Different localities in Bayelsa State are laying claim to produce the next governor of the state as the count down for the election begins
BY Isaac Ombe.
As the countdown for the governorship election in Bayelsa State and Kogi State draws nearer, politicians are strategizing on different fronts on how to win the coveted seat in both states.
The governorship election for the two states has been scheduled for November 16, 2019 by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the body whose duty is to organize and conduct election in the country.
The race for Bayelsa government house is becoming swift and taking different dimension as some areas are laying claim that the governor should come from them.
Top on the list for such claim is the Kolokuma/Opokuma area who is advancing reasons why the governor should come from their locality.
According to Chief Tari Bolou, a prominent son of Kolokuma/Opokuma and a member of the “Committee of Friends of Goodluck Jonathan Movement” during the heydays of President Goodluck Jonathan political campaign, the Kolokuma area have shed lots of blood
to ensure the promotion of Ijaw people, and they should be given the opportunity to produce a governor of the state this time around.
He decried that despite several sacrifices made by the area for Ijaw nation, they have not been compensated adequately
According to Bolou who was a one time member of the state Independent
Electoral Commission(SIÈC) recalled that it was the Kolokuma /Opokuma
(KOLGA) area that produced the legendary Isaac Adaka Boro to declare
Niger Delta Republic. It was the same area that declared the famous KAIAMA
declaration and other landmark issues that have made Ijaw Nation
“We should consider the Kolokuma /Opokuma area for the next governor
of Bayelsa state –we have been at the forefront of emancipation of
the Ijaws , we have shed lots of blood, why not allow the area to
produce the next governor this time around” noted Chief Bolou who
added that the son of Kolokuma/ Opokuma, Chief Dan Etete,
“influenced the late Gen. Sani Abacha to create Bayelsa state
“Boro fought for Ijaw freedom, declared Niger Delta Republic but
condemned to death, and Gowon freed him.but still died in war front
for the course of Ijaw nation; Ijaw Youths gathered in Kaiama in 1999
for the famous declaration on the Niger Delta region,
“All these were sacrifices made bythe people of Kolokuma/ Opokuma,
yet we have not produced the governor to rule the state after 22years of its
creation.The area have not been compensated at all, he lamented.
Further recalling how other areas of the state had produced the
governor, the politician of repute noted that the late DSP
Alamieyeseigha from Southern Ijaw LGA contested and ruled the state for over one
tenure, Chief Timipre Sylva from Brass ruled for five years, while
Goodluck Jonathan became Deputy to Alamieyeseigha, and later ruled
for one year as governor before he was made Vice President, Acting President, and
later became President.
He noted that all other LGAs except Kolokuma/ Opokuma, Yenagoa, Nembe
and Ekeremor LGA have not had the taste for the governorship of the state.Even if it was to be rotated by senatorial districts, Kolokuma/ Opokuma
and Yenagoa area that are in Central Senatorial district still qualifies to produce the governor now, he added.
Bolou however appealed to Yenagoa area not to think of contesting
yet because they are hosting the state capital, and all the pecks of governance are at their disposal, but allow Kolokuma/ Opokuma to go for it now.
“I am aware that YELGA is due to contest for the governorship race.
But I appeal to them to wait because they are the seat of power. Some
of them thinking of contesting, their constituencies are along the
15 meters radius of the Capital City, Yenagoa.
He also disagreed with pundits that since KOLGA area have produced
the current Speaker in person of Tonye Esena, the area may not have
the chanceto produce the next governor. Bolou is of the view that the next governor can still emerge from the area and the Speaker can be replaced.
Those gunning for the number one seat from the Kolokuma Area in PDP
include among others Mr. Timi Alaibe. While Mr. Aganaba is using the
APC platform to gun for the seat.
Bolou further stated that the Ogbia area where Goodluck Jonathan came from should forget the
governorship for now because having a president for about six or seven years have covered the governorship slot. Jonathan became Deputy to DSP, then he later became Acting Governor,Governor, and also became Vice President and President.
On the alleged political face-off between former President Jonathan and Governor Dickson,
Bolou says Jonathan is Dickson’s political father, he made him what he is today. Such face-off are just temporal and I believe that they have started saying such face offs are just temporal and they have started reconciling to produce the next governor.
“Jonathan and Dickson are like father and Son. Jonathan made him (Dickson)
what he is today, from a Commissioner of Justice and Attorney-
General of the state and later sent him to House Representatives, and from there
he was made the Governor for eight years” “They are always together. Politically, he is his father, whether Dickson likes it or not”.On the out-going Dickson administration, Bolou states, thus: “Dickson has tried in terms of development. He has executed laudable projects like Ijaw National Academy, Boro College of Education. Bayelsa Medical University, Airport project, Toru Orua University, amongst others.
The politician however fervently urged the governor to make the Airport functional before his tenure expires.
“I gave him pass mark in terms of development projects, but I pray
he should make the Airport functional before he leaves”, said Bolou
who in answer to a question on lack of industrial development in the
state in the Governor’s eight years tenure noted that Industrial
development may not have been his area of priority.
“He has done his priority areas, industrymay not be part of his
priority. He has faced squarely his areas of priority, may be the
incoming governor may face that area for the state’s industrialization drive.”