Poll heating up Bayelsa’s governorship election

By Samuel Ogundana, Yenagoa   |   25 November 2015   |   1:58 am  
Dickson1

Dickson

A seemingly innocuous opinion poll meant to act as public gauge of the popularity and acceptance of the All Progressives Congress’ (APC) candidate, Chief Timipre Sylva and the Peoples Democratic Party’s, (PDP), Chief Seriake Dickson in the Bayelsa State Governorship election slated for December 5, has pitched both parties in a war of words.

The poll conducted by a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) ‘Election Frontline’ apes the practice in developed climes which affords the public to have an insight into which candidate has an upper hand in a forthcoming contest. The poll placed Sylva ahead of Seriake, the incumbent Governor of the state.

The APC however commended the pollsters for exhibiting rare courage to publish its findings as against sweeping it under the carpet because of pecuniary gains.

This has resulted in a marked disagreement between the APC and the ruling PDP in the state. Expectedly, the PDP disclaimed the poll, alleging that it was the handiworks of the opposition to prepare grounds for the rigging of the election. The APC however commended the pollsters for exhibiting rare courage to publish its findings as against sweeping it under the carpet because of pecuniary gains.

The NGO, in a statement released by its Survey Administrator, Mr. MacPepple Joshua, claimed that the survey was undertaken to determine the preparedness of the people for the election as well as the electoral values of the party flag-bearers.

It placed chief Sylva in pole position to win the governorship election, with a majority of about 58.92%, while projecting a miserly 31.03% for the Governor while the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) candidate came a distant third with 7.78% projection.

The statement reads in part: ‘’the survey was meant to find out the level of awareness and preparedness of the people of Bayelsa State, particularly the eligible voters on the December 5th Governorship election. The study also examined the electoral values of each of the 20 gubernatorial candidates with a view to determining the most acceptable candidate who is likely to emerge as the next Governor come February, 14th 2016’’.

On the acceptability of the various political parties, 49.08% of the population of study indicated their preference for the PDP while 45.51% preferred APC. A small population indicated their preference for the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM); and another 2.92% preferred parties categorized as ‘Others’.

The implication of this figure representing a marginal difference between the PDP and APC showed that the APC, which is now at the federal level has made a very appreciable gain and steady growth in membership after the last general election. APC has closed the gap in popularity of the party with more followers between the last general elections and now. The indices are very clear that membership of the party is growing while PDP is losing members. The gap may be closed up completely before the December 5th gubernatorial election with intense campaign.

It is worthy of note to recall that PDP has been the ruling party since 1999 and so, for the APC to make such great incursions is commendable’’.

On the electoral value of the various candidates, 31.03 % of the population polled promised to vote for the incumbent Governor Seriake Dickson of the PDP because of some projects he initiated, many of which are still on-going. They also cited the fact that he is projecting the cause of the Ijaw race’’.

The Governor only have the support of the old women. But 68.97 % respondents said they will not support the second term bid of the incumbent for his many unfriendly policies and actions in the various sectors. They also argued that many of his promises have remained unfulfilled like the building of the model schools. Those who said they will not vote for Governor Dickson include majority of civil servants, business owners, pensioners, market women, students, non-indigenes and majority of staff in the Government House, Yenagoa including the attached security personnel who have not enjoyed the best of welfare under his administration.

Meanwhile, 58.92 % of the respondents said they will vote for former Governor Timipre Sylva of the APC for being a people friendly governor while in office.

They said he never short-changed the civil servants and that small businesses thrived under his administration boosting the local economy unlike the incumbent Governor. Those who want Chief Sylva cuts across young entrepreneurs, farmers, civil servants, retirees, and students. 41.08% respondents said they will not vote for Chief Sylva because not too many people benefited from his government and that he allowed his appointees to have free access to operate. 7.78% promised to vote for Moses Siasia of the PDM as a bridge builder representing the youth and that the older ones should allow the younger one to lead too. A paltry 2.27 % of the respondents promised to vote for other candidates because they believe everybody should be given opportunity to rule’’.

