Hours to his swearing-in as governor of Bayelsa State, David Lyon of the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday lost his bid to occupy the coveted seat, no thanks to the Supreme Court verdict that nullified his election.
The verdict, which was delivered when preparation for the inauguration of APC’s Lyon was in top gear, has changed the political permutations in the state. Lyon was at the Samson Siasia Stadium, Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state capital, performing rehearsals for his inauguration, slated for today when the news filtered into the venue.
The Supreme Court judgment has punctured the opposition party’s quest to occupy Bayelsa State government house, Creek Haven.
With this verdict, the PDP seems to have recovered the state despite the November 16 defeat it suffered at the poll. APC had walloped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the ruling party in the state when it polled 352,552 votes against the party’s 143,172.
Since the return of Nigeria to democratic rule, PDP has been governing the state. The defeat of the PDP was not unconnected with the feud between Governor Seriake Dickson and top leaders of the party including former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
This is the second time APC will be losing a state through the apex court. A similar scenario happened in Zamfara during the general elections.
On May 24, last year, five days to his swearing-in, the Supreme Court nullified the election of Mukhtar Shehu Idris, Koguna Gusau, of the APC, thus the emergence of PDP’s Bello Matawalle.
It was the storm from the APC governorship primary that caused the political misfortune. Theirs was an internal wrangling, following the litigation by a former senator, Kabiru Garba Marafa.
Barring any unexpected circumstances, Dickson, whose tenure is due to end today, may have his way to the Senate as the seat for Bayelsa West senatorial becomes vacant.
Like Diri, his running mate, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo is a serving senator. While Diri represents Bayelsa Central, Ewhrudjakpo is of Bayelsa West, where Dickson hails from.
Reports from Yenagoa reveal that there were arrangements for Dickson to take over the Bayelsa West seat at the Senate.
After the swearing-in, the Bayelsa West seat will be declared vacant and INEC will have to conduct a by-election. Dickson was a member of the House of Representatives until he became governor.