BARELY two weeks after former president Goodluck Jonathan and wife, Dame Patience formally endorsed the re-election bid of Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson, indications have emerged that the former president may have withdrawn his support for the incumbent chief executive of the oil-rich state.
On September 8 when Governor Dickson declared for a second term, the former president openly endorsed him in a mega-rally at the Samson Siasia Stadium in Yenagoa, the state capital.
But on Sunday, September 20, Daily Sun reliably gathered from a major stakeholder in Bayelsa PDP that Dr. Jonathan and his wife are now secretly sup- porting Chief Timi Alaibe, one of the 18 guber aspirants on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The APC governorship primary comes up today in Yenagoa.
It was gathered that Jonathan’s volte-face came as politicians upped the ante with a wave of complex in- trigues enveloping the state ahead of the December 5 governorship election in Bayelsa.
Daily Sun learnt that Jonathan’s dumping of Dick- son is not unconnected with his fears that the governor may be uncontrollable and that his re-election may spell doom for the former first family’s quest to, at least, control the politics of the state.
The former first lady, it was learnt, is particularly angry that Dickson may not do their bidding, hence the support for Alaibe who is widely believed to have the disposition to play ball.
Our source claimed that Jonathan’s endorsement of Alaibe was a fall back strategy by the former president and his wife to forestall any possible persecution and to remain politically relevant in case the APC upstages the PDP in the election.
Daily Sun gathered that the truce was reportedly brokered by ex-militant leader and one of the major beneficiaries of the Jonathan government, Government Tompolo. He was said to have held a lengthy meeting with Jonathan and his wife at their Otuoke countryhome last week before facilitating the meeting between Jonathan, wife and Alaibe on Sunday.
Our source said at the meeting, Tombolo laid out the strategic issues of the forthcoming election and the need to protect Jonathan’s interest in case the APC wins.
He said that as such, the idea of having a Plan B which will hedge against possible persecution and loss of political relevance was tabled which invariably led to the suggestion that the former president should also support Alaibe, an ally of Tompolo and long standing business partner.
It was further learnt that as a mark of his seriousness, Jonathan donated an undisclosed whopping sum of money as his own contribution towards the funding of Alaibe’s aspiration, to clinch the governorship flag of his party.
The source claimed that Jonathan had earlier ex- pressed fears of persecution should APC take over the state.
Daily Sun learnt that with that understanding and following pressure from Tompolo, Alaibe have agreed to work with Jonathan, assuring all parties to the arrangement that upon his possible emergence as governor in February next year, he will respect Dame Patience, protect Jonathan’s interest and even go a step further to prevail on President Muhammadu Buhari not to witch hunt him.
“That is the nature of politics. There’s no permanent enemy but permanent interest. What is unfolding is baffling but it is true Jonathan is hobnobbing with Alaibe for strategic political reasons. I can tell you categorically that Tomoplo as the go-between had a meeting with him and his wife and Alaibe in Otuoke and all the issues were well discussed. It does not mean he has totally abandoned Dickson but based on the pressure from Tompolo, he wants to have a Plan B and it should interest you that he actually donated some dollars to fund Alaibe’s campaign to get the ticket. That’s the situation but let’s wait and see”, the source said.
Meanwhile, it was also gathered that as part of his deft moves to clinch the APC governorship ticket, Alaibe has temporarily stopped to relate with the Sen- ate President, Bukola Saraki for fear of hurting the presidency and the national leadership of the APC, who are believed to be behind Saraki’s travails. Saraki is a strong backer of the former Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) boss.