The Centre for Democracy and Growth has launched a report on the political contest forward of the off-cycle governorship election in Bayelsa State.
The report, titled, The Godson Turned Godfather: Governor Dickson & Bayelsa’s 2019 Election, supplied an outline of the electoral course of and the dynamics of the political setting in Bayelsa, a abstract of it made out there to SaharaReporters stated.
Though 45 political events are fielding candidates for the upcoming governorship election in Bayelsa State, the 16 November 2019 election is presumed to be a two-horse race as soon as once more. Just like the 2015 gubernatorial election, it’s assumed to be a straight battle between the 2 outstanding political events – PDP and APC.
Nevertheless, not like the earlier elections, the competition is prone to be a lot nearer.
In 2012, thei ncumbent governor, Seriake Dickson, acquired 89.4% of the votes solid by the voters amidst turnout of 72%. Even when the election was declared inconclusive by INEC, the incumbent Governor Dickson gained 60% of votes solid to defeat, Timipre Sylva of the APC, who fell brief with 38%, within the election that adopted. The State witnessed a meagre turnout of 37%.
Seemingly, the political hegemony of the PDP in Bayelsa State has remained a tricky nut to crack for the APC. But, the spectacular efficiency that APC displayed in 2019 normal elections the place the social gathering gained over 35% of the vote and secured a victory in Jonathan’s yard – Bayelsa East senatorial zone is perhaps an indication that conventional voting patterns are much less sure to carry within the 2019 governorship election.
Who’s within the working, and from the place
A complete of 45 political events are contesting within the governorship election in Bayelsa State. This represents a big enhance within the variety of taking part political events in contrast with 2015 when simply 20 political events vied for management of the State. Within the historical past of the State, no lady has both been elected governor or deputy governor. In 2019 simply three ladies (7% of the whole) will contest for the governorship whereas 13 (29% of the whole) are looking for to be chosen as deputy governor. Nevertheless, with the 2 main political events – APC and PDP-having no feminine members of the ticket and having gained 98% of the votes solid in 2015, Bayelsa’s two-decade watch for a feminine governor or deputy is ready to proceed.
Of the 42 male candidates which are contesting for this election, simply 7% are between the ages of 30 and 35. Most (53%) fall into the 36 to 45 classes, with 16% over the age of 55. The governorship candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Get together (NNPP) is the oldest contestant at 70 years previous.
The politics of zoning
Bayelsa Central senatorial district produced DiepreyeAlameiyeseigha, the states’ first governor. He hailed from Ijaw South LGA. Goodluck Jonathan who dominated after him got here from Ogbia LGA in Bayelsa East senatorial zone. Timipre Sylva is from Brass LGA, the identical senatorial district as Goodluck Jonathan and the incumbent Governor Dickson is of Bayelsa West senatorial district in Sagbama LGA.
Forward of the 2019 elections, coalitions of pursuits are clamouring for a shift of energy to Kolokuma/Opokuma LGA – the least favoured LGA when it comes to political patronage of high-ranking authorities officers and the place the candidate of PDP, Senator DuoyeDiri, hail. The 2 main political events, PDP and APC, factored zoning into their selection of candidate. Each are from the identical senatorial district, Bayelsa Central. David Lyon is an indigene of Southern Ijaw LGA, the place the State’s first elected governor got here from and the LGA which has the second-largest variety of registered voters after the state capital, Yenagoa. Lyon named BiobarakumaDegi-Eremienyo, the present Senator representing Bayelsa East who hails from Nembe LGA, as his working mate.
Rancorous social gathering primaries
Major contests inside political events have turn out to be an integral a part of Nigeria’s electoral system. It’s a course of via which members of a political social gathering vote or selected a candidate of their selection to pick the flagbearer for an election race. In line with Part 87 of the Electoral Act of 2010 (as amended), the process for the nomination of candidates by political events for varied elective positions may be by a direct or oblique course of. When a political social gathering adopts the direct methodology, solely its registered members are allowed to vote for any candidate aspiring to vie for elective positions. Oblique primaries enable choose members of a political social gathering, referred to as “delegates” to elect on behalf of the members.
