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Buhari confronting 2-time rival in Bayelsa

In Bayelsa State, the 2019 presidential election appears to be a one-way traffic in favour of the PDP because of the popularity of the party…

In Bayelsa State, the 2019 presidential election appears to be a one-way traffic in favour of the PDP because of the popularity of the party in the state.

 

From all indications, the people of Bayelsa State are not in hurry to forget the magnanimity of PDP which chose their son, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, as vice president in 2007 and later president after the death of Umaru Musa Yar’adua.

Dr. Jonathan was re-elected during the 2011 presidential election.

If the recent PDP presidential rally in the state is anything to go by, then the presidential candidate of the party, Atiku Abubakar, will have a smooth sail at the polls.

During the rally, Dr. Jonathan and Gov. Seriake Dickson buried their differences to support Atiku.

Jonathan described the PDP presidential candidate as a man that loved Bayelsa and Ijaw people and therefore deserved their support.

He said, “Atiku has the interest of Bayelsa and Ijaw people at heart. He appreciates and recognises our people. He is the kind of person that should be supported. He will certainly bring the whole Nigeria together.”

A few months ago, a cold war raged between Jonathan and Dickson through relentless accusation by their foot soldiers.

The two leaders were accusing each other of hijacking the party structure during the last primaries for the selection of national and state assembly candidates.

At that time, many APC leaders were in celebration mood, anxiously waiting for elections period to cash in on the rancour in PDP.

While Jonathan’s supporters accused Dickson of favouring his cronies as candidates, supporters of Dickson accused Jonathan of perpetrating anti-party, a situation that hit up the polity.

With the recent construction of an access road to Ekeremor Local Government Area by Gov. Dickson, an oil-rich area which was inaccessible by road in the past 50 years, and other infrastructural development, the party’s popularity and support has been boosted.

There would be no gubernatorial election in Bayelsa and therefore, full attention is on the presidential and legislative elections.

It would be recalled that it was Jonathan who defeated Buhari in 2015. During the election, Jonathan recorded 361,209 votes while Buhari had a paltry 5,194.

However, with the combine political strength of a former Governor, Timiprye Sylva, and the Minister of State for Agriculture, Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri, the APC is also making its way to get some support for President Buhari.

President Buhari is expected in Bayelsa State on February 7, 2019, for campaign, and it will be a golden opportunity to assess the strength of APC in the state.

Already, the APC leadership in the state is optimistic about the party’s chances of winning the state compared to what happened in 2015 when APC recorded less than five per cent of the votes in the state.

A PDP chieftain in the state, Arch. Reuben Okoya, told Daily Trust that with the tedious campaign and support the party enjoyed in the state, it was sure of victory in the coming days.

Mr. Ezekiel Ogbianko, Bayelsa Liaison Officer of Buhari Campaign Organisation (BCO), told journalists recently during the inauguration of officers of the group that they had put structures on ground to reach out to all the units, wards and local government areas in the state to ensure that President Buhari won convincingly in the state.

Ogbianko, who is also the Chairman of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) in the state, said BCO had already embarked on ward to ward mobilisation for the re-election of President Buhari.

He said the people who were rooting for Buhari in the state were committed to preaching the good gospel of the president.

Curiously, little is heard about the presidential candidates of other political parties such as APGA, Accord, YDP and ADP the state.

However, the posters of Rev. King, presidential candidate of the National Conscience Party (NCP), floods Yenagoa, the state capital, even though his managers and supporters are difficult to come by.

INEC said it registered about 1,036, 442 voters in all the polling units in the state.

Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC in the state, Dr. Cyril Omoregbe, disclosed this to stakeholders during a meeting recently.

He explained that Bayelsa had 1,804 units located in various communities, adding that 55,873 PVCs were yet to be collected.

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