Mike Odiegwu, Yenagoa
The Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the forthcoming Bayelsa West Senatorial District election, Peremabowei Ebebi, and a chieftain of the party in the area, Berry Negerese, has dismissed the position of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on zoning at the district.
Ebebi, who hailed from Ekeremor Local Government Area of the district said a former Governor of the state, Seriake Dickson, destroyed the zoning arrangement through the choices he made against popular opinions before leaving office as a governor.
He said the argument by some PDP members that it was the turn of Sagbama, the Local Government Area of his main rival, Dickson, to produce the next senator, amounted to playing on the intelligence of the zone.
He said those advancing such arguments were simply promoting political greed and attempting to make Sagbama a first-class citizen while relegating Ekeremor to the background against the principles of justice, equity, and good conscience.
Ebebi, a former Deputy Governor recalled that Sagbama through Dickson occupied the governorship position for eight years with his kinsman, Lawrence Ewrujakpor, occupying a sensitive position in his administration as the Commissioner for Works.
He said during the 2019 general election, Dickson brought Ewrujakpor, his Sagbama kinsman, to contest and win the Sagbama West Senatorial election adding that the former governor against all entreaties made Ewrujakpor a deputy governor.
He said if Dickson had valued the zoning arrangement in the district, he would have supported someone from Ekeremor to emerge as a deputy governor to give Sagbama moral rectitude to lay claim to the senate.
Ebebi said it would be unjustifiable and unfair for Sagbama having occupied the governorship for eight years to still retain the positions of the deputy governor and a senator making Ekeremor a political orphan.
He said: “Zoning has been destroyed by Dickson himself. Dickson was governor for eight years and Ekeremor being brothers to the Sagbama people, he should have considered Ekeremor for Deputy Governor.
“But he gave it to the Commissioner for Works, who was already a senator. He abandoned that senatorial seat to become a deputy governor.”
Ebebi said when elected as a senator he would pursue legislation that would address the underdevelopment and, ecological problems in the zone.
He promised to focus on the empowerment of youths and students through scholarships and human capital development.
Ebebi challenged Governor Douye Diri to make public the financial status of Bayelsa wondering why the state was listed among bankrupt states.
He said: ” I want the governor to explain to us why Bayelsa was declared bankrupt. They should tell us the position of our finances. It is their duty to let us know. I am calling on the assembly to shed the toga of a rubber stamp.
“These are basic things. We need to know the position of our finances and the level of our indebtedness by the previous administration. It is said that we are now classified as bankrupt. We are not many and the resources coming to this state are more than enough to take care of our problems”.
Also, Negerese said it stood logic in the head to insist on zoning adding that the political undercurrents and not zoning had remained the sole determinant of the emergence of a senator from the district.
He said: “I am not against anybody’s ambition, there is nothing like zoning. If the former governor so valued zoning and saw Ekeremor as his brother, he was a governor for eight years, his kinsman was a commissioner for works for eight years, that same person went to senate and is now the deputy governor from the same Sagbama. Dickson in 2019 had the governor, senator, and deputy governor. We are not fools.”