A Titanic battle, obviously tied to the November election in Bayelsa State is raging in Opu-Nembe.
It has become a battle ground and the PDP and the APC, the two major political parties are engaged in a war of words that is escalating by the day.
“And there is no indication that the dog-fight between the two political platforms would abate soon, given the high premium both parties are placing on their effort to capture the State.”
And there are no indications that the dog-fight between the two political platforms would abate soon, given the high premium both parties are placing in their effort to capture the State.
Insiders in the oil rich State say it a fight of the titans. It is a fight, they say, between two governors.
One is a former governor kicked out of Creek Haven many years ago by a party that he was a member of who is determined to stage a comeback.
The other, an incumbent who believes he has served well and so, deserves the support of Bayelsans to occupy the governorship seat for a second and final term.
Opu-Nembe, A battleground Worthy Of A Good Fight:
An incident at Opu-Nembe involving chiefs, women and youths allegedly opposed to Timipre Sylva, the candidate of the APC, sparked off a raging controversy which has refused to go away.
A group of people, news reports said at the time, who are suspected to be allies of the former Minister reportedly chased out some others from the community.
The government’s reaction as soon as the news of the incident broke was swift.
It accused the former Minister of State in charge of Petroleum of being the mastermind behind the unrest in Opu-Nembe.
The PDP National Secretariat in Abuja similarly stepped in, alleging that Sylva had become a promoter of thuggery and violence.
The PDP urged the nation to take cognisance of the fact that the APC under the leadership of Sylva has resorted to the use of strong arm tactics involving the use of guns and other dangerous implements.
Across the country more people are showing increasing interest in the violence in Opu-Nembe that is now a matter of contention.
Opu-Nembe is believed in some quarters to be a Sylva stronghold. Dislodging Sylva’s influence in Brass and Nembe has been a long term objective of his opponents
And the recent occurrence in the community aptly provided an opportunity for the PDP which has held unto power in Bayelsa to expose Sylva’s underbelly.
It also provided an opportunity for the PDP government to rattle Sylva where it matters most, at his home base.
“Opu-Nembe happens to be a stronghold of the APC and the governor has vowed to destabilize it at all cost.” Sylva said hours ago.
The candidate who directed his concern to security agencies hinted that Diri’s bullying of the Opu-Nembe people is becoming too much.
According to Sylva, “It is very concerning that Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State has become obsessed with Opu-Nembe, a community for which he had shown absolute disdain.”
“Many believe, however, that he (Diri) has been the hand behind the crisis in Opu-Nembe for the past two odd years”, Sylva stressed.
“Every thinking person”, Sylva alleged “knows that Diri’s obsession with Opu-Nembe is not unconnected with the coming governorship election in Bayelsa State.”
He vowed that Diri would be unable to destabilize Opu-Nembe and thanked President Tinubu and the IGP for restoring calm to the community.
“As a sitting governor”, Diri fired back, “the killings that took place during the 2019 election in Nembe would not be allowed to be repeated.
“Your son, Sylva, is an unsellable candidate”, the governor said to a group of notable persons from Nembe, “That is why his own close allies are with us. So we are not fighting APC.
“Instead, we are against the killing of our people in Nembe. Every accusing finger is pointed at Kojo Sam and his boys. And these are the people supporting Sylva because he is shielding them.
“Apart from this, how do you hope to be governor of our state when you brought someone who allegedly ran away from prison without completing his term to be your running mate?
“That does not happen even in a Banana republic.”
The Ding-dong Affair Continues As Bayelsans prepare to vote:
The fighting goes on the field; in the trenches; between the PDP and the APC, with both old war horses pushing strenuously to secure an advantage.
Who will take the lead in the court of public opinion? Who will blink when the time comes?
No one can tell. Party canvassers and other mobilisation agents are talking to Bayelsans in a bid to sway public opinion and swing the vote.
No one can also say for certain where the political pendulum will swing.
Bayelsans watch with keen interest as events unfold and November 11 draws close.
Opu-Nembe may still be an issue as the election approaches, but many in the State hope that attention will turn to other significant matters of interest.
The PDP may have a headstart, and this what it looks like as the crucial countdown begins, but this may not be the only thing that counts when the chips are down.
The race would be tough, stormy and challenging as members of the political class fight in the creeks and on streets of Bayelsa, but only one of the contestants would eventually emerge from the process.
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