As the Combatants Kit up in Bayelsa


Canticles… By Eddy Odivwri


It’s less than a month from now. And everywhere is looking tense already.

What is less than a month?


The duel in the creeks

Duel? What duel? Which creek?


Stop asking too many questions.

Are you not in this country? Can’t you feel the heat coming from Bayelsa State? Don’t you know the governorship election is in less than four weeks from now?

Is that why you call it a duel? Is it only Bayelsa that is having governorship election? For your information, Kogi State  is also having its governorship election within the same period. So we would not allow Bayelsa State with just eight Local Government Areas to unduly over heat the polity? So, calm down Bros.


You talk as if you do not understand the kind of politics that gets played in Bayelsa State. You will be making a huge mistake if you aggregate Bayelsa along with other normal states.

So you mean that Bayelsa State, the state that produced the former president of the federal republic is abnormal?


You said so

Look, there is nothing extra-ordinary in Bayelsa State. Don’t give them a wrong tag. It is not the first time election will be held there. So, be calm.


Well, let’s hope all shall be well. That those Southern Ijaw boys will not act to type. Let us hope that the duel that usually tears the state apart between PDP and APC will not repeat itself. Let us hope that this time the scale of violence will be minimal

Hmmmm, you are raising a fictitious alarm. The entire INEC structure and security apparatchik will be on ground to micro-manage the election of the two states—Kogi and Bayelsa. So, there is no cause of alarm.



Ok. But did you hear that this time the struggle for power will be more intense? Did you hear that there will be massive deployment of federal might to swing the election in favour of APC? Did you also hear that…


(cuts in) I didn’t hear anything. This is the season of rumours. You have to be circumspect. You can’t run with every flying rumour.  Bayelsa state has been controlled by the PDP, for 20 years. It is not about changing. Don’t forget, the former president of the country is from this same state. So, you can do some historical analysis and you will understand where the pendulum will tilt.


Look, there is nothing like pendulum on this matter. The times are different. A new sheriff is in town, don’t forget. Do you realize that the APC candidate has a formidable warchest in terms of cash and carriers?

What do you mean by ‘cash and carriers’?


Plenty of money to facilitate carriage of all carriables, if you know what I mean. Do you know he is an Oil and Gas contractor, with lots of connection with the boys?

I don’t know what you mean.  All I know is that the contest will be a straight fight between PDP and APC. At the end of the day, one of them will emerge as the winner. And if you understand the dynamics, you will understand where the  votes will go. The PDP candidate, Senator Duoye Diri is a gentleman; a systems man, with long establishment experience. He does not compare with the other fellow whose whole career is all about oil and gas hustling.

And let me tell you, it is not so much out of historical consistency, even the outgoing governor has done some remarkable things which  the people will remember. And it will count for the PDP.


That cocky and greedy Gov Dickson? What did he do? I say what did he do for the eight years he was in Creek Havens?

Calm down. Come with an open mind and you will realise that he, it was that built the International Cargo and passenger Airport in Yenagoa, the state capital. You will realize he instituted the Bayelsa Health Insurance scheme. And the people value this greatly.  It was this same Gov Dickson that built a massive and befitting Government House. He established the Bayelsa Medical University; made boarding facilities for secondary education free in the state, he is the one behind the construction of the Sagbama—Ekeremor road network; he released  N3 billion for the completion of Nembe road. He established the 500 fish farms. He…


(Cuts in) Enough of unverified claims! You talk about airport. How many Bayelsa people can afford a flight ticket from Yenagoa to even Warri, let alone Abuja? How many of these so-called projects connect with the ordinary man in Ekeremor or Brass or Trofani? You talk about Nembe road, is that not the same road built and commissioned by the NDDC?.

Look, be sure of your campaign points . The world is gone digital now. You can’t bamboozle anybody anymore.

You can carry out your checks. There is no sector that Dickson did not make appreciable impact. It is not to say there is no room for improvement. Sure there is. But I am telling you that the Umbrella will subsume the broom


You seem to forget that there are many people who are angry with the PDP, given the way it wangled its primary. Some party faithful are bitter and this will affect the fortunes of the party at the election.

And don’t forget that the leader of the APC in Bayelsa State is now a Minister of Petroleum Resources. You should know the implication of that.

Again, I say calm down. If he likes let him become the Vice President tomorrow. Bayelsa people will know where to vote. A minister of state supervised by Mr President himself will not be a threat to peaceful election. The country does not belong to anybody in particular.


So, finally , you are agreeing with me that the dynamics, this time, are different. That it will be a real duel. What we should pray for is that it will be bloodless.

Perhaps, INEC should declare fasting and prayers for peaceful elections in the water-logged state.