Bayelsa: Diri, Dickson on warpath over commissioners’ list


The fresh political battle appears to be brewing in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Bayelsa state chapter over the list of commissioner nominees being currently compiled by Governor Douye Diri. Joy Emmanuel writes.

Anxious care over cabinet

Following the Supreme Court decision to despatched to the dustbin of history the election of an opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate for the first time in the history of Bayelsa state and the ascendency to the throne of Senator Douye Diri of the PDP, much water have passed under the bridge.

Though little in terms of controversy has been of public knowledge, keen watchers of events in Yenogoa, particularly as respects the God father and son relationship have been of the opinion that all may not be well with the immediate past governor of the state Hon Seriake Dickson, and the incumbent governor, Senator Douye Diri, his predecessor.

However, it seems the muted clash between them may have eventually become public knowledge largely over the composition of the senator’s kitchen and other cabinet. The immediate past governor, Henry Seriake Dickson is said to be no longer at ease and seriously reads the hand writing on the wall. The aspirant Senator, is unhappy over the delay in the composition of the cabinet and thinks the newly elected governor wants to play a fast one on him.

Budget matters

Before now, the new governor had been prompt in almost everything especially as he ensured that there was no delay in the appropriating funds for respective matters of state. He had assured that the people the state 2020 budget will not be delayed. In fact, it was not. Senator Diri had pleaded with the state House of Assembly to ensure a smooth passage of the Appropriation Bill and he was kindly obliged with despatch.

Consequently, both the lawmakers and the entire citizenry had hoped for a quick presentation of the list of commissioners nominees for screening and approval by the state assembly. But that seems to be a mirage.

Dickson no longer at ease

It was learnt that trouble started when Dickson learnt that Diri was planning on running an all-inclusive government that would live above party lines and sentiments and that this decision according to sources did not go down well with Dickson.

According to Government House sources, while Dickson is said to be hell bent on ensuring his political allies dominate the list of the commissioners nominees and take over all juicy ministries the incumbent governor is said to be unhappy with the development, insisting that he should be given the opportunity to decide the fate of his administration.

Blueprint further gathered, as a result of this brewing conflict, the stage is set for what observers of the politics described as a ‘clash of Titans’ with obvious implications: destabilization of the current relative political peace the state is now enjoying.

Our source further explained that this fresh political conflict that the state is about to witness may lead to another round of battle of supremacy while the soul of Bayelsa will be at stake. They say Dickson is plotting is to assume the position of the political godfather of the present administration. But the senator though highly appreciative of the role the immediate past governor played in his emergence as the candidate of the PDP and eventually the governor is very uncomfortable.

Our source said “the issue of how Douye Diri came to power is no longer a secret. The former governor who wielded enormous political power when he anointed Diri as his godson in the last election, appears to be losing control of power because he was said not to have contributed to the legal battle that later brought Diri to power. Now as we speak, the relationship between Diri and Seriake is gradually deteriorating.”

Lobbyists at work

Taking advantage of the situation, professional political lobbyists have intensified efforts at various quarters to either stoke up the fire with a view to playing a role in the settlement of the likely crisis or poised to take side depending on their aptitude for expected gains.

Observers say the governor is keeping Bayelsans guessing on the likely character of his next cabinet. He may also be deliberately attempting to tire out the patience of Dickson, who would eventually need his support to clinch the PDP ticket for the Bayelsa South senatorial seat.

There are calls though Diri that rises above party patronage in the compilation of his commissioner’s nominees to be submitted to the state House of Assembly, even as perceptive stakeholders demand a new touch of blood based on experience, ideas and vision.

Six names are said to have submitted from former President Goodluck Jonathan’s camp, Governor Diri has also shown the spirit of sportsmanship to other political juggernauts in the state.

“Dickson’s loyalists are holding on to the argument that since Dickson single-handedly picked Diri and deputy against the wishes of other PDP members, it is only proper for him to leave the compilation of the list of commissioners to the stakeholders of the party.

“The list is said to have most of his ex-commissioners and appointees. And his key interests remain the ministry of works, ministry of information and ministry of education.

“The list is also said to have contained names like Mr Markson Iworiso, who is likely to man the Ministry of Information, Mr Robinson Obuobite, Madam Ebizi Brown, former deputy chief of staff and Mr Maxwell Ebibai, former finance commissioner and now technical finance adviser.”

Another political analyst, who does not wish to be mentioned, said “Diri should know that he is Dickson’s godson and as a matter of fact leave everything for Dickson to decide. If he fails to realize that his Government belongs to Dickson, he is deceiving himself and Bayelsans.

“I would advise him to return all Dickson’s commissioners and just be there as a figurehead make the money he can make every month and go. He is not thereby himself. He should know this because this government represents Dickson’s third term.

“When Dickson was doing everything, did he complain? This is not the time for him to behave like a hero but like a fool until after two years when he would have the powers to make certain decisions for himself,” he said and advised him to cooperate for the sake of peace.

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