By Fred Itua, Abuja
SENATOR Paulker Emmanuel has embarked on what many would probably classify a suicide mission. What has happened?
Barely 24 hours before Bayelsa Governor, Henry Seriake Dickson formally declared his second term ambition, Paulker had stormed the Wadata Plaza headquarters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to submit his expression of interest and nomination forms to contest the December 5 governorship poll in his home state.
Before Monday, September 7, many people were not aware that Paulker harboured such ambition because it was believed that Paulker and Dickson belonged to the same political family led by former president Goddluck Jonathan.
Although Dickson’s September 8 second term declaration was graced by party topnotchers; the move is now shrouded in controversy as some loyal party members are discussing in hushed tones, Jonathan’s endorsement of Dickson for a second term when the door was still supposed to be opened to other aspirants.
Perhaps, had the ex-president realised that the move would draw huge flak and upbraids from the PDP circle, he would have framed his views on the governor’s ambition in a different way.
President Jonathan hinged his endorsement of the Governor on the ground that “Bayelsa is not a cursed state. On the notion that governors in Bayelsa cannot do eight years, it slows down development and except there is continuation in government, development will be truncated. Performance is not about satisfying individual needs, so we need to encourage Governor Dickson to go for second term.”
He added: “If you compare what has happened in other parts of the country, you will praise Dickson. People should think more about the way the state is being run and prepare for our future generation.
“Bayelsa is not a cursed state. On the notion that governors in Bayelsa cannot do eight years, it slows down development and except there is continuation in government, development will be truncated. Performance is not about satisfying individual needs and so we need to encourage Governor Dickson to go for second term.”
No sooner had Jonathan made the endorsement than the camp of other PDP governorship aspirants took on the former President. To them, such endorsement would have made meaning if the party’s primary had taken place and Dickson emerged the candidate.
“I don’t know the basis for the endorsement , is he saying that other aspirants are not good enough to be governor and should not have bought the expression of interest/nomination forms? Jonathan should have acted like a leader for all; regardless of where his interests lie,” a PDP chieftain in the state said.
Beyond the PDP circle, however, several political watchers were taken aback that the ex-president and some PDP bigwigs including the Acting National Chairman, Uche Secondus, openly backed the governor. Read More →