By David Ejiohuo
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State have so far raked in over N420m from sale of forms as over 20 aspirants have so far picked forms for the governorship race in the state scheduled later next year. One form is sold at N21m.
Arrangements for the 2020 governorship election in the state are in top gear and several people, especially, the politicians, are having a field day. As at the time of filling this report, it is believed that over 20 members of the ruling party have so far collected the governorship forms.
According to our sources from the Bayelsa State, three aspirants have so far picked the form from the All Progressive Party (APC), sold at the cost of
N 22m each.
Those that have picked the forms from the APC include the former governor of the state, Timipire Silver, a one time speaker in the Bayelsa House of Assembly and the immediate past Minister of state for Agriculture, Heineken Lokpobiri, and an old time politician, Preye Aganaba.
From the PDP side, those that have so far collected the guber form include some top government functionaries or operatives, senators and some retired big shots from the Federal Government ministries and parastatals. They include the present State Deputy Governor, a rear-adminal, John Jonah, the chief of staff, Talford Ongolo, the Secretary to the Bayelsa State Government, Kanele Okara, and a serving senator, Doye Diri.
Others are a one time retired permanent secretary in the Federal Minister of Power and Secretary to the Bayelsa state government, Godknows Igali, the former MD of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Timi Alaibe, a member of the House of Representatives, Fred Agbedi, a senator, Emmanuel Polker, the out going Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Benson Konbovei, a succeeful businessman, Kemebie Okoko and a one time Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon Ebebi.
As at now, it is expected that more forms may be collected by members of both parties and others political groups in the state before the closing dates of this month for PDP members and August for the APC members.
The state Governor, Siraki Dickson, had earlier this month, called members of the restoration team in the state for a prayer and fasting meeting for a divine direction in the choice of a flag bearer for the party in the state.
Our sources from the state disclosed that the governor, at the end of the prayers and fasting meeting, forwarded three names from the members of the restoration team as the possible candidates for the number one job in the state.
The submission of the three names among the Restoration Team, after the spiritual exercise, was said to have caused so much bad blood among the members that made the governor to throw the door open for whosoever wishes to have a short at the guber race.
A chief, Thompson Okorotie, an elder statesmen and a PDP stalwart in the state, while speaking with our correspondent at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, said there was no cause for alarm because of the number of aspirants.
The elder statesmen, who was once the majority leader in the old Rivers State House of Assembly, said the number of the aspirants in the guber race was not a problem because it was not the first time the state was witnessing it. “This had always being the case in Bayelsa state PDP and we have always managed it and come out more united and successful”.
According to Okoritie, the state governor was right to allow every interested party to go for the form and the subsequent party guber primary to be conducted in the state.
“Yes the governor did well to throw the door open because it will give the interested parties a sense of belonging and unity that will work for our advantage,” he added.