PDP and Dickson’s godfather delusion in Bayelsa

Posted by News Express | 20 November 2019 | 787 times

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•Emmanuel Onwubiko

Kogi and Bayelsa states have just come out of what I call electoral baptism of fire, which the highly compromised and inept hierarchy of the YAKUBU MAHMOOD-(misled) Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has already declared candidates of its choicest political family –  the All Progressives Congress (APC) - as winners of the violence-soaked and blood-dripping elections.

I will sidestep the charade called election in Kogi State whereby the comical and eccentric politician, Yahaya Bello – who for four years owed teachers and civil servants their entire salaries – has been railroaded to the winning lane; and discuss the self-inflicted defeat that the leading opposition party – Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) - allowed the self-centred Governor Seriake Dickson to make it much easier for the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, David Lyon, to cruise to victory. 

The piece is about the godfather delusion of Seriake Dickson, who experimented with arbitrary imposition of candidate to try to control the state. Thereafter, as the Uncontested Godfather Of Bayelsa, even when that state has produced a president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the person of Dr Goodluck Jonathan.

In doing this, I will borrow the words of a world-class philosopher, Richard Dawkins, who wrote about the God Delusion. Understanding this controversial book will offer us a peep into the accidental dream of Seriake Dickson to become the indisputable political godfather of Bayelsa State, which has just been rejected massively by Bayelsa people.  

From the summary of that book I bought in the United Kingdom, those who did the scholarly summation of the online copy rightly stated that Richard Dawkins is arguably the most popular atheist writer/teacher of our time. 

According to this fascinating text, we were told that his background includes a PhD in Zoology from Oxford University and that he has written numerous popular and academic books on topics ranging from evolutionary biology to genetics. 

In recent years, according to this version of the summary, he has been in high demand giving lectures on the defense of an atheist/secularist position, as well as critiquing the Intelligent Design movement. 

In the God Delusion, Dawkins attempts to show the irrationality of a belief in God by attacking the idea of such a being on all fronts. He makes his case by providing critical examinations of the role of religion in history, in debunking traditional arguments for God’s existence and through the power of Darwinian natural selection as a replacement for supernatural causes. Same accidental lane followed by Seriake Dickson in his infantile dream to become the godfather of Bayelsa politics. 

Further, the analyst stated that Dawkins begins this chapter one using an analogy originally used by Fred Hoyle called “The Ultimate Boeing 747.” Hoyle equated the probability of life originating on Earth with that of a hurricane sweeping through a scrap-yard and assembling a 747. But Dawkins counters with the “consciousness-raiser” that natural selection could complete such a feat through successive slight modifications. While the chances of the 747 being assembled is astronomically great if viewed in one step, it is quite conceivable if one views it as a large procession of reasonable probabilities all chained together with natural selection as the driving force.

Dawkins goes on to critique the Intelligent Design Movement, as largely a “God of the gaps” mentality, where one claims a designer if there is no scientific causal forces to be found. But Dawkins calls this being lazy and in the end leaves us ignorant in many areas, being satisfied to say “God did it” and research the matter no further. 

He concludes this chapter with an interesting take on the anthropic principle. This is the concept that the universe seems “fine-tuned” for life, implying a designer. He turns this argument around by pointing out the billions of planets in the sample of the universe, making life statistically bound to happen somewhere. He also draws on “multi-verse” theories that posit multiple universes popping in and out of existence, thereby grossly expanding the possible outcomes.

Behind many of these arguments is a common theme: God is an improbable explanation because it leaves open the question of “Who made God?‟ Dawkins thinks that although a multi-verse theory may seem extravagant, it is still more probable than positing a supernatural deity.

Still on the God delusion, Dawkins wrote as follows: “Picking a page at random from this anonymous and lavishly distributed work, we find the sponge known as Venus’ Flower Basket (Euplectella), accompanied by a quotation from Sir David Attenborough, no less: ‘When you look at a complex sponge skeleton such as that made of silica spicules which is known as Venus’ Flower Basket, the imagination is baffled. How could quasi-independent microscopic cells collaborate to secrete a million glassy splinters and construct such an intricate and beautiful lattice? We do not know.”

