Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Ahead of the primary election into the National Assembly in Bayelsa State,, Governor Henry Seriake Dickson, has dumped incumbent Sen. Foster Ogola, representing Bayelsa West Senatorial District and Sen. Emmanuel Paulker representing Bayelsa Central Senatorial District.
According to investigation, while Mr. Lawrence Ewhrudjakpor, the erstwhile Commissioner for Works and Housing in the Dickson administration is set to replace Ogolo to emerge as the PDP standard bearer for the election , the member representing Yenagoa/Kolokuma/Opokuma federal constituency is also to replace Paulker as the PDP candidate for Bayelsa central.
Paulker, who had altered the zoning/rotational formula for Bayelsa Central Senatorial District twice 2007- 2011 and 2011-2015, did not bother to obtain nomination and expression of interest form when he was told that Governor Dickson had already anointed Diri for the Senate seat.
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Ogola, on his own part, had obtained the nomination form banking on the hope that being a political associate of Governor Dickson, the governor would have a rethink to back him instead of supporting a fresh candidate
Sen. Ben Murray Bruce of Bayelsa East Senatorial District had already thrown in the towel, on Monday, by withdrawing from the race, citing an unwritten existing 20-year power arrangement among the three local governments’ areas that made up the senatorial district.
Ogola in an interview, however, insisted that he would forge ahead to contest the primaries and told his supporters to ignore reports that he has backed out because the governor is not supporting him.
On if there would be a level-playing field, Ogola said he could not attest to that until voting has commenced and results is declared noting however that the signs he is observing are not encouraging.
Meanwhile, a group of aspirants for the primary election in Bayelsa State have warned the party of dire consequence if it fails to provide a level playing field for all the aspirants in the primary election.
According to Mr. Udengs Eradiri, an aspirant for the Yenagoa/ Kolokuma/Opokuma Federal Constituency, e said PDP aspirants would resist any attempt by the leadership of the party in the state to rig the primaries and impose candidates on the party.
He warned that PDP should have learnt its lesson that imposition of candidates would spell doom for it ahead the 2019 general elections.