Mike Odiegwu, Port Harcourt
A South-South founding member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Richard Kpodo, has advised his party to shelve the idea of fielding a candidate for the Bayelsa West Senatorial bye-election.
Kpodoh insisted that it would be foolhardy for the APC to deploy a disorganised and demotivated structure against a highly-spirited and organised Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members in the forthcoming poll.
The party chief, who spoke in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Tuesday said Dickson was poised to benefit from his hardwork in holding the PDP together as one big family.
He said while Dickson as a Governor built a strong PDP structure, which had been inherited by his anointed successor, Governor Douye Diri, the APC leader in the state and Petroleum Minister, Chief Timipre Sylva, was pursuing a selfish agenda.
He said from 2015 when Dickson defeated Sylva to clinch a second term in office, APC had remained a faltering party in Bayelsa without any focus and direction.
He said the leader of the APC had demonstrated lack of leadership skill and careless attitude in handling party and political affairs in the state adding that his carefree disposition cost the party its governorship victory at the 11th hour.
He urged the national leadership of APC to change the party’s state leader, embark on true and sincere reconciliation to build a strong and sustainable APC in the state.
Kpodoh said APC would only contest, win and sustain electoral victories in the state if it took steps to correct alleged anomalies in the party under Sylva’s leadership.
He said the senatorial slot was zoned to Sagbama Local Government Area adding that parties thinking of presenting candidates outside Sagbama were wasting their time.
He warned against relying on federal might to win the poll saying those insisting on contesting against Dickson should test their popularity in a free, fair and credible election.
He said: “As it stands today, APC under Sylva lacks the elementary requirements to contest and win the forthcoming Senatorial bye-election against Dickson.
“I am not campaigning for Dickson, but I am stating the obvious truth. My party has lost its mojo in the state under Sylva. We need to build afresh under another leader.
“Therefore, APC doesn’t have the requirements to win the Bayelsa West Senatorial bye-election against Dickson. We all know the political prowess of Dickson and how she built goodwill in the PDP by ensuring that he handed over to a PDP member.
“All the known political leaders in the senatorial district where the election is to hold are all members of the PDP. In Sagbama, the local government area of Dickson, the APC has never won an election there. Even some APC leaders in the area will work for Dickson instead of working for any candidate that will be presented by Sylva.
“We should stop living in self denial. APC should be wheeled to the theatre for a reconstructive surgery before it can make any progress in the state. So, my party should not bother challenging Dickson and the PDP at the poll”.