A former Secretary-General of Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) and one time student union leader, Mr. Captain Ozu, has criticized the rumoured ambition of three political heavyweights to contest the Bayelsa State governorship election scheduled for 2016, describing them as greedy.
A former Governors of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha and an ex-Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Chief Timi Alaibe, were said to be scheming to be governor on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.
Others said to be eyeing the party’s tickets were a leader of the APC and a former Governor of the state, Chief Timipre Sylva; a former Commissioner for Health, Chief Frank Akpoebi; a Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Godknow Igali, and APC Chairman in Bayelsa state, Mr. Tiwe Oruminighe.
Alamieyeseigha was impeached on December 9, 2005, two years into his second term in office, on allegations of acts of malfeasance.
Reacting to their ambitions, Ozu told journalists on Tuesday that some of them have decided to indicate interest in Bayelsa Government House because they are greedy and broke.
He said, “Most of these so-called leaders are broke and have become liabilities both to themselves and members of their family. If you check very well, the only reason why these men want to get power is to enable them enhance their economic well-being. The aim is not to serve the people but to serve their pockets. Bayelsans are not fools. We know their antecedents and when the time comes, we will disgrace them at the polls”
It was reported that Preye Aganaba (aka Prince of Odi), who lost his senatorial bid, is being prepared by Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi to go for the governorship slot on the platform of APC.
A source, who spoke in confidence, said Alamieyeseigha, the state’s first elected governor, was nurturing his ambition to return to the Creek Haven, the sobriquet for the Government House in Yenagoa, on the platform of APC.
The source said the former governor and Igali are plotting to wrest power from the Governor Seriake Dickson.
Sources said that they have been meeting for the past two weeks in Abuja to finetune their plots.
The source added that both men met last Friday at the late Oronto Douglas’ home, after a condolence visit, to discuss their plan.
Alamieyeseigha became governor in 1999 and was re-elected for a second term in 2003.
But he was embroiled in allegations of corruption and money laundering.
He was impeached by the House of Assembly, prosecuted and convicted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Alamieyeseigha was succeeded by his deputy, incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan, in 2005.
The ex-governor got the President’s State pardon on March 12, 2013.
The source said: “Alamieyeseigha is eyeing the governorship seat. His plan is to make a return to the seat of power in 2016. He has been holding a series of meetings with some APC stalwarts.
“He is assuring the APC leadership that with him at the helm, the militants would feel comfortable. He is saying Governor Dickson is not liked by former militants, citing the clash between the governor and ex-agitators over pipeline contracts.”
But when reminded that President-elect Muhammadu Buhari has a zero tolerance for corruption and may not allow the likes of Alameiyesegha to become candidates of the party, the source said the former governor is banking on his closeness to some APC leaders.
The source said: “He is banking on his relationship with some national leaders of the APC to market him to Buhari because he knows that ordinarily, the President-elect would not give him a chance, regardless of the Presidential pardon granted him.
“But we know that Dickson still stands a good chance of retaining his seat in 2016, given his performance and strong progressive contacts within the APC as a former member and leader in the Alliance for Democracy (AD).”
But another source in the APC said the state leadership of the party had placed an embargo on the influx of defectors pending the swearing in of the President-elect.
Without the embargo, he said a gale of defections to the APC would have hit the PDP in the state.
“Major PDP stakeholders are warming up to join the APC in the state. We are going to be busy welcoming them. Most of them will be coming with governorship ambitions,” the source added.
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