A report by The Guardian indicates that a fresh crisis might be brewing in the Bayelsa State Chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC), following reports that the Minister of State for Petroleum (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, has reconciled the state’s Governor, Douye Diri, with Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike.
Wike and Diri reportedly fell apart after the last presidential primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
A political organisation in the APC, Concerned APC Stakeholders (CAPCS), said Lokpobiri had settled the rift between Diri and Wike.
CAPCS said Lokpobiri, leveraging on his closeness to Wike, had prevailed on him to forgive Diri over his refusal to support him during the intra-party election of the party, which produced former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as the presidential candidate of the PDP ahead of the 2023 election.
According to the group, Lokpobiri’s intervention and reconciliation of the two politicians were part of his strategies to get support for the re-election of Diri in the November 11 governorship election.
CAPCS said the action was meant to ensure that the APC’s candidate didn’t emerge victorious in the poll.
Diri was reported to have incurred the wrath of Wike as the Bayelsa governor abandoned him and supported Atiku in the PDP presidential primary.
It was learnt that Wike was livid because despite the heavy funds he released to the Bayelsa State delegates through Diri, the governor swayed and persuaded them to vote for Atiku.
A statement by the coordinators of CAPCS, Nimi Benigha-Amange and Kopiamu Arikibai, said Wike, who is still unpleasant with Diri, had resolved to back the candidate of APC, Timipre Sylva before he was persuaded to forgive and throw his weight behind the incumbent governor by the oil minister.
The statement reads: “In furtherance of his intention to frustrate the election of Sylva, the minister has brought Wike and Diri together in reconciliation. Although Wike does not have any political influence in Bayelsa other than his relationship with Lokpobiri, he can provide funds for any side he favours to win the election.”