A socio-political group, the Democratic Agenda Watch (DAW), on Friday said the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for the November Governorship election could come from any of the three senatorial districts in the state.
The group, which advised the party to look inwards and adopt a consensus candidate for the election said zoning should never be a problem since all the three districts had occupied the position.
DAW’s Executive Director, Dr. Ebipadei Johnson, however, said any candidate to be considered by the PDP must be acceptable to all political interest and blocs within the party.
Johnson named leaders of the contending blocs in the party as the incumbent Governor, Seriake Dickson, former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and the wife, Patience, former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC), Chief Timi Alaibe, and former Honourary Special Adviser to the Bayelsa Governor, Chief Amalate Turner.
He further named the leading PDP governorship aspirants as Deputy Governor John Jonah, Chief Timi Alaibe, Keniebi Okoko, Boladei Igali, Chairman, Nimibofa Ayawei, Senator Douye Diri, and Chief Fred Agbedi.
But he described Chief Agbedi, member representing Sagbama/Ekeremor Federal Constituency as the best choice for the party.
Johnson said: “The only clog could have been that he is from the Bayelsa West, the same zone with incumbent Governor Dickson. While Dickson is from Sagbama, Agbedi is from Ekeremor Local Government Area.
“But that is no longer a challenge as most people now appreciate that all the three senatorial zones have had a shot at the governorship seat since 1999, hence, anyzone may take the first slot in the next round of zoning.
“And the pressure has continued to mount on the Aghoro-born politician, Chief Agbedi, to consider running for the state top job. An experienced and grassroots politician and former State Chairman of the PDP, had been involved in the emergence of all democratic elected Governors in the state right from late DSP Alamieyeseigha”.
Johnson said Agbedi was at the forefront in the governorship aspiration of Chief Timi Alaibe in 2003 and 2007 adding that they had done a lot together politically.
He said former Governor Timipre Sylva, now of the All Progressives Congress (APC) benefited from the political sagacity of Agbedi in the 2007 Governorship election.
He said: “Chief Agbedi, was again at the forefront in the emergence of incumbent Governor Seriake Dickson, in 2012. Former President Jonathan and his bosom friend, Chief Amalate Turner alongside Agbedi, were the brain behind the installation of the Restoration Government of Dickson.
“Agbedi, then served as Director-General of the Restoration Campaign in 2011 and 2015, which brought Dickson into office for 2 terms. So, as it stands today, Agbedi, commands that respect from the different blocs. Once he enters the race, sure, certain aspirants would not put themselves forward.
“From West to East to Central, Agbedi, has over the years built bridge of friendship, loyalty, dedication and unity. A detribalized and humane politician, he has the capacity to bring all under the PDP umbrella. The PDP gladiators cannot resist him if he is genuinely interested in the gubernatorial race”.