With Jonathan, Alamieyeseigha and stakeholders
By Amos Odeh
With Jonathan, Alamieyeseigha and stakeholders endorsement of Dickson for a second tenure and consequent stepping down of Arc Reuben Okoya , Dickson is set to race against tradition to break the jinx and become first governor to be re-elected in Bayelsa state since 1999 when Nigeria returned to democracy reports Amos Odeh.
Former president Goodluck Jonathan, Chief DSP Alamieyesegha , the first civilian governor of Bayelsa state and other prominent politicians and stakeholders have thrown their weight behind the second tenure bid of Governor Seriake Dickson and if the crowd and personalities are parameters used to win election, then come December 5th 2015, the Toru – Orua born politician will not only break the jinx, but will be racing against the tradition.
At an unprecedented mammoth crowd at the Samson Siasia Sports Complex, former president Goodluck Jonathan who was accompanied by his wife Dame Patience Goodluck Jonathan urged Bayelsans to support the second term ambition of Governor Seriake Dickson .
According to him, he endorsed Governor Dickson for second term to enable him consolidate on his achievements in Bayelsa state, the Glory of all land, in Ijaw nation, adding that , Bayelsans should unite to support Governor Dickson for second – term in office.
He observed that as former president , he had the privilege to travel all the 36 states including Abuja,but he has taken notice of the remarkable performance of Dickson restoration administration within three and half years in office, considering the critical terrain and dwindling resources of Bayelsa state.
Jonathan maintained that Governor Dickson was able to clear huge debts owed by immediate past administration in the state ,regular payment of workers’ salaries, pension, including achievements in areas of security, sustainable development , health, Education and Agricultural revolution and to stand high among other governors going cap in – hand for Federal Government financial bailout.
He acknowledged the fact that Bayelsans with governorship ambition whether in PDP or APC were credible enough to govern the state, but from what governor Dickson has done, he deserved a second tenure to consolidate on his restoration agenda. The former president who made his first public appearance since he left office said he is keeping to his chest what he would tell Bayelsans when Seriake Dickson would receive the flag as standard flag bearer.
Also speaking, Governor Seriake Dickson averred that he was overwhelmed by the cream and calibre of personalities that responded to his invitation, stressed that the restoration government for the past four years in office has performed creditably in terms of provision of infrastructural facilities, peace and security and that it was only incumbent on the electorate to vote for a second tenure for him to consolidate on his achievements.
He further stressed that with array of Bayelsans on his side, he was confident of defeating any other parties at the polls come December 5, 2015.He said” Who can the APC Governorship candidate boasts of in the state”? Noting that the PDP have already made history during the declaration in support for his Restoration team and the PDP, the only known party of the Ijaw nation in the South-South geo – political zone.
According to him with all past governors of the state, apart from one who had strayed ,( Timipre Sylva ) he has no doubt about his victory for a second term, adding that with all the 105 councillors, eight local government chairmen, 21 out of the 23 declared seats in the state house of Assembly , all the 3 senators, 5 members of the House of Representatives and all the commissioners and Special Advisers and Senior Special Assistants , Special Assistants all of them PDP members with him, he is a candidate to beat in the forthcoming election and there was no way any other party can win any election in the state.
He had in a press statement stated that when he won election he had no structures on ground, as at then he had no members of the state House of Assembly, no council chairman, no councillors, but today he has a very powerful structure that would guarantee his victory at the polls.
He also posited that the boast by All Progressive Congress (APC) that they were going to deploy federal might and security will not deter the people’s Democratic Party (PDP ) from embarking on peaceful campaign and urged the security agents not to compromise their professionalism , adding that APC cannot use threat and intimidation to wrest powers from the ruling PDP that has ruled the state since the return to democracy in 1999.
He added that he would consolidate on the prevailing peace and security which his government has provided with the Operation Doo Akpo which means peace as against operation Famutagbe which means kill and throw away which, a security outfit that was instituted by his predecessor , chief Timipre Sylva , which was used to terrorize, molest and intimidate innocent Bayelsans and visitors .
Speaking also the first civilian governor of Bayelsa state Chief DSP Alamieyesegha said the battle for Seriake Dickson’s re-election was an Ijaw affairs which every Ijaw man has to fight and what the presence of the tumultuous crowd signified was a pre – election celebration and Bayelsans , assured the electorate not to be deceived by the gale of defection to APC as the PDP has been the only party the Ijaw man has been associated with since 1999 and most of them that defected from PDP to APC were persons that the party has groomed and received patronages from them in many ways .He said he expected those with governorship ambitions to shelve it for now and work for Dickson,s re -election, so that by 2020 they would be supported also, since Dickson has excelled in infrastructural development and delivered dividends of democracy , it would be proper and generally acceptable by all Bayelsans to give him another tenure to consolidate on the restoration agenda.
In their solidarity speeches the governor of Ekiti state, Dr Olusegun Mimiko who is also the chairman of the Governors Forum who graced the occasion with the governor of Rivers state, Barrister Nyesom Wike and Deputy governors of Delta , Ebonyi concord that with the infrastructures which he saw since they arrived Bayelsa state there is no doubt that Governor Dickson Seriake has performed creditably well and should be supported to consolidate on his gains and condemned in strong the invasion of the Akwa – Ibom state government house by the Department of Security Services and that most defectors to APC where beneficiaries of People’s Democratic Party and the emergence of Dr Akinwumi Adeshina as the President Africa Development Bank was a manifestation of exemplary leadership the PDP government at Federal level by the administration of Dr Goodluck Jonathan.
He said the PDP Governors Forum has resolved to ensure they all support the governorship ambition of Seriake Dickson, that the election is not only for Dickson, but the entire PDP governors, hence they had come to show their solidarity and commitment for one of their own.
The leader of Bayelsa state National Assembly Caucus, Senator Forster Ogola who represents Bayelsa West Senatorial District in the Senate added that Governor Seriake Dickson has performed creditably well in human capital infrastructure and deserved another tenure.He cautioned that those former members PDP who defected to APC were ingrate and over ambition persons that PDP has brought from obscurity to fame , stressing that the PDP in Bayelsa state by divine providence has produced former president Goodluck Jonathan under the platform of the PDP also catapulted him to Vice President to become the first president from the minority with the support of the South- South and South- East.He said in 2012 National Assembly Members from Bayelsa state never supported Seriake Dickson,s Restoration , yet he won and urged all Bayelsans to come out en mass to re-elect Governor Seriake Dickson for second tenure.
He called on those that defected to APC to retrace their steps because they have defected to a party without destination which will not give them any responsibility with 16 of them that wanted to be governor.” The Poeple Democratic Party is synonymous with Izon nation” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the Women For Change, a Non- Government Organization Founded by the former First Lady of the Federal Republic , Dame Patience Goodluck Jonathan, chief Remmi Kuku said they were prepared to mobilize the entire women folks in Bayelsa state to come out en mass to vote for Governor Seriake Dickson on December 5 , 2015.
According to her Bayelsa women have been empowered by the Dickson led administration by adhering to 35 percent affirmation with four women elected into the state House of Assembly and appointment of more women in various categories.
The speaker of Bayelsa state House of Assembly, Rt Hon Friday Konbowei Benson said the governor has done much by providing 50 projects in his Local Government Area and urged his constituency to stand behind Governor Seriake Dickson,s second tenure bid. But sensing that there may be betrayers considering the calibre of aspirants the opposition may present as their Standard flag-bearer, he opined that any political appointee in the ruling People Democratic Party who could not deliver his ward would be sanctioned.
While Bar . George Turnah , the president of George Turnah Foundation pledged the support of the entire Youths of Bayelsa state for the re- election of Governor Seriake Dickson who has massively impacted on the youths.According to him, the government of Dickson will continue to secure the future of the youths.
The leader of Niger Delta People Volunteer Force, ex- warlord Alhaji Mujid Asari -Dokubo vowed that the Ijaw nation would exploit every available means to ensure that PDP governorship, Governor Seriake Dickson gets the second term ticket as the Ijaw ethnic nationality has never been conquered and would not allow any party to conquer PDP in Ijaw land.
While the National President of National Union of Bayelsa state Students Worldwide, Comrade Lawyer averred that the government of Seriake Dickson has been students friendly and therefore deserves the support and cooperation of the students community to reward him with a second tenure .
According to him, students under the incumbent governor have enjoyed unparalleled robust relationship as they are proud to recall some milestones which the governor had recorded.These include scholarships to students in both local and foreign universities , payment of scholarships, reopening of the scrapped Bayelsa state college of Arts and Science, which is a remedial institution which affords prospective admission seekers with deficiencies to remedy them as well as IJMB which gives Bayelsans Direct Entry admission to Nigerian universities as well as other programs for middle management manpower.
Speaking