The PDP ticket: Anointed by the governor
Inner disputes inside the PDP are an amassed disaster that began lengthy earlier than the Bayelsa major race. Nevertheless, the first election carried out in Bayelsa in September 2019 stands out as the straw that lastly breaks the camel’s again. Hassle began brewing within the build-up to 2019 normal elections over allegations of a skewed major election in favour of all of the Nationwide and State Home of Meeting candidates loyal to Governor Dickson’s “Restoration Team”. Regardless of protests, threats of defection and a petition to the Nationwide Working Committee of the PDP, the party-endorsed these aspirants and introduced them as candidates within the 2019 normal elections. In voting, Senator DouyeDiri beat the opposite 20 contestants to emerge victorious because the candidate of the social gathering. He polled 561 votes to defeat his nearest challenger TimiAlaibe, who many believed had the assist of Goodluck Jonathan, by 196 votes.
The APC ticket: Instantly chosen
The APC is confronted with challenges regarding the means of the number of her flagbearer. After suspending the first twice in compliance with conflicting courtroom judgements over the mode of her social gathering major, it will definitely held direct primaries for the six aspirants on 3-Four September. Oil magnate and philanthropist, David Lyon obtained many of the votes, 42,138, far forward of his nearest rival DiseyePoweigha, who gained simply 1533 votes. Though the election Collation Officer, Senator Emmanuel Dangana below the Chairmanship of Yobe State Governor, Mai-Mala Buni, described the ballot as credible and peaceable, others didn’t agree. One of many aspirants,Prince PreyeAganaba, wrote a petition to the attraction committee arrange by the social gathering, claiming that the first lacked credibility and was rife with irregularities.
Figuring out the Winner
Bayelsa State has all the time been the stronghold of PDP, however the rising reputation of APC within the State may make the election fiercely contested. Having gained a senatorial seat, two seats on the Home of Representatives and 4 locations within the State Home of Meeting within the final normal elections, the APC now has its sights set on the governorship. The State may function a launching pad geared toward making inroads into the South-South area forward of the 2023 normal elections. It’s due to this fact seemingly that the federal authorities will do all that’s fairly doable, and muster all of the out there assets, to make sure its social gathering wins the governorship seat in Bayelsa.
Faux Information Prevails
In Bayelsa, identical to in different elements of Nigeria, Fb and WhatsApp are the 2 social media platforms most used to hawk pretend information and misinformation.That is complemented by pretend information entrepreneurs who flow into the data in markets, soccer viewing centres, motor parks and bars. Faux information unfold quick and is a potent safety menace to the forthcoming election in Bayelsa State. Of specific concern is the deliberate makes an attempt by the political events to unfold false data and form the narratives earlier than polling day. Each the APC and PDP in Bayelsa run media hubs devoted to producing and disseminating misinformation and the unfold of falsehoods.
Past phrases, the chance of violence
The Niger Delta normally, and Bayelsa State, particularly, have a historical past of electoral violence. This isn’t unrelated to established insecurity pervading the area. They embrace cult violence, piracy, abductions and assaults on oil services. Forward of the election,reported incidentssuch because the stockpiling of arms and weapons, assassination of PDP ward Chairman, SeidoughaTaribi, and sustained and heavy gunfire on 30 September 2019 on the premises of Bayelsa State Home of Meeting over its change in management, point out a powerful chance that electoral violence might be a big function of this forthcoming election.The Pre-election violence witnessed is pushed by the political contestations and brinkmanship precipitated by the result of the social gathering primaries. The accusations and counter-accusations intensify the threats of violence on Election Day. As an example, the recurrent bickering between the Nationwide Publicity Secretary of the APC and his counterpart from the PDP on alleged plans by both social gathering to unleash violence on Election Day is able to inflaming supporters. In response to the posturing of the political actors, the Nigeria Police Pressure, the lead company on election safety has introduced plans to deploy a complete of 31,041 officers for election obligation in Bayelsa. In line with the authorities, the deployed personnel will shield essential areas in the course of the elections, together with polling items, Central Financial institution of Nigeria (CBN) workplaces, the take-off level of delicate supplies in addition to INEC workplaces within the State.
An neutral umpire?
Bayelsa State has a novel geographical terrain. Motion inside the State is usually by restricted water transportation, making it difficult to mobilise personnel and supplies for elections. This has beforehand resulted within the late, or non-arrival of logistics and personnel. There have additionally been conditions, as current because the 2019 normal elections, the place politicians intentionally sabotage INEC efforts by making it nearly not possible for its officers to move supplies to some areas. This emphasizes the necessity for INEC to consciously guard in opposition to conditions that would trigger this election to achieve an inconclusive verdict, like in 2015, and to supply a reputable outcome.