Voting will start in the next few hours in Bayelsa off-cycle election to get the next governor, but the masses may vote according to what some power brokers and blocks may have decided.
In the Niger Delta with mega oil revenue, the man with the key to the treasury is usually the most important power broker.
In this case, the governor of Bayelsa State, Douye Diri, 64, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is believed by political observers in the state as holding almost half of the yellow moon. He is a seasoned politician who has served as the governor of Bayelsa State since 2020. He was the senator representing Bayelsa Central Senatorial District from 2019 to 2020 in the 9th National Assembly. He has so far worked with several power brokers in the state in the past and knows the creeks of power game of the state.
His power is boosted by the former president. Goodluck Jonathan, who has told youths from his section of the state to vote Diri.
Jonathan had backed David Lyon of the APC whereas he was a PDP chieftain four years ago but his wish seemed to have been rubbished by the court decision that knocked David out few hours to swearing in.
Diri moved in quickly immediately collecting power held firmly to Jonathan to this moment.
Another important power block is that of the former governor and former petroleum minister, Timipre Silva, now of the All Progressives Congress (APC). He is seen as a robust and experienced politics who takes whatever is thrown at him and gives even more.
His candidacy was nullified by a court but he raced to the Appeal Court and snatched it back. Facing him in a battle is not easy because of loyalty lines he enjoys in the rural areas and the creeks.
Many in the state believe he enjoys the goodwill of the helmsman in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). The combination of both forces seems big enough to give Diri concern.
Heineken Lokpobiri is also said to be sympathetic to the APC ticket but not much beyond this is known to many observers in the state.
The major clincher would have been where the national leadership of the APC and the presidency stand. Many in the state believe President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has remained aloof in the Bayelsa tray.
Many say this is because of the role Sylva played in the APC national primaries to a man who seems to pay back every single coin he owes.
There is no serious whiff of the party’s hunger to take the seat by all means. This has made blocks in the state to move confidently believing Aso Rock is not interested in this one.
In all this, thus, may believe the balance of the scale is in Diri’s favour, but violence seems likely in some flare areas in the creeks where all power brokers play mindlessly especially in an era when they say what matters is to smash and grab power first, then worry about the court later.