With about one week to the rescheduled election in Southern Ijaw Local Government, wife of the immediate past president, Dame Patience Jonathan and his political associates have struck a deal with the candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Timipre Sylva to stop the re-election of Governor Seriake Dickson through support and mobilisation of resources.
The rescheduled elections have been scheduled by the Independent National Electoral Commission for Southern Ijaw LGA and 101 polling units in parts of Bayelsa state.
INEC had on December 5 last year, conducted elections in seven out of eight LGAs, out of which the governor who is the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) overwhelmingly won six LGAs, while Timipre Sylva got one.
Both the PDP and APC have shifted the battle to Southern Ijaw. Although Dickson is leading with over 33,000 votes, the APC is bent on upturning the governor’s victory by hook or crook.
Sources close to the former First Lady confirmed that Dame Patience Jonathan had brokered a peace meeting between Sylva and the dreaded Port Harcourt based militant leader, Ateke Tom.
The meeting was held behind closed doors on new year’s day in Port Harcourt palatial residence of Ateke Tom where Dame Patience Jonathan persuaded the militant leader to ‘‘come to Southern Ijaw and help Sylva.’’
Aside the former first lady, key political associates of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan have renewed their resolve to gang up against Dickson onJanuary 9.
While some of Jonathan’s men had defected to the APC to fight Dickson, many of them remained in the PDP to work for the election of the APC candidate, Timipre Sylva.
Prominent amongst those who defected include Senator Clever Ikisikpo (Bayelsa East); immediate-past Senator who represented the former president, Chief Ikiogha Diekivie; former Chief of Staff Government House and close ally of the president from Yenagoa.
Others are former Commissioner of Lands and confidant of Jonathan, Surveyor Furoebi Akene and former Commissioner under Jonathan and current FERMA Executive Director, Finance, Bishop Deggi Eremienyo.
The FERMA man defected to APC just eight days to the December 5 election and worked against Dickson in Nembe.
Others are former Chairman of NDDC and bossom friend of Jonathan, Dr. Tarilla Tabepah who hails from Kolokuma/Okpokuma, Jonathan’s Man Friday, Hon Ayobegha James, Chief Numoipre Wills a Nembe high chief who was appointed Executive Secretary, National Boundaries Commission by Jonathan but openly mobilized for APC.
Chief amongst the Jonathan’s men who stayed in the party to battle Dickson are Senator Emmanue Paulker representing Bayelsa Central, the State Action Committee on Aids (SACA) boss, Dr. Temple Iluma, strongman of Kolga politics, Deacon Ndutimi Komomibo, former permanent secretary and member of Ogbia brotherhood, King Collins Danie Ebi and former SA (Domestic Affairs) to the former president, Dr. Waripamowei Dudafa who hails from Kolokuma Okpokuma.
Dudufa has never hidden his dislike for the governor but lost his ward and council to the governor in the election.
Others are former Transport Commissioner and confidant of Mrs. Patience Jonathan, Mrs Marie Ebikake and the Ogbia born musketeers and multi-billionaires- Dr. Godless Eruani, Barr. Robert Azibola and Barr.George Turner.
Wills,is the executive secretary, border communities development agency, not national boundaries commission