Patience Jonathan Makes U-Turn, Backs Dickson’s Re-Election Bid | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Patience Jonathan Makes U-Turn, Backs Dickson’s Re-Election Bid

Posted: Sep 3, 2015 at 12:39 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Igoniko Oduma, 



The second-term bid of Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, received a boost on Wednesday as indications emerged that the former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, might have jettisoned her quest to unseat him.

Dame (Dr) Patience Goodluck Jonathan, First Lady of Nigeria (former)

Dame (Dr) Patience Goodluck Jonathan, First Lady of Nigeria (former)

Daily Independent gathered that Mrs. Jonathan might have directed her loyalists in the state to line up behind Dickson in the December 5, 2015 governorship election, just as the coast seems clear for the once embattled governor  to clinch the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ticket in ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s state.

She was said to have also asked her ‘political son’ and former presidential aide on domestic matters, Waripamowei Dudafa, to drop his ambition to succeed Dickson.

Until her husband handed over to President Muhammadu Buhari on May 29, 2015 Patience and her political camp in the state’s PDP chapter were at loggerheads with Dickson’s camp, opposing his re-election bid with vehemence.

Sources disclosed Mrs. Jonathan was prevailed upon by a group of Bayelsa elders led by the first civilian governor of the state, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.

Alamieyeseigha and the elders were said to have asked her to abandon her opposition to the governor’s re-election bid, if only to frustrate the perceived plot of the rival All Progressives Congress (APC) “to capture Bayelsa by all means” at the election.

She was also advised that it would amount to a slap on the face of her husband, his political associates and Bayelsa, if the APC was allowed to take over their home state, because the former president was defeated at the last general elections.

A close relation of Jonathan and former Bayelsa State Commissioner for Special Duties in charge of Federal Projects, Mike Ogiasa, confirmed the development.

Ogiasa, however, said that he would not know the  processes that resulted in the reconciliation between the governor and the former First Lady.

He said: “As a close family member, I known her very well. She can suppress her anger against someone and do the right thing.

“As I am talking to you, I believe, as a typical PDP woman, she can never support another political party against the choice of the PDP.

“In politics, there is unity in diversity. People disagree to agree. It was not a hidden fact that Governor Dickson was at loggerheads with Dame Patience Jonathan.

“But it is also true that, by human nature, she may not have supported Dickson. But she has weighed it (the options) and discovered that the election is beyond Dickson.

“And because she is from Bayelsa and Rivers states, she knows what it took the Rivers man to retain the PDP leadership. She cannot now, because of anger, allow Bayelsa to be under the APC.

“Though I don’t know who she is supporting but I know that she can never vote the APC against the PDP. If anyone emerges above Dickson at the PDP primary, she will support the person. And if Dickson emerges as flag-bearer, I am 100 per cent sure she will support him”.

At the height of the face-off, supporters of Mrs. Jonathan also weighed the option of impeaching Dickson before the May 29, 2015 handover date.

The original plan, according to the reports by a national daily, was to field a candidate against the governor in this year’s governorship election, but with former President Jonathan’s loss at the last general election, the former first lady’s camp felt there is no point waiting for the governor’s tenure to expire before sacking him.