The Ijaw nation appears to have taken a decision to empty into the All Progressives Congress, APC, given what transpired in Bayelsa State at the weekend.
Recall that the APC overwhelmingly won the gubernatorial elections in Bayelsa State, dusting Senator Douye Diri and the PDP.
It was a shattering victory which broke PDP’s uninterrupted control of the State in the last two decades and brought APC’s next level politics built on change to Bayelsa.
Accordingly, David Lyon of the APC would be sworn in as the next governor of Bayelsa State early next year.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan who spoke after the deafening defeat of his party said he was congratulating the victor as “father of Bayelsa State”.
It was however proof that quite a lot of water had gone under the bridge following Governor Seriake Dickson’s intransigence which destroyed the basis of unity in the State’s ruling party.
Jonathan’s congratulation came closely on the heels of a get-together that he organized in honour of some APC governors at his home.
Across Ijawland, APC’s victory in Bayelsa has been well received, with attention gradually turning in the direction of Rivers State where Amaechi and his followers have been trying to install an Ijaw governor.
Said an Ijaw politician, “The picture will not be the same in 2023. We would work for an Ijaw governor.
“We know that if the APC’s candidates had not been disqualified by the courts, Amaechi’s ambition to ensure a balance of power would have been realized.
“As things are, we have come to the conclusion that working with the APC would be most beneficial to our ethnic nation.
“Most Ijaw leaders are beginning to appreciate what Amaechi has been trying to do. This time we will not be deceived by anyone about the good intention of the Minister of Transportation.”
“Some of our leaders including Alabo Tonye Graham-Douglas and Chief Rufus Ada George have been in the vanguard of the struggle with Amaechi to produce a Riverine governor”, another politician in the PDP remarked, “we are not talking about party now. We are talking about what is right.”
Interestingly, most Ijaws from Rivers State poured into Bayelsa State to render support in any way.
Some made donations, according to what we have heard, while others provided different kinds of logistics.
Reacting to the election victory in Bayelsa State, Wike who allegedly connived with Senator Magnus Abe to rob the APC of candidates claimed that it was God’s intervention that gave him a second term.
It is possible, from the mood here that is developing that APC’s victory in Bayelsa would most likely act like a catalyst.
The fact that the Rivers APC is likely to go for a party chairman from any of the Upland local government areas, is proof that a Riverine candidate might be its best bet in 2023.
In the meantime, APC members in Rivers State are apparently fired up.
“We salute our compatriots in Bayelsa State”, said an APC chieftain who spoke under conditions of anonymity.
“The trend in the South South is exchanging. At least we have Edo and Bayelsa. Rivers would definitely be next in 2023”.
For now, the APC in Bayelsa savours its history making victory.
The party beat its rival in six out of the eight local government areas to snatch power.
Results released by INEC show that the APC won in Brass, Nembe, Ogbia, Southern Ijaw, Ekeremor and Yenagoa.
The PDP won in Sagbama and Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Areas.
A breakdown of the figures indicate that the APC polled 24,607 in Yenagoa Local Government while the PDP bagged 19,184.
In Sagbama, PDP scored 60,339 votes while the APC had 7,831 votes.
Similarly, APC had the upper hand in Brass where it polled 23,831 votes against PDP’s 10,410 votes.
Next door to Brass Local Government, the APC swept Nembe Local Government Area, garnering 83,041 votes while the PDP polled 874 votes.
In Southern Ijaw, the people returned 124,000 votes in favour of the APC.
The PDP scored 13,763 votes in Ogbia while the APC polled 58,016.
With the big ticket investments the Federal Government is making in the South South, many say it would not be long before the entire geopolitical region makes a turn around just like the Ijaws have managed to do in Bayelsa seen as the Ijaw heartland.
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