By Adesina Wahab
A former Federal Permanent Secretary Dr Godknows Igali and former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr Timi Alaibe, are among the hopefuls seeking to become the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the coming governorship election in Bayelsa State.
Others are Chief Reuben Okoya, the current SSG, Mr. Kemela Okara, a lawyer and the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate in 2012 who is also the Chairman, Bayelsa State Board of Internal Revenue, Dr. Nimibofa Ayawei.
The list also includes the immediate past Director-General, Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission, Dr. Franklin Osaisai, an oil magnate, Mr. Keniebi Okoko, a former chairman of the state PDP, Deacon James Dugo, Chief Great Joshua Maciver, a retired Permanent Secretary, ex-Director of Protocol and currently chairman of the state Land Use Allocation Committee, Mr. Joseph Akedesuo.
Checks by our correspondent revealed that whoever gets the support of former President Goodluck Jonathan and the incumbent governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson, could be the standard bearer of the party.
However, how to get the two PDP leaders to agree to a choice of candidate is what is giving some people concern due to the frosty relationship existing between the two leaders.
Sources close to our correspondent showed that Igali who is a top diplomat and technocrat is favorited above all the other candidates due to his wealth of experience in government at both the state, national and international fora.
The intimidating credentials of the retired top civil servant and diplomat according to a political source “gives him an edge over others but the snag at the moment is the fact that the incumbent governor is unsure of his loyalty should he win the ticket”.
Other sources that spoke to our correspondent in the course of the investigations showed that Igali has repeatedly assured Mr. Dickson and his former boss Jonathan of his preparedness to work for the interests of the Bayelsa people if given the mandate.
In the All Progressives Congress (APC), former Governor Timpre Sylva is still hoping to contest again, but other aspirants like Senator Heineken Lokopoibiri may give him a run for his money.