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Kubor Goes Neck To Neck with Dickson in Bayelsa Guber Poll

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A new opinion poll indicate growing acceptance of the candidacy of Dr.Imoro Kubor, the Governorship candidate of CHANGE ADVOCACY PARTY, CAP in Bayelsa State. Dr. Kubor had gained 6 points to move up from 2 to 8 points; going neck to neck with the PDP front runner Hon. Seriake Dickson. Dickson has 9 points out of a maximum of 15, Two weeks ago, the CAP candidate was behind three other candidates such as Timi Alaibe - likely to run under the Labour Party LP, Famous Daunemigha of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC and Governor Timipre Sylva (or his candidate) likely for APGA. Rumours are rife that Murray - Bruce would package a replacement to run in any of the other parties. These information and speculations as well as inherent uncertainty might have influenced respondents to our surveys questionnaire.

After the emergence of Hon Dickson as PDP flag bearer, the political calculation of pundits further buttressed his position at the top but also depressed that of Governor Sylva who moved down to the fourth position from erstwhile second before the PDP Primaries. The sampling technique for the polls is unique. Questionnaires were administered to respondents to solicit their opinion on: how the candidates stand in terms of acceptability and popularity on the race. Five eligible voters were randomly sampled in each of the eight LGAs of Bayelsa State. One obvious limitation of the survey is that it was limited to only the literate voters within the age range of 18-45 years. Much of the sampling took place in Yenagoa for logistic reasons and the margin of error placed at 7%. Only five people sampled from each local council but we hope to increase to 10 in subsequent polls and also balance the gender profiling. For now, the ratio of men to women remains high at 70:30. Those sampled said they had voters card but refused to release the voter number but our independent verification indicated they were registered voters going by name entries and wards.

The listing show that Hon. Dickson moved up one point from eight to nine at the top. Dr Kubor closely follows him with 8 points. He moved from two points to 8 points in two weeks. Famous Daunemigha moved into contention at No 3 with 4 points. Governor Sylva occupies the fourth position moving down from number 2 with 3 points. Mr. Timi Alaibe though not yet officially declared for the Labour Party remained rated at the fifth position with 2 points. The other person rated is Murray Bruce or his speculated replacement in yet undisclosed party rated number sixth position with one point.

Analysts explains decline in Governor Sylva's popularity with the unpalatable happening in his party the PDP. In the same vein, the slow movement of Dickson at the top arose from legal battle over his candidature at the courts. The biggest beneficiary was Dr Imoro Kubor who has built a remarkable campaign appealing to the conscience of his people while the others grappled with intractable problems. The other gainer was Famous Daunemigha of CPC perhaps from the announcement that PDPs chief opposition party leader Gen. Buhari would no longer retire but would contest the Presidency come 2015. What stands out for watchers is that going by this speed of ascent, Dr Krubor is likely to overtake the PDP candidate unless the party moves quickly to resolve its differences in the courts.

The conclusion of this analysis may well be that the battle for Creek Haven is gradually narrowing down to two persons namely: Dr Kubor of CAP and Hon. Seriake Dickson of PDP. The beauty of this configuration without an incumbent is that for the first time perhaps the voice of the grassroots would resonate. The strengths and weaknesses of the two candidates show already that none comes lightly. For Hon Seriake Dickson, his strength lies in the PDP as sponsoring party with its massive machinery as ruling party in the State. His weakness lies in the depletion of the famed PDP power in the State through the loss of the power of incumbency. For Dr Kubor, his strength lies in his massive credentials and experience which easily dwarf anybody. It also lies in the expected protest vote from disgruntled PDP members of the Sylva group rallying round him to defeat the PDP candidate. His weakness lays in his the fact that he represents a smaller party without solid existing structures. Some analysts differ on this point, adding that his belonging to a small party was an advantage because it creates the ready vacuum for the protest voters to fill. These schools of thought believe that Dr Kubor would do even better if he were in ACN where he cut his political teeth. The reason adduced is that the well-established parties had all the positions filled already and would not easily absorb protest voters in responsible positions.

Postulating for the immediate future, the scenarios are becoming clearer. Dr Kubor stands the highest chance of succeeding in the coming polls in a free and fair election come 2012. He is likely to garner more points than Dickson in the weeks ahead if the political situation persists in PDP. Some analysts go further to postulate that it would be more so even if suddenly Sylva retains his position and as speculated contests under the CAN party. Some argue that the rivalry between the two PDP camps could neutralize each other under any circumstance at the polls. But yet another school insist that as long as the problems of terrain constrain INEC to do a thorough job of organising election in the creeks are concerned that election results are likely to br manipulated to favour the ruling party.. The only snag is the uncertainty within the ruling party and the mere fact that solidarity will be lacking makes it difficult to reach consensus amongst party agents if manipulation was to remain unchallenged. So the specter of the courts reversing such results will remain enough deterrent against such trends of thought.

Hon. Dickson Seriake is a known grassroots mobilizer and has been the voice of the Ijaw nation in the National Assembly turning out bills of national note and defending the interests of the Region. Dickson is often perceived as somewhat radicalized having had his bit in progressive left of the centre disposition in AD. To his credit and perhaps disadvantage was his stint as Attorney General of Bayelsa State leading his critics to brand him as “one of them”. So many testify he is open and approachable but others feel his time is not yet ripe. This group argues that what Bayelsa need now is not a political leader or even leader of the Ijaw race or unifier because President Jonathan was already playing the role. This school argues that what Bayelsa need is a technocrat with little experience of our decidedly somewhat “destructive” politics. They need a builder, someone who can think outside the box. Since the Nigerian Constitution is heading for a change that Bayelsa does not need a star in what is inherently faulty but a new, fresh, innovative body of attitude to represent the fulcrum of that sorely desired transformation.

Ironically everything seems to point the way of Dr Imoro Kubor, the Russian trained Aeronautical engineer who has been moving up the ratings lately. Moreso his pedegree has led many pundits to wonder where he has been all the while. Is he really a Bayelsan? Where has he been all this while? At the age of 63, what does he really want? Can he be trusted to deliver? His credentials answer these questions to his credit. He says he wants nothing of Bayelsa wealth but has come to serve her, to give back what he has received being a Bayelsan, a Nigerian and an African. Yes, this man has seen it all. Even in retirement, he has a say as to whether or not a plane will fly or not fly in Nigeria. Other countries Airline up to request he visits to help them make their aviation safe enough. He flies only first class and has new theories he is working on concerning global Aviation safety but he wants to spend time to make Bayelsa safer for all. If Dr Imoro Kubor wins the election he is more likely to achieve his slogan”Total transformation” through the four-pronged attack on Education, Industrialization, Tourism and Agriculture. Another man's meat they may become poison to the other. This adage seems most likely to play out in Bayelsa State during her Governorship contest come 2012. But clearly, the retired permanent Secretary and doyen of the aviation industry appear to hold the ace as events unfold. If the views of a cross section of Bayelsa stakeholders are a thing to go by, the glory of all lands may well be on its way to TOTAL TRANSFORMATION.

Mr Mande writes from Port Harcourt.





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Articles by Godson Mande