The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has dismissed a report that the party planned to suspend former president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, over suspected anti-party activities in the last Saturday governorship election in Bayelsa State.
In another twist to the tale, a member of its National Working Committee (NWC) blamed Governor Seriake Dickson for the defeat of the party in the governorship election won by the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Mr. David Lyon, ThisDay writes.
This is coming as Dickson accused the APC of turning the visit of some of its stalwarts to the former president to a propaganda message to legitimise the electoral robbery he accused it of perpetrating in the state.
The NWC of the party is, however, expected to meet today to review its outing in the Bayelsa and Kogi governorship elections held last Saturday.
Speaking on the development, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, said: “We have not even met to discuss what happened in the last governorship election.
“How can somebody or a newspaper be talking about suspending a former president?”
Also, a member of NWC dismissed the report of suspending Jonathan for allegedly being instrumental to PDP’s defeat, blaming Dickson for the loss of the state to APC.
The chieftain, who spoke anonymously, said the PDP would have escaped the defeat if the governor had listened to the advice of the former president and party leaders in the state to support the governorship aspiration of a former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Chief Timi Alaibe, instead of his preferred candidate, Senator Douye Diri.
He said: “It was Governor Seriake Dickson who defeated PDP and nobody else. You don’t play God. Since he became governor, he has done everything to belittle former President Goodluck Jonathan, the same person who did everything to make him a governor.
“In the last general election, he did not even allow Jonathan to produce a member of the state House of Assembly representing his state constituency; the same thing with House of Representatives and the Senate. And on the basis of that silly action by the governor, the people revolted and voted APC.
“And when the governorship primary was also approaching, the leadership of the party, both at the state and national level, prevailed on Governor Dickson to allow the former president’s choice, Chief Timi Alaibe, who was also the choice of the leaders. He refused. And he did everything to skew the primary in his candidate’s favour.”
The source added that when Dickson was proving tough, former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, was encouraged to intervene; but the governor was said to have told Obasanjo that the party could win the election with or without the support of Jonathan.
He added: “A few weeks to the election, when it became very clear to him that Jonathan and his wife would not support the PDP’s candidate and considering the implications, Governor Dickson approached PDP governors to help beg Jonathan. They did; but then it was too late.
‘’Even though Jonathan did not openly campaign against our candidate, his body language sent a clear message to his huge followers in the state, who worked against our candidate. As a matter of fact, it was Governor Seriake Dickson who defeated our candidate and our party in the governorship election.”
The source explained that though the election was manipulated in some polling units, especially in the Southern Ijaw areas, the APC capitalised on the people’s sentiments to carry out its electoral fraud.