But, the PDP in a swift reaction through a statement issued by its Director General, Chief Jonathan Obuebite on Sunday, alleged that the poll was a fraudulent exercise sponsored by the opposition to prepare grounds for the rigging of the December 5, poll. The tersely worded statement reads: “The Restoration Campaign Organisation (RCO), the umbrella campaign organization for the re-election of Governor Henry Seriake Dickson received with rude shock, the so called poll survey conducted on the would-be voting pattern of voters in the December 5 governorship election in Bayelsa State by Election Frontline, a team made up of APC card carrying members led by one MacPepple Joshua’’.

Obviously sponsored by the APC leadership, the so called Election Frontline simply sat in Lagos and wrote its report which unfortunately alluded that the APC governorship candidate, Timipre Sylva would win the election. Ordinarily, this unfounded opinion poll should not merit a reaction from either the PDP or the Restoration Campaign Organization of Governor Seriake Dickson, but we have decided to succinctly react to the falsehood, propaganda and blackmail of the APC pollsters to set the record straight before Nigerians and the international community.

It is instructive to note that these same survey experts had predicted that the same Sylva who was Bayelsa East senatorial candidate of the APC in the 2015 general elections would win but he lost woefully to Senator Ben Murray Bruce of the PDP and this is one of the reasons why people must discard this latest survey by the discredited Election Frontline’’!

The APC however commended the pollsters for exhibiting rare courage to publish its findings as against sweeping it under the carpet because of pecuniary gains.

 

Sylva

Sylva

Majority of Bayelsans have spoken in clear terms that they will re-elect Governor Dickson to consolidate on peace, prosperity, development and security of Bayelsa State’’. The statement continues, ‘’As we speak, the evidence on ground shows clearly that Bayelsans want to retain Governor Dickson in Creek Haven, as it has been agreed by all, that you don’t change a winning team in the first half of the game. Governor Dickson is about finishing the first half of 4 years and the people on whose thighs sovereignty lies have asked him to complete the second half of 4 years because he has run a good race by developing the state and restoring Bayelsa, the glory of all lands to its pride of place’’.

 

It is against this background that we urge Bayelsans, Nigerians and the international community to ignore the so called poll survey conducted by Election Frontline, an arm of the APC led by one Mac Pepple Joshua which unfortunately gave victory to APC in the election. This survey by the APC controlled Election Frontline is not credible and this kind of opinion poll don’t win elections in Nigeria because its manipulated, skewed and commercialized. It is also important for the whole world to know that the APC is desperate to capture Bayelsa by hook or crook’’.

Obuebite alleged that the poll was to prepare ground for a sinister motive by the opposition to rig the election, ‘’Therefore we see this latest polling survey as a prelude to prepare the ground for their sinister plot to rig the December 5 elections in Bayelsa State. But our consolation is that Bayelsans have vowed to resist rigging. The APC has no foothold on Bayelsa and Ijaw land. Our people cannot afford to gamble with their destiny’’.



  • Uman Okon

    Why is Timipre Sylva struggling for power as if he has never tested power before. Sylva is just a clear sign that the APC wants nothing good for her people. Why should him viey for Governorship Candidacy when he has already sat on the seat for eight years also lost under APC during the just concluded elections. Why can’t he be satisfied ???? People should learn their lessons from Audu Abubakar’s death.

  • divinity

    Nigeria sef! how come APC was on ground to immediately respond to this polls? why have they not responded to opinions i have a raised about them all this while… how on earth does APC think they can win bayelsa when they were the ones who stole GEJ’s(an illustrious son) mandate and pre- maturely remove him from the presidency? what APC don’t know is that when they campaigned they succeeded in making Nigerians wiser. we know when it is merely a Political Gimmick and when it is real! Ladies and gentlemen permit me to announce to you that that survey is APC induced and influenced, and as such we must disregard it.

  • divinity

    And lest i forget,the so-called front-line guys should publish their survey material and analysis materials so we too can examine it. we are not daft you know…. LOLs

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