Goodluck Jonathan. PHOTO: bloomberg.com
The post-November 16, 2019 governorship election narrative in Bayelsa State reads like the Peoples Democratic Party’s journey to the cold comfort of opposition politics.
Already, most observers blame the outgoing governor, Henry Seriake Dickson, for the ruling party’s monumental loss of its undisputed stronghold, having produced a former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.
Others, including Dickson, believe that the Jonathan lent a helping hand, which led to PDP dropping the ball in the oil-bearing, relatively small Niger Delta state.
At the height of the back and forth claims and counter-claims, the outgoing governor empanelled a 41-member transition committee to oversee his failed succession plan. Some members of Bayelsa State chapter of the PDP believe that by setting up the transitional panel, Dickson was not only showing disdain for the conspiracy against him, but also angrily acknowledging defeat, despite reservations about the credibility of the electoral process.
Others think that the governor was exposing his hidden animosities and frustrations over Jonathan’s attitude to the governorship poll. Did Dickson underestimate Dr. Jonathan’s capacity to throw his political weight around? Or did the governor believe so much in his all-pervading power of incumbency and therefore mistook the former President’s pacifist disposition for indifferent aloofness?
Both men must be wiser now as they begin the journey in a new path to opposition politics at the mercy of another vanquishing by the same opposition forces that shamed them out of national politics in 2015. The days ahead would be cold for PDP in Bayelsa State.