Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
There is crack in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over fears of hijack of delegates for the governorship primaries election scheduled for September 3.
There are appropriately 1400 statutory and ad-hoc delegates drawn from the eight local government areas expected to vote in the crucial election to elect the flag-bearer of the PDP for the November 16 governorship election.
According to investigations some stakeholders in the party are said not to be comfortable with the body language of key officials of the party and close political associates of Governor Henry Seriake Dickson which indicated that the promise for a level playing ground for all aspirants is a ruse as moves have been perfected to install the preferred choice of Dickson as the party standard-bearer.
A recorded audio tape which Dickson had claimed was doctored to blackmail him to support the political aspiration of former managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)Mr Ndutimi Alaibe had surfaced where decisions were allegedly taken to order delegates to fall in line with Governor Dickson’s choice or face sanctions including total alienation from the party.
Findings indicated that some of the aspirants have expressed fears that with the alleged threats issued to local government and ward delegates coupled with marching orders given to council chairmen, the hijack of delegates is now a possibility.
Some of the aspirants have concluded plans to petition the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party over the latest development to call for the suspension of the chairman, Mr Cleopas Moses and Secretary, Mr Gidspower Keku and investigation of Dickson so as to ensure a level playing ground for all aspirants to avoid crisis in the party which might cost it the governorship ticket.
Already a group, the Integrity Group led by Mr Tony Ile has said it has Intelligence Report which indicated that Moses and Keku who have since relocated to the VIP lodge of the Bayelsa State Government House instead of displaying neutrality in the forthcoming primaries have chosen to take sides.
“Another disturbing factor is the issue of threats to ward and local government delegates. The group also note the alleged voice of the State Governor, reportedly issuing out threat towards and local government executive members of the party, not only to vote for his preferred aspirant but should also submit their INEC Voters and Party membership cards to the state leadership of the party. It is an indecorous act for a chief executive of a state, and by the rules of the party, the leader of the party at the state level to be issuing such threats to party men and women whom he leads simply because they have been perceived not to be in accordance with his unpopular choice of aspirant. The members of the PDP Integrity Group are once again calling on the National Leadership of the party to quickly investigate this nefarious act of the governor and possibly call him to order in the interest of the generality of our members as it is capable of affecting the chances of the party at the November 16th polls.”
Meanwhile the party in a statement signed by Moses and Keku in a veil response to allegations against them have warned against hijack of delegates by aspirants disclosing that delegates would be kept in designated places in Yenagoa.
The party leadership which kicked against moving the delegates outside the state for security reasons said it would not condone “hijacking or kidnapping of delegates and taking them outside the state”.
The duo urged the delegates from the ward, local government and state levels to resist any blackmail, inducement, and intimidation from any aspirant