There is a strong indication that the rift between the wife of the President, Patience Jonathan, and Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has deepened.
It was learnt that Bayelsa senators and members of the House of Representatives at the National Assembly had allegedly joined forces with the First Lady against Dickson.
The federal legislators, it was learnt, had formed a strong alliance to counter the moves by the governor and his loyalists to deny them re-election in the 2015, through zoning allegedly orchestrated by Dickson.
The aggrieved lawmakers, it was further learnt, had backed the moves by Mrs. Jonathan to replace Dickson with her loyalists in 2016.
The governorship election will take place in 2016.
Recently, it was gathered that some of the senators allegedly held separate meetings with President Jonathan and the First Lady in a bid to perfect strategies to outsmart Dickson, to get the Peoples Democratic Party tickets for 2015 general elections.
The governor has been locked in the battle of wits with the lawmakers following their interests to return to the National Assembly for the second and third terms.
The governor’s camp was said to have, through stakeholders’ meetings, arrived at decisions to zone the National Assembly positions for the sake of equity, unity and peace.
The development has undoubtedly created some cracks in the state chapter of the PDP, resulting in the holding of parallel congresses by the federal lawmakers to counter moves by Dickson’s loyalists.
It was gathered that following the development that played out during the congresses, Dickson was angry, particularly at the alleged plots by Mrs. Jonathan to work against his return in 2016, in addition to the gang up by the national lawmakers to have their way.
The last week’s visit of the First Lady to the state provided an opportunity for the federal lawmakers to make a bold political statement to Dickson’s camp.
At the Samson Siasia Stadium, where the President’s wife had gone to distribute empowerment items and cash to Bayelsans under the auspices of the Millennium Development Goals, all the three senators representing the state were in attendance but Dickson was absent.
Mrs. Jonathan had at the event told the large crowd that before they arrived in Yenagoa, the three senators had held a meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan prior to the event. A source, who craved anonymity, said that the absence of Dickson at the occasion was a pointer to the cracks in the relationship between the governor and the First Lady.
“All these are just passing strong messages to the governor that all is not well. Also, both the First Lady and President Jonathan failed to attend the Bayelsa Thanksgiving Day, even though they were in town then. The battle has just begun,” the source said.
But Dickson had said on Sunday that there was no division in the rank and file of the PDP in the state.
He maintained that the party was one peaceful unit, a focused family, under the leadership of Jonathan and himself.
He had warned party faithful, particularly those seeking elective positions and their supporters, to be mindful of their utterances and actions.
He expressed concern that unguarded utterances could be capitalised upon by the opposition to paint a wrong picture of the state of affairs in Bayelsa.
Dickson restated his unflinching support for Jonathan’s re-election, calling on the political class and the entire people of the state to support the President.
It will be recalled that the First Lady resigned her appointment as Permanent Secretary in the Bayelsa State Civil Service recently.
Though the 57-year-old Patience was said to have left the service voluntarily, sources said the resignation was due to the alleged rift between her and the governor.
The alleged frosty relationship between them was said to have been triggered by her unwillingness to support Dickson’s second term bid.
Instead, it was learnt that the First Lady had preference for the Special Assistant to the President on Domestic Matters, Mr. Waripamowei Dudafa.
Source: The Punch