The forthcoming governorship election in Bayelsa State may have presented some persons with the opportunity to plot a destabilization of the sole ethnic Ijaw state in Nigeria as an avenue to get back at the political leadership of the state.
Details are emerging that an oil giant, with roots in a mafia-ridden European country, has thrown its financial weight behind an opposition candidate in the forthcoming election.
According to findings, the oil giant plots to destabilize Bayelsa should its preferred candidate fail to clinch the job.
Already, the oil company pays the said candidate, who is also from the home zone of late former governor of the state, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, about N2b monthly, allegedly as payment for pipeline security contract.
A source in Yenagoa, confirmed that indeed, the said candidate of the opposition party, is a contractor to an oil company (name withheld), but expressed concern with the negative use of the financial resources at his disposal which has huge implications for the entire Niger Delta region in terms of national security and the oil and gas sector.
According to our source, “yes, he is a contractor to an oil company that has roots in Italy. He has a pipeline surveillance contract with the company. But the thing is that he is using his money to finance militants and all the rough guys, and taking Bayelsa back to its past.
“That is not the sort of person that Bayelsa needs to lead it. We don’t want anyone going to the government house with such nasty record of sponsoring militant activities for which Nigeria is struggling to manage.
“Though no one has rights to tell another person how to spend his or her money, but spending same on militancy, which has the tendency to destabilize the state and make life difficult for the people, is not what any peace-loving citizen should aspire to”, our source said.
Already, Bayelsa residents are in fear of a violent governorship election as the candidate, said to have the blessing, and cover, of federal powers, has shelved public campaigns and commentaries.
A resident of Yenagoa, Timi Okoko, told our reporter that Bayelsans are scared of the next election because “his boys are everywhere harassing people”, a warning sign that the state may be turned into a new militant war front, a development that late President Umaru Yar’Adua ingeniously cured with the creation of the Amnesty programme.
“When you go around Bayelsa, you will feel the pulse of the people. They are not ready for what is likely to come their way. The main opposition candidate, who is also a militant boss, does not believe in election, just like his party. At least, from the way he operates, you will know that he does not believe in elections. He plans to deploy his boys to destabilize the state and get the help of Abuja to install him as governor. But we won’t allow that to happen.
“We know he wants to destabilize the state using his boys and security agencies because of his money. But he is not our type. Bayelsa cannot move from Seriake Dickson, who distinguished himself as a lawmaker and fall into the hands of a militant. That will mean going backwards. We must build on the progress we have made. So, we are at alert. We only pray that the military, Police and INEC do not take sides. Let him come to the debate podium and talk to Bayelsans first”, Okoko said.
It will be recalled that Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria’s former president, was also governor of Bayelsa state before Hon. Dickson was inaugurated in 2012.
Okoko stated that “under their leadership, Bayelsa recorded steady development and a reign of peace which are products of committed leadership.
“The state also witnessed an upsurge in school enrolment and provision of infrastructure with special attention on youth development through skills acquisition, making a return to the past a pain the people are not prepared to bear”, he added.
Residents of Yenagoa are calling on the Muhammadu Buhari government to call the oil giants to order in order to preserve prevailing peace in the state and avoid creating new problems in the region which would have wider implication on revenue from oil exploration in the Niger Delta.