Bayelsa poll: Dickson restrategises, embarks on mass appointments

DicksonBayelsa Governor Seriake Dickson has activated some of his strategies to deliver the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Douye Diri, at the November 16 governorship election in the state.

It was learnt that Dickson resorted to offering mass appointments to members of the party to give them a sense of belonging and confidence to work for the PDP candidate at the election.

The governor on Thursday appointed 60 additional special advisers from the eight local government areas according to a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Fidelis Soriwei.

Dickson in the statement hinted that more appointments would be made after consultations with party leaders.

It was learnt that the governor was jolted by ongoing resignations and defections of his old appointees following irreconcilable differences arising from the party primaries that produced Diri.

A PDP chieftain, who spoke in confidence, said Dickson has always deployed the strategy of mass appointments during elections adding that it was one of the tools the governor relied upon to win the 2015 governorship election.

He said the governor’s intention ahead of the poll is to saturate each community with his appointees, who will be on ground to reach the people on the Election Day.

But he said: “It worked for him in 2015. But whether it will work this time around is a different kettle of fish because the circumstances are different.

“It is on record that he is not the one contesting election. His tenure will soon end.

“Even most of the people he gave appointments prior to his second term election, were dumped after his victory.

“So people are aware that these appointees are only going to be used to prosecute the election for his candidate. After the election, they will be dumped.

“Even if some of them are retained till the end of Dickson’s tenure, the new government may not retain them”.

It was learnt that one of the 60 appointees, Goodnews Baraburu, who hails from Ogbia, former President Goodluck Jonathan’s local government area, immediately rejected the offer and defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Baraburu, who hails from Ogbia Constituency 2, said he rejected the offer and chose to join the APC following Dickson’s failures to honour Ogbia with the deputy governorship slot originally zoned to the East.

Also the APC in a statement signed by its member at the House of Representatives, Israel Sunny-Goli, warned youths and other stakeholders in the state against Dickson’s ongoing appointments.

Sunny-Goli, who represents Brass-Nembe Federal Constituency, described the appointments as Ponzi scheme and end time, which he said would not last long because they were part of Dickson’s plan to use and dump the appointees after the election.

Further describing Dickson’s strategy as desperation, the lawmaker said the governor in the last few days appointed dozens of commissioners, special advisers and senior special assistants without portfolios.

Sunny-Goli said: “It is unfortunate that the desperation of the outgoing governor of Bayelsa State, Mr. Seriake Dickson, to enthrone his cousin and preferred candidate, Sen. Douye Diri, whom he believes will protect him from anti-corruption agencies in Creek Haven (the Bayelsa State Government House) in the next few months, has made him lose his conscience, good judgment and sense of responsibility.

“Dickson seems to be sinking lower as the November 16th gubernatorial election gets near.

“This is evident in the ostentatious manner he dishes out appointments to his party members with the intention of artificially getting their loyalty and commitment especially to win the forthcoming election.

“In the past few weeks, Dickson has appointed dozens of commissioners as well as special advisers and senior special assistants without portfolios and any sense of governance directions.

“It is even alleged, in several quarters, that he abruptly appointed tens of youth presidents of various communities in the state as his senior special assistants after a meeting he had with them. How desperate can a chief executive be?

“The governor had, during his last media chat, mentioned that he will soon inaugurate chairmen and members of the twenty-four Rural Development Areas, RDAs, after refusing to constitute them since the start of his second term in office.

“The people of Bayelsa should be weary of Dickson’s Ponzi scheme. Because his ‘end-time’ appointments can best be described as MMM: they will not last long”.

He observed the governor used similar antics he used in 2015 but said the governor had forgotten that the people of the state were wiser and ready to vote the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the poll.

But Soriwei in the statement said the development was part of the deliberate efforts to enable the Restoration Government to finish strong in delivering effective governance to the people of Bayelsa State.

He said the governor also directed the caucuses to nominate women for appointment as special advisers next week, in areas where they had not been considered for appointment.

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