Opinion: Bayelsa West, Dickson Fighting A Lost Battle – Ebiagbe


The events of last week have again shown the political twist and the intrigues that are prevalent in every political season.

The Bayelsa West Senatorial seat has easily become the most discussed issue among people of the state, given the history and the circumstances that brought in Senator HS Dickson as the present occupant.

While many of Senator HS Dickson’s followers are bent on maintaining that though their principal has the undisputed legal right to aspire and seek re-election, he has not formally told anyone nor made a public declaration of his intention.

Be that as it may, what is however clear to all keen observers is that his subterranean moves point clearly to one direction and resolve: he is interested and will do everything to get re-elected even if it means creating political disunity that will surely affect the Governor’s quest for a second term.

The indications became clearer recently, as the Bayelsa West Unity Forum, a group of youthful minds drawn from the senatorial district, had within the last four months been visibly engaging the people on the need to maintain the political balance by respecting the terms of the rotation agreement. Accordingly, they had scheduled a rally to hold in Sagbama town.

The rally which was scheduled to hold on the 22nd of January, 2022 was eventually put off arising from spirited efforts by HS Dickson to the Commissioner of Police. The State Police command had invited the organizers and directed them to put the event off as this might cause a breach of public peace. In furtherance of his ulterior motive, Senator HS Dickson had also directed his political son, the Executive Chairman of the Council to ensure that the event was stopped. And to this, the Chairman willingly obliged.

It should be noted that the Bayelsa West Unity Forum wasn’t trying to cause any breach of public peace, but on the contrary was exercising her constitutional right to peaceful assembly with a view to aggregating her collective position in a matter that is critical to her .

It is worthy of mention that these principled young men and women had within the last few months been very civil in their approach to the thorny issue, and had caused a robust public debate on this subject. The debate had led to the unveiling of undisputed documentary evidence showing the unanimous resolve in reaffirming the rotational zoning among the west senatorial people that bears the names and signatures of respected persons from the two local governments areas.

Curiously and interestingly, the said meeting of reaffirmation was done under the tutelage, guidance and direction of His Excellency, the incumbent Senator while serving as Governor of Bayelsa State.

In all of this, what is most disinteresting is that the actions of Senator HS Dickson gives credence to the saying that some politicians are indeed not to be TRUSTED with their words as it is as hollow as an empty bucket. Truly, one would have thought otherwise of Senator HS Dickson given his penchant for self eulogization in being a man of honour.

This is more so because research shows a plethora of undisputed video and audio tapes of the vocal Senator and the incumbent Governor, both submitting eloquently at different times during the campaigns that HS Dickson is going to complete the unexpired term of the incumbent Deputy Governor who was then the Senator representing the Bayelsa West Senatorial District and would willingly allow the rotational clause to take effect in 2023.

In my considered view, it is expedient that the Governor should and must not hesitate to weigh the scale of balance politically against his re-election. The massive support he got from Bayelsa West Senatorial District must not be compromised as they are known to be very wise and decisive.

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As it stands today, the percentage of those who truly believe that it’s not the turn of Sagbama local government area where Senator HS Dickson hails from, far outnumber those supporting his unethical and divisive ambition.

In the face of the above and given the fact that Governor Douye Diri’s re-election is in 2024, he must be very wise and strategic not to attract unnecessary political enemies from his inaction or support for an unethical cause. This is more so when it appears that the people of the state have just started warming up to his remarkable leadership and knowing that he was among the critical few who persuaded the people of the West who were skeptical of the integrity of the former Governor, to drop their opposition and support his election as Senator.

Today, as Senator HS Dickson begins his quiet but noticeable moves to be re-elected as a Senator, Governor Douye Diri should be aware that the premise for getting total support from majority of Bayelsans is for the Governor to stand tall in the HALL OF POLITICAL INTEGRITY, cause and call for the respect of the undisputed AGREEMENT of which he is very much knowledgeable.

Senator HS Dickson must also know that he is playing with a subject that has the capacity to consume him politically. Perhaps, he needs to be reminded how the fate of his predecessor Senator Hieneken Lokpobiri ended in his own quest to be elected thrice against the rotation agreement.

The distinguished Senator should take cognizance of the fact that the patience and silence of Bayelsans must not be taken for granted. It is still the view of Bayelsans that his period of leadership of the state is still fraught with many unethical conducts. The present cries and worries over the issues surrounding the closure of the Diagnostic Centre which was built and equipped with tax payers money to the tune of over four billion Naira, remains a sore point during his leadership of the state.

It is the writer’s view that when an X-ray of his period of governance is carried out clinically, the revelations will certainly have very grave repercussions on his political future.

Indeed, his present actions are reminiscent of an incidence many years ago in Bayelsa West.

It is the writer’s hope that HS Dickson be reminded of a similar situation years ago and how the people’s unity and resolve led to a mass revolution in ensuring that the people of Bayelsa West Senatorial District rejected in one accord, AVM LARRY KOINYAN RTD, in his attempt to be a Senator given his manner of emergence and his actions as DFFRI Chairman.

When history repeats its course, the burden and consequences are always more grave.

His battle to intimidate and force his ambition on the people is lost.

Clearly, no amount of arm-twisting and political grandstanding will earn him a return to the Senate.

The clock is ticking and it is still possible to respectfully withdraw and leave with honour.

Owei Ebiagbe writes from the Creeks of Amabulou

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