So, also is Robert Enogha, a former Commissioner and two-time member of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, who also hails from Ogbia”, the source said.
“The three of them, Governor Diri has made succession promises to – Obodor; Agadaga and Enogha, are all of Goodluck Jonathan’s stock in Ogbia. This succession promise for Ogbia guys was a deceitful plot to secure Dr. Jonathan’s blessing and support in the forthcoming November poll.
“Surprisingly, former President Goodluck Jonathan has also fallen for the bait. He is supporting the reelection of Governor Diri because of the dummy the Governor has sold to him that one of his kinsmen from Ogbia is going to succeed him after his second term in office”.