By Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and governorship aspirant in the September 3 primaries in Bayelsa, Mr Keniebi Okoko, Monday maintained that the choice of David Lyon, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the coming governorship contest, has greatly reduced the chances of the party making any impact.
Okoko, who spoke with journalists in Yenagoa, also argued that the pockets of defections in the PDP recently, was a blessing in disguise, noting that it had given the young and energetic youths in the party the opportunity to deploy their energies for the campaigns.
The businessman philanthropist, who is a member of the PDP national and state campaign councils, explained that put side by side , the candidate of APC and his PDP opponent do not stand on the same pedestal given the PDP candidate’s intellectual ability and exposure.
He urged the people of Bayelsa to make the right choice by voting Diri in the next election, arguing that making the wrong choice could portend grave danger for the state.
Okoko, who immediately after the primaries decided to work for the party’s candidate, said that rather than hide behind the Minister of State, Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, whom he described as intellectually sound, the APC candidate should come out in the open to tell the people of Bayelsa his plans and programmes.
He added that he would continue to commend excellent persons across party lines, citing the case of Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology, and the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, who he described as great materials for the country.
“The pockets of defections will not affect the PDP because it gives the younger ones the latitude to display their potential. Inasmuch as we want then them to stay, but their movement will not determine the outcome of the election.
“Bayelsans are now not easily deceived anymore. Comparing Douye Diri and David Lyon is like comparing something white and black, two opposite things. And let us make this clear, that some one being a good person per se does not make him a good leader.
“What are the criteria he has for being a leader. Is it that he runs an oil pipeline surveillance contract. Even at that, what tactics did he use to secure the pipelines.
” I have always said if I find someone who’s good in the APC, I will commend the person. As an example, I have always said that people like Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology, then the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, are great materials for the country, especially the Minister of Justice” he said.
He expressed shock that somebody of Sylva’s stature would wholeheartedly support Lyon, the APC candidate and said he doubted that the decision was well thought out, where candidates like Preye Aganaba and Heineken Lokpobiri, who were also aspirants, did not stand a chance.
“I have never been one who will see something right, even in the APC and not commend it. But David Lyon is a poor choice for the APC. If APC had an Aganaba (Preye) or Lokpobiri (Heineken) it cou