March 3, 2024

Group queries Bayelsa Deputy Governor’s loyalty, warns Diri


Nathan Tamarapreye, Yenagoa

The Bayelsa Progressive Vanguard (BPV) on Sunday decried the activities of the Bayelsa Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewrujakpor, saying they are against the interest of his principal and state Governor, Senator Douye Diri.

The group in a statement signed by its Leader, Erepadei Ebiowei, of the Eastern Senatorial District, said it had observed with dismay that most of the actions of Ewrujakpor were unbecoming of a deputy governor.

He said Ewrujakpor appeared to be running a parallel administration within the government despite the latitude he enjoyed from Governor Diri.

Ebiowei, in a statement signed in Yenagoa, the state capital, accused Ewrujakpor of hobnobbing and meeting with aggrieved members within the ruling party and opposition party candidates of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), the alleged newfound party of the immediate past governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Henry Seriake Dickson.

Insisting that the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the state and national levels should probe Ewrujakpor, Ebiowei said if not checked, the deputy governor would constitute the greatest threat to the fortunes of the party in the coming elections.

He observed that the deputy governor had remained very loyal to his benefactor and former state Governor, Senator Seriake Dickson, and had in several instances demonstrated such brazen attitude openly to the knowledge of the governor.

For instance, he said the litigation against the PDP candidates in the forthcoming elections by those, who lost the primary elections, was openly bankrolled by the Deputy Governor and Senator Henry Dickson.

He said the lawyers of the litigants stayed in the deputy governor’s guest house and were conveyed to the court with his official vehicles.

“Does it mean the governor is tacitly behind him in this self-destructive mission? The group queried.

Erepadei Ebiowei stated: “We are aware of the conspiratorial influence of Dickson on Ewrujakpor. But we will resist it if it means openly challenging the Governor because Bayelsa is not a conquered territory of the duo.

“We are constrained to issue this statement with a deep sense of responsibility to inform Governor Douye Diri to watch his back as we are no longer comfortable with the activities of his Deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewrujakpor because we have seen that he had adjudged Diri’s tolerance and politics of inclusion to naivety and was exploiting the governor’s benevolence for some selfish interests.

“Ewrujakpor is exploiting the kindness, tolerance and Diri’s inclusive style of politics by acting out his master’s playbook.  It is therefore time for the governor to be vigilant.

Ebiowei said, in the history of the state, no governor including Dickson had been as liberal to his deputy as Diri.

“What does Ewrujakpor want? To rock their boat for Dickson who has boastfully said in the history of Bayelsa State governance he is the only person that has completed two terms and therefore vowed to keep that record? No, we will never fold our hands to allow this to happen to a governor who has opened his heart and mind to every sector of the state.

“It is enough that for eight years Ehwrujakpo as Commissioner for Works and his master exclusively appropriated the resources of the state and as deputy governor, an appreciative Diri has given him such a latitude to operate against the way they treated the former Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral Jonah (retd) yet Ehwrujakpo appears subversive. Hence the question is, what does he really want?”

Ebiowei added: “We recalled how former Governor Seriake Dickson caged John Jonah, a fine gentleman and officer. Dickson restricted Jonah from having access to resources and practically turned him into a toothless bulldog.

“Jonah was only restricted to non-executive functions as receiving inconsequential state visitors and attending unimportant gatherings to represent the governor. Perhaps that is what will tame Ewrujakpor. But the Diri we know is too decent to do that so the Deputy Governor must push him beyond his elastic limit.

“During the time of former Governor Timipre Sylva, his deputy Peremobowei Ebebi, was given a bloody nose and later impeached by the state House of Assembly.  But Diri may be digging his second term grave because the deputy governor’s actions seem to be betraying.

The same was applicable to late DSP Alamieseigha and his Deputy Goodluck Jonathan. Unfortunately, Senator Lawrence Ewrujakpor is not learning from historical antecedents in Bayelsa and Nigeria in general.

“There is no gainsaying the fact that Ewrujakpor’s choice as Deputy Governor to Diri in itself infuriated Bayelsans’ political sensibility because at the time Sagbama man was just finishing as a governor and that caused the Diri/Lawrence ticket a huge political setback but for divine intervention which threw forth Douye Diri as governor, because the other pair was even worse.

“Such greedy and selfish political calculations of former Governor Dickson acting like a Lion in the manger is still manifesting and it is only expedient that Bayelsans who love the current ambience in government rise up to challenge it”.

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