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When Okowa, Obi, Others Campaigned For Diri In Bayelsa 


POLITICS is an interesting game.  In short, power is something that has no single definition as it can be viewed based on the behaviour of the office holder or the perception of the analyst; in all, holding political office is obviously an interesting experience.   That perhaps  explains why the holders find it difficult to voluntarily hand over to successors - ask military dictators.

To avoid abuse of office by its holders and making such persons accountable to the people, democracy became the most acceptable form of government.  Democracy made offices to be tenure-based and also, provide for the generality of the people to decide who leads them, mostly through the ballot box.

Succinctly put, democracy makes it obvious that political positions, like most other things of life are transient and as such office holders should utilise the few years they have in office to make lasting impact in the lives of the people who chose them as their leaders.

Last Wednesday, the Governor of Delta, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa led a team of top politicians to join other echelon of the Peoples Democratic  Party (PDP)  across the country to drum up support for the party's gubernatorial candidate in Bayelsa, Senator Duoye Diri.  According to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the election will hold on Saturday, November 16, 2019.

One would have thought that the PDP has no reason to campaign in Bayelsa based on the fact that since 1999, it has produced all the Governors in the state - Chief D.S.P. Alamieseigha, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan,  Chief Timipre Sylva, and the incumbent,  Hon. Seriake Dickson.  But, this is politics where your most trusted political friend may have the belief that he can do better given the same opportunity.

Expectedly, most of those who are contesting against the candidate of the PDP were at a time, members of the PDP and will certainly woo their friends in the PDP to join them in the fight against the party they were once gladiators.

Though, politics is unpredictable, one will not imagine the PDP losing in Bayelsa, a state that gave Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan,  a world recognised democrat.   For the sake of Jonathan, Bayelsans will vote massively for the candidate of the PDP because, he is not a prophet who is only respected outside his home, he is well respected at home and committed to the course of the PDP.  Again, the incumbent Governor, Hon. Dickson will work round the clock to ensure victory for his party man.

To say that the PDP has done well in Bayelsa will be an understatement.   There is virtually no development project in Bayelsa that cannot be traced to the PDP.  It is a fact that Yenogoa, headquarters of the state was once described as a small town sitting on the water, but, a visit to the capital on that Wednesday, one saw a sprawling city with well paved roads and vital infrastructure in place.

So, it was not a surprise that at that rally which took place at Osbow Lake, Yenogos, renowned politicians spoke glowingly about why the PDP should clinch the gubernatorial ticket to continue with the development strides.

The rally was carnival-like with different groups, adorning beautiful attires singing the praises of the Diri and the PDP; of course, some people turned it to entertaining ground, but, with the key politicians, it was a serious business, a business of not only marketing Diri as a good product to Bayelsans but, projecting the gubernatorial candidate to the world.

Governor Okowa, who had to perform multiple functions in Delta, including the presentation of 2020 Appropriation Bill of N389.19 billion to the Delta State House of Assembly on that day, was received at the rally with a loud ovation, giving credence to the recognised leadership roles he is playing in the party.

Naturally, he was among the few persons who had the opportunity to speak and as grassroots politician, he spoke in the language the majority of the people understands - pidgin English.

According to Okowa, "I am a regular visitor to Bayelsa and I am aware of the good things that Governor Seriake Dickson is doing in the state.  I thank Bayelsans for their support for the PDP.  On the day of election,  vote for the PDP, don't be afraid, don't be intimidated because, with what the PDP-led governments have done in Bayelsa,  God will not permit another party to take the credit."

National Chairman of the PDP,  Prince Uche Secondus, in his speech, observed that opposition political parties had nothing to campaign with unlike the PDP that has series of projects in the area.  Secondus said, "there is no Federal Government project in Bayelsa; no one will vote for the All Progressive Congress (APC) because the party has not shown good faith in Bayelsa."

Also, Vice Presidential candidate of the party in the last general elections, Mr Peter Obi, Secretary to the  Board of Trustees of the PDP,  Senator Adolphus Wabara, Governor of Sokoto State, Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, his Bauchi State counterpart who is the Chairman of the PDP Campaign Council for the election, Senator Bala Mohamed, among others who spoke, asserted that the PDP had an acceptable gubernatorial candidate in the person of Senator Douye Diri and expressed confidence that the people of Bayelsa will vote for the PDP.

Governor Dickson, in his speech, thanked the people for their support for the PDP,  stating, "God knows that our cause is just; we have done so much for our people; the PDP is too solid in Bayelsa to be shaken; the APC, as it is today, is not in position to win any unit or ward in any of the local government areas of Bayelsa; our people will vote for PDP, they will vote for stability and development. "

It was worthy to note that Senator Diri and his running mate, Senator Lawrence Ehwrudjakpo have intimidating profile, well experienced and exposed.  More significantly, both of them are serving Senators in the country, so, a lot of things are in their favour politically.

In all of these, there are trickle down socio-economic benefits to the people during that political rally as hawkers of different wares, especially food vendors and drink sellers made brisk business, not forgetting the facts that different branded promotional materials, t-shirts, fez-caps, banners, leaflets, as well as transporters and hoteliers had a boom that they will hope for such activity to take place regularly.

This Saturday will be the determining factor if the PDP still have its winning streak in Bayelsa nay South South region or is waning in its popularity as South South is the only zone in the country that the party can be described as having firmly its feet on the ground.

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