The Centre for Democracy and Development has released a report on the political contest ahead of the off-cycle governorship election in Bayelsa State.
The report, titled, The Godson Turned Godfather: Governor Dickson & Bayelsa’s 2019 Election, provided an overview of the electoral process and the dynamics of the political environment in Bayelsa, a summary of it made available to SaharaReporters said.
Although 45 political parties are fielding candidates for the upcoming governorship election in Bayelsa State, the 16 November 2019 election is presumed to be a two-horse race once again. Like the 2015 gubernatorial election, it is assumed to be a straight battle between the two prominent political parties – PDP and APC.
However, unlike the previous elections, the contest is likely to be much closer.
In 2012, thei ncumbent governor, Seriake Dickson, received 89.4% of the votes cast by the electorate amidst turnout of 72%. Even when the election was declared inconclusive by INEC, the incumbent Governor Dickson won 60% of votes cast to defeat, Timipre Sylva of the APC, who fell short with 38%, in the election that followed. The State witnessed a meagre turnout of 37%.
Seemingly, the political hegemony of the PDP in Bayelsa State has remained a tough nut to crack for the APC. Yet, the impressive performance that APC displayed in 2019 general elections where the party won over 35% of the vote and secured a victory in Jonathan’s backyard – Bayelsa East senatorial zone might be a sign that traditional voting patterns are less certain to hold in the 2019 governorship election.