Many prominent leaders and groups in Bayelsa State are mounting pressure on Governor Seriake Dickson to contest for the Bayelsa West Senatorial District seat.
The leaders are made up of elders, political leaders, royal fathers, community leaders, faith-based, woman and youth organisations.
If the governor bows to the pressure, he will have a hurdle to cross because his tenure will end on February 14, 2020, almost a year after the 2019 general election.
It was not immediately clear, the formula being worked out by the leaders on how to make Dickson to return to the National Assembly next year without losing his governorship seat. But the governor, a former member of the House of Representatives is believed t have rejected the offer. He is set to be eying further stodies in Law.
Bayelsa West Senatorial District comprises Sagbama and Ekeremor Local Government Areas. It is currently being represented by Senator Foster Ogola.
It was leaent that the leaders and the groups involved in what has been christened as “Dickson Project” , had been holding clandestine meetings to perfect the strategies on the best way to persuade the governor to contest for the Senatorial seat.
The leaders were said to have embarked on the project, having rated Dickson as “above board in and out of office, and having performed creditably to the admiration of all and sundry.”
A top source said: ” Dickson is a performer, one of the finest and one of the most celebrated governors in Nigeria today.
“We want him in the National Assembly to push the agitation for restructuring and good governance in the Niger Delta. We cannot allow him to retire so early.
” Seriake Dickson keeps telling us both in private and public that he wants to go to the classroom to study for higher degree and teach law but we believe he is too useful to us politically at this critical stage of our political journey to leave the political scene for class room.
“Another problem that must be resolved is that even if Seriake accepts to run, the Constitution does not contemplate an individual holding two elective offices at the same time and it will not make sense for him to resign from office to run for Senate before the end of his governorship tenure on February 14, 2020.
“Some of our leaders are contemplating fielding a candidate who will stand election in trust for the governor. But this political calculation does not tickle the governor because he has never been desperate for any office.”
A document indicated that the Ijaws are pushing for Dickson because of his “legislative “experience, oratory skills and network in order to give voice to the Niger Delta agitation for restructuring, fiscal federalism and devolution of powers from the Centre to the federating units.
A PDP chieftain from Bayelsa West who craved anonymity said: “Whether Dickson will win the Senatorial seat if he throws his hat into the ring is not the issue but that the only knotty issue that gives the leaders headache is that Dickson’s tenure will not end until 2020 and the Constitution of the Federal Republic doesn’t permit any body to hold two elective offices at the same time.”