Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Zoning arrangement by some political leaders to allow Sagbama Local Government Area retain the Bayelsa West senatorial seat has suffered a setback following a decision of former deputy governor and All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, Peremobowei Ebebi, from Ekeremor Local Government, to join the race.
The seat had become vacant following the inauguration of Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from Sagbama as the deputy governor courtesy of a Supreme Court judgment which sacked the winner of the November 16 governorship election, David Lyon, over a Federal High Court ruling which had earlier disqualified his running mate, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo.
Political leaders of Bayelsa West had, recently in a summit, affirmed the zoning arrangement between Ekeremor and Sagbama councils and urged political parties interested to participate in the election to only field candidates from Sagbama.
On the strength of the affirmation, former governor Seriake Dickson from Sagbama, responding to calls from several quarters, had joined the race.
However, the entry of Ebebi into the senatorial race has changed the political dimension of the election because of his network of political contacts and the massive follower-ship he enjoys in Ekeremor which made APC leaders settled for his candidacy.