But the Watchtower authors lose no time in adding their own punch line: “But one thing we do know: Chance is not the likely designer.” No, indeed, chance is not the likely designer. That is one thing on which we can all agree. The statistical improbability of phenomena such as Euplectella’s skeleton is the central problem that any theory of life must solve. The greater the statistical improbability, the less plausible is chance as a solution: that is, what improbable means. But the candidate solutions to the riddle of improbability are not, as is falsely implied, design and chance. They are design and natural selection. Chance is not a solution, given the high levels of improbability we see in living organisms, and no sane biologist ever suggested that it was. Design is not a real solution either, as we shall see later. But for the moment, I want to continue demonstrating the problem that any theory of life must solve: the problem of how to escape from chance.

Although I believe in God and I believe in the Proofs of God's existence generously written by Thomas Aquinas and many other fine theologians like Saint Anselem, who wrote on the Ontological Proofs of God's Existence, I chose to go with Richard Dawkins to demonstrate the foolhardiness (not foolishness) in Governor Dickson’s infantile chase of the diadem of the sole political godfather of Bayelsa State.  

I got a write-up from WhatsApp which represents exactly what happened in Bayelsa State leading up to the political hurricane that has blown away the PDP from Bayelsa due to the selfishness or should I say childishness of Seriake Dickson, who became somebody politically courtesy of the political party he has just helped to die in his state. 

The unknown writer stated that for those who didn’t follow the build-up to the Bayelsa elections, Dickson disrespected former President Jonathan and the Bayelsa elders. They had settled on Alaibe as a consensus candidate to replace Dickson.

Dickson, who Jonathan brought out of obscurity in the House of Representatives and made governor, “disrespected GEJ and PEJ and allegedly bribed (unproven though) PDP chair, Uche Secondus, to have his way in the primary, and impose his cousin Diri on the party.

Not only that, he disparaged Bayelsa East - Jonathan’s people (Ogbia, Nembe and Brass) – as non-core Ijaw and traitors. Whole thing has been building from senatorial election, which was why APC won GEJ’s senatorial district in the 2019 polls with his support.

All GEJ’s allies and boys moved to APC and David Lyon is a godson of Patience. Jonathan did not campaign for the APC candidate like his wife and mother out of self-respect, but his kinsmen ensured Dickson was taught a lesson without saying a word.

Jonathan’s polling unit, ward and senatorial district all delivered for Lyon. Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, and Jonathan and their allies all worked for Lyon. Irony of it is that Dickson refused o reconcile and make any concessions, saying he could win on his own. And he was thoroughly defeated.

All politics is local, the writer concluded. I must restate that there is no evidence showing that Dickson bribed the national leadership of PDP to get his way. However, Seriake Dickson truly thought that as governor who carried on like an emperor of a conquered territory that his so-called Restoration charade could sweep off all the political offices in Bayelsa State. He even dreamt of stepping in as Senator to replace his hand-picked candidate. As a local aphorism says, “Man proposes but God disposes.” Bayelsa voters have shamed the self-centred Seriake Dickson, the so-called countryman governor. 

Another analyst stated: In 2012, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan used Dickson to remove Sylva. In 2019, GEJ and Patience Ebele Jonathan worked with Timipre Sylva to remove Dickson.

According to this interesting analyst, the PDP’s national leadership is an embarrassment. He asked: Why would you let the interests of an underperforming governor – who wanted to impose a stooge – supersede that of the former president and party elders in a state which has shelved their interests to back the strongest candidate in the party, Alaibe?

The author said that ex-president Jonathan could have insisted on any of his loyalists like Igali being the candidate; but he settled on Alaibe who was formidable and had the support of all. Obasanjo even joined Jonathan to beg Dickson and Secondus to let Alaibe get the ticket. But Dickson wanted his cousin.

Bayelsa people hated Dickson, particularly Bayelsa East (Jonathan’s senatorial district) who Dickson reportedly called non-core Ijaw. 

Core Ijaw, in the estimation of Dickson, says the writer, are the Sagbama/Ekeremor/Southern Ijaws of Bayelsa and the Bomadi/Burutu/Patani of Delta State, and as such only they should be in charge of the only Izon state.

It has always been a delusionary dream for Seriake Dickson to contemplate such a political coup in a state that already produced a president of a complex political sovereignty like Nigeria. 

PDP should blame their misfortune in Bayelsa on Dickson, and Dickson alone.

Indeed, the gods are not to blame! 

•RIGHTSVIEW appears on Wednesdays and Saturdays, in addition to special appearances. The Columnist, a popular activist (www.huriwanigeria.com, www.emmanuelonwubiko.com), is a former Federal Commissioner of Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission and presently National Coordinator of Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria (HURIWA).

Source: News Express

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