Ahead of the September 19 governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State, indications have emerged that there is a fierce battle between former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, over who emerges as the party’s flag bearer in the state.
Impeccable sources in the party who gave hints of the rivalry told our correspondent that while Tinubu is routing for the former governor Timipre Sylva, Saraki has vowed to install Alaibe in what was also seen as contest for national leadership of the party.
Saraki and Alaibe were said to have a long standing relationship as far back as their days at Societe Generale Bank owned by Saraki’s father, the late Senator Abubakar Olusola Saraki, who was also a former Senate Leader in the Second Republic.
Both Saraki and Tinubu have been engaged in a game of wits since the fallout of the emergence of Saraki as the Senate President just as their respective groups in the National Assembly have also been at dagger drawn over the issue.
“The situation is now clear that Saraki is determined to install Alaibe against the planned moves by Tinubu to impose Sylva on the Bayelsa APC as its flagbearer to contest the governorship. Again, Saraki’s action goes beyond the immediate, he is working hard to take over the national leadership of the party from Tinubu. So it is not only about this election but also for future political expediency. It is a fierce supremacy battle”, a close source said.
It was also gathered authoritatively that in a desperate bid to clinch the ticket, Alaibe on his part was wooing the delegates, promising them N5m each to vote for him.
Meanwhile Sylva was said to have, as a strategy, camped the delegates at an undisclosed location to prevent Alaibe and other governorship aspirants from reaching them for inducement.
Unconfirmed reports claimed Alaibe has so far spent about N500m on the governorship aspiration.
He was said to have sold two of his choice properties in Lagos and Abuja to raise required funds to prosecute his campaign as well as borrowing and further raising funds from friends and associates.
“What we are witnessing now is haywire politics. As far as we can see, the real battle of who gets the ticket In Bayelsa is between Saraki and Tinubu and only God knows what will be the end as far as the future of the party is concerned,” the source stated.