From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
A group, Bayelsa Progressive Vanguard (BPV) has decried the activities of the Bayelsa State Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpor, saying they are against the interest of his principal and state Governor, Senator Douye Diri.
The group in a statement signed by its convener, Erepadei Ebiowei, said it had observed with dismay how Ewhrudjakpor appears to be running a parallel administration within the government despite the latitude he enjoyed from Diri .
BPV stated that the deputy governor is hobnobbing and meeting with aggrieved members within the ruling party and opposition party candidates of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
According to the group, the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state and national levels should probe Ewhrudjakpor before his actions would constitute the greatest threat to the fortunes of the party in the coming elections.
While stating that the deputy governor had remained very loyal to his benefactor and former state governor, Senator Seriake Dickson, Ebiowei said the litigants against the PDP candidates in the forthcoming elections enjoy a close relationship with the number two man in the state.
“We are constrained to issue this statement with deep sense of responsibility to inform Governor Douye Diri to watch his back as we are no longer comfortable with the activities of his Deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpor because we have seen that he had adjudged Diri’s tolerance and politics of inclusion to naivety and was exploiting the governor’s benevolence for some selfish interests. Ewhrudjakpor is exploiting the kindness, tolerance and Diri’s inclusive style of politics by acting out his master’s playbook. It is therefore time for the governor to be vigilant.
However in a swift response, Diri has replied the group, declaring that he has “implicit confidence” in his deputy.
In a statement signed by his Director- General, New Media, Dr Kola Oredipe, the governor described BVP statement as “ill-timed, wicked and a mere concoction of mischief makers bent on creating discord between him and the deputy governor”
Diri who stated that no amount of blackmail would succeed to destabilise the government urged Bayelsans to disregard the false narrative of the BVP, stressing that he enjoys a cordial working relationship with Ewhrudjakpor who at various times satisfactorily handled several critical governance political assignments on behalf of the government.
“Our great party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State, is not in any way under threat. PDP remains strong and firm in the state and ready for election.
“The question of anyone working against the party does not exist. We have done everything together from our party primaries till date. What they are doing is to cause division and we will not give them room,” he said.