Timipa Okponipe

Alex Enumah

Ahead of November 2019 Bayelsa State governorship election, a human rights activist, Mr. Timipa Okponipere has said he is the most qualified to occupy the number one position, even though he is still traversing the state consulting.

Speaking to THISDAY in Yenogoa, Bayelsa State capital, Okponipere said aside his broad qualifications, he comes from Bayelsa Central senatorial district which is primed to produce the next governor.

Okponipere, a member of the Governing Council of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, said: “Going by the gentleman’s zoning arrangement, the next governorship of the state is supposed to come back to Bayelsa Central.

“I am from that area. I am placed at a more advantageous position because within Bayelsa Central, Southern Ijaw has produced the governor in the person of the late Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha.

“Yenogoa and Kolokuma/Polokuma local government areas have not produced a governor. I am from Yenogoa local government and we are yet to produce a governor and even from Yenogoa local government.

“I come from Gbarain clan a very disadvantaged part of that local government in Yenogoa local government. It is the most disadvantaged clan in Bayelsa State,” the legal practitioner explained.

From 1999 up till today, Okponipere noted that his Gbarain clan has only succeeded in producing special advisers, saying the area had never produced a commissioner despite its significance to the state.

According to him, you find out that it is a purely disadvantage part of Bayelsa even though we are in the heart of the capital. So I have come out as somebody from the Gbarain clan and as somebody who is very well qualified and accepted across the state and I want to become the next governor of Bayelsa state.

He added that he made his intention known to Governor Henry Dickson, claiming that he had formally written him last month because of the deep love, allegiance, unalloyed loyalty and respect he had for his office.

As a detribalised Nigerian, he said: “I have also consulted beyond the state because my state is part and parcel of the Nigerian federation and I felt that as a governorship aspirant of Bayelsa State I should consult widely to get the goodwill of my friends across the country.