By Oraye St. Franklyn
Satan the devil was described in the Holy Scriptures as the Thief who comes into the house to steal, kill and destroy in accordance with his characteristic serpentine traits. It was the same features he displayed in hoodwinking Eve who convinced Adam to eat the forbidden fruit. As a result, the integrity of life as it was on Earth was compromised
The Serpent at best is defined by its greed to seek only its wellbeing and nothing more. No grand ideal, no collective cause means a thing to it. It is for itself and by itself alone. Worst case is that even when goodwill is extended to it, it constricts its benefactors as its own benevolence for their benefaction. Such is the terrible trait of the serpent.
The current political reality in Bayelsa State can best be described as a metaphor of sorts with compelling plots of the debacle of the serpent’s rage in the absence of its tamer’s cage. The disaffection within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) family in Bayelsa has cost it grave electoral losses in the 2019 General Elections. While it kept housekeepers daggers-drawn at each other’s throats the sacred task of gatekeeping was unfortunately compromised. Whether by deliberate connivance or consequential oblivion, it makes no difference. With the flanks wide open, the sneaky, cunning serpent quietly sneaked into the house taking a vantage and concealed position from where it has constricted and consumed lively goods.
When the dust of the 2019 General Elections settled in Bayelsa State, a hitherto PDP Stronghold in the Niger Delta and the only homogeneous State of the South-South, the All Progressives Congress (APC) had done terrible damage. Out of 3 Senators, it swallowed one. Out of 5 House of Representative members, it consumed 2. Out of 24 House of Assembly members, it took 4. A whole Senatorial Zone was completely decimated by the Serpent with not a single legislative constituency within it, both at the State and Federal level was left untouched. It took everything and even went overboard to other constituencies.
The outcome of that election, irrespective of the questionable process, buttresses the age-long adage that only strangers benefit when family members engage themselves in endless attrition. That the PDP is losing its grip in Bayelsa State, going by available data as encapsulated by the result of that election, is not a subject for debate. The sanctity and integrity of the South-South States especially with Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Cross River State, has by that score been ruptured by the serpent in a single deathly strike in Bayelsa. It hit the core of our being. This is why it is now a collective duty to protect Bayelsa and tame the serpent of Bayelsa.
Who would have expected that so soon after President Goodluck Jonathan left office, his own State and with no fault of his, would be swallowed by the Serpent? Yes, one agrees that it is not completely swallowed, as yet. True. But it is partly swallowed and currently being constricted and that is bad enough. There is no justification for why the APC should make inroads into Bayelsa State or any South-South State for that matter. In the face of its abysmal national performance, nothing else could have given the APC the impetus to partly-swallow Bayelsa but for the disaffection within the PDP family in the State.
Going into a Governorship Election in November 2019, the current reality calls for concerted efforts by Stakeholders at ensuring that the political system is sustained by internal democracy. It would heal wounds, rally the Party and offer a level playing field for all interested persons within the Party to take a shot at the Governorship of the State. Most of all, it would mitigate against the recourse in the past by discontented aspirants to take subversive measures to undermine the Party interest, now being threatened.
A transparent and forward thinking process is what is needed to sustain the gains made by the PDP in Bayelsa so far. Politicians should put the best interest of Bayelsans over and above theirs. The APC does not qualify to be an alternative to the PDP. It is an aberration to even have them get a single seat in Parliament. To see them with more than one gravely offends the mind because there is no single reason to support that switch.
From a good-willing onlooker’s perspective, one can only pray that Bayelsa stays intact going forward and avoids further costly slips. The PDP still has an opportunity to assert itself and protect the stake of Bayelsans in Bayelsa for Bayelsa. It must do so intentionally and immediately. There’s really no time. This is why it’s now time to bond and tame the Serpent of Bayelsa.
Oraye St. Franklyn is a Port Harcourt based Attorney and a media aide to Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike