YENAGOA (Vanguard) —Equipped with trumpets, tambourine and drums, and dressed in the traditional Ijaw wrestling attire with bells dangling around their waists to attract attention, you see them laying siege for their prey.
They are unemployed youths and their beat at the moment is Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, secretariat, located along DSP Alamieyeseigha Way, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
There, they daily wait for their prey (politicians), who come either to collect or submit their Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms for the governorship, National Assembly and state House of Assembly primaries.
Politicians love showmanship and the youths praise them to eke out a living.
At least, one said, it is better than going into kidnapping.
From afar, when they see an aspirant, they surge forward as if possessed, blocking him and his supporters, as they raise chorus eulogizing the aspirant.
The fascinated aspirants and their aides would deep hands into their pockets and shower money on them.
No fewer than 165 aspirants, including 144 for the state House of Assembly; 17 for House of Representatives and 14 for Senate, have picked and submitted their forms for the primaries.
‘I go home with about N35,000’
Some of the youths depending on their deftness, it was learnt, made an average of between N28,000 and N35,000 daily from the politicians, many of whom could not be reached on normal days.
A trumpeter, who identified himself as Eladebi, told Niger Delta Voice, “it has been a lucrative period for us. We are not only enjoying what we know best, but also making good money from it.
“How I wish the exercise will drag on. On a good day, our group makes as much as N150, 000 and after sharing, I go home with N35,000.”
Another youth, Ebiowei Jones said: “This is the only time we can make money from them (aspirants).
“Once they settle down in office, you cannot access them again. So we have to device every means to make them bless us now.”