Yekini Nabena’s interview: A sign of desperation?
Sir: The Daily Post of December 1, 2019 published an interview with Yekini Nabena (I hope you know him) where he stated, quite disappointedly that: ‘‘The governorship aspirant in Bayelsa State, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, is being used as a pawn by two northern governors of the ruling party to further their 2023 political aspirations.’’ You may ask; how does the local politics of Bayelsa State dictate the national ‘‘political aspirations’’ of two northern governors in 2023? But it should not be disappointing that such a base-less and far-fetched allegation could be uttered by a supposed deputy national publicity secretary of our ruling party; a party to which Lokpobiri has made immense contributions both as a senator and a minister.
Nabena’s puerile allegation should not be dignified with a deliberate response for what it is: a sign of desperation in the camp of those who subverted the party‘s constitution during the governorship primaries for their narrow and selfish political interest above the general interest of Bayelsans.
Make no mistake, in that interview Nabena did not speak for our party but for his benefactors in Bayelsa and Abuja who are presently constituting a huge political liability for our party. Nabena’s camp believes in under-hand politicking that undermines the party’s constitution, rule of law and due process.
Now that they realise they are with the shorter end of the stick they are resorting to smear campaign against a faithful party member and leader in the person of Lokpobiri.
Since the primaries and through the governorship election Lokpobiri has not granted any interview or issued press statements. He has exercised full restraint in the face of constant provocation by Nabena and his masters. Lokpobiri believes in the unity of the party despite factional loyalties. And like President Buhari, the leader of the party, Lokpobiri believes that any aggrieved member of our Party should follow the law and due process towards seeking appropriate redress.
With all the shenanigans at the Bayelsa gubernatorial primaries Lopkobiri did not tear the party to pieces; rather he mobilised hundreds of thousands of his grass-root supporters to ensure victory for the party.
Yes, the only reason our party won is that majority of Bayelsans across party lines know that senator Lokpobiri won the primaries and that the courts will eventually restore him to his position which he deserved and earned at the primaries, and eventually in the polls. In spite of all the smear campaigns and blatant defamation of his good name and impeccable character and even threats to his life and that of his family and close associates, Lokpobiri maintains peaceful disposition; he has never made any disparaging remarks against any leaders and members of APC Bayelsa State. Lokpobiri’s peaceful disposition and calm demeanour in a political space that is constantly polluted by Nabena and his likes depict a rare character of a good leader. And sound education has a part; Lokpobiri holds a doctorate in law and personally, I am proud to identify with him for his uncommon ability to display the virtues that are supposed to be associated with any person who attained the highest level of education.
While Nabena and his cohort are destroying our party in the process of forecasting 2023 presidential aspirants, Lokpobiri is patiently waiting for the final decision of the courts in order to effectively begin his goal of uniting APC Bayelsa and indeed all Bayelsans. But most importantly, his goal of ensuring that Bayelsa State successfully addresses the scourge of poverty, unemployment, insecurity, decayed health and education systems, poor infrastructure and bad governance. As an adopted son of Bayelsa State, I know and believe that Lokpobiri will make our dear state truly “the Glory of all Lands.’’ Viva Bayelsa!
Dr. Ebikemi Dawodu.