By Uche Mbah
The apparent political differences between the Bayelsa Governor, Seriake Dickson, and former President Goodluck Jonathan over the former’s successor may have thrown up a middle course candidate as the Special Adviser on Establishment to Bayelsa Governor, Benson Agadaga, joins the race for the PDP primaries.
Agadaga is said to be an associate and kinsman of Jonathan, and has the backing of his traditional ruler.
“I seize this opportunity to seek the support and blessings of the foremost sociology-cultural organization of the people of Ogbia kingdom and entire people of Bayelsa to contest in the gubernatorial election.
“This is in furtherance of my passion for public service in many capacities and this time, I seek the office of the governor and I appeal to the people to support my ambition,” Agadaga told the News Agency of Nigeria.
He was referring to Ogbia Brotherhood Worldwide, a socio-cultural group, which he is the National Chairman of.
It is believed he has the backing of the Governor, who has always insisted that an establishment man replaces him as governor. Jonathan had allegedly preferred some of his allies-including Timi Alaibe and Reuben Okoya-for the race. Alaibe was a former Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), while Okoya was the Coordinator, Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC). Both worked closely with Jonathan.
It is gathered that the Bayelsa elections was part of the alleged cold war between Jonathan and Dickson, which former President Olusegun Obasanjo tried to mediate in. Other efforts were from the Rivers governor, Nyesom Wike, through the intervention of Patience Jonathan.
The Independent National Electoral commission, INEC, had announced that the elections will hold by November.
Festus Okoye, INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, said that after their National executive council meeting, INEC had “approved the timetable and schedule of activities for the governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states which will hold in both states on Saturday 2nd November 2019.”
According to him, “The official notice for both elections will be issued on 1st August 2019 while political parties that intend to sponsor candidates are to hold their primaries for the nomination of such candidates from 2nd-29th August 2019.”