There is confusion in the Bayelsa State chapters of both the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over President Muhammadu Buhari’s congratulatory message to a PDP chieftain in the state, Ambassador Godknows Igali, on his 60th birthday.
President Buhari, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu on Monday, described Igali as APC senatorial aspirant in the forthcoming Bayelsa central by-election.
Ambassador Igali, a former diplomat and Federal Permanent Secretary, was a governorship aspirant during the last year governorship election in Bayelsa State on the platform of PDP. Daily Trust reports that Igali belongs to the camp of former President Goodluck Jonathan in Bayelsa State PDP.
Our correspondent reports that Igali has not publicly declared his membership for APC in the state.
He is from the same Southern Ijaw local government with Chief David Lyon, who was APC governorship candidate during the November governorship election. Southern Ijaw local government is a stronghold of APC in Bayelsa State, during the last governorship election in the state, APC garnered over 90 per cent of votes in the area.
Officials of PDP, when contacted, however, declined comment on whether Igali has dumped their party or not.
Also when contacted, the Bayelsa State Publicity Secretary of APC, Mr Diofie Buokoribo, said he did not know if Igali has joined their party. “I am not aware if Ambassador Igali has joined APC.
Better call the President or the secretary of the party, he will have a better record,” he said. A political stakeholder in Bayelsa Central Senatorial District, Elder Zee Debekeme, however said people from the senatorial district have come to think more about the competency of a candidate and not party.
He described Amb. Igali as a man with requisite wealth of experience to represent the senatorial district. Replying to a text message sent to him on whether he has dumped PDP, Igali simply said, “He’s the president. He knows more (about) everybody in the country.”