The choice of running mate to the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, has thrown the party into crisis ahead of the November 16 election.
The issue was said to have assumed a dangerous dimension following the insistence of the state Governor, Seriake Dickson, to zone the slot to his western senatorial district in order to pave the way for the incumbent senator representing the zone, Senator Lawrence Erwujakpor to emerge as the running mate.
Despite earlier denials, Dickson was said to have perfected the process of making Erwujakpor, who hails from his Sagbama Local Government Area, a running mate to enable him realise his senatorial ambition.
The stakeholders under the auspices of Bayelsa East Forum for Justice (BEFJ) said having picked the candidate from the Bayelsa Central, it was natural to select a competent party man with requisite political clout and popularity from the East.
Speaking in Yenagoa on Monday, Eribo described the feelers that the slot for running mate had been zoned to the West as sad and an attempt to deprive the people of the East their due.
Eribo warned that if not rescinded the move was capable of handing over the state to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Also Concerned Bayelsa PDP Stakeholders (CBPS) condemned in strong terms the decision of Dickson to zone the running mate of the party to his senatorial district.
The concern stakeholders, in a statement, described the decision as an outrageous political mistake that would work against the PDP in the November 16 governorship election.
In the statement by Chief Ere Opukiri and Omonibo ThankGod, the stakeholders rejected the governor’s action.
Another group under the auspices of Youths for Douye Diri further called Dickson not to facilitate the emergence Ehrudjakpor as running mate to their principal.
Secretary-General of the group, Comrade Beinbebo Akpiri, said the report that Dickson had settled for Ehrudjakpor was a sad political development for the PDP.
Akpiri warned against the imposition of Ehrudjakpor on the party, stressing that it would not fly because of the current political realities.
But the State PDP Chairman and Secretary, Moses Cleopas and Chief Godspower Keku, in a statement, said since the party’s candidate came from the Central Senatorial District, Diri was at liberty to select any suitable person from either the East or the West.
They said the party would be left with no option than to zone the speakership and other offices in the party and government to the remaining zones for equity and fairness in accordance with the established tradition in the state since 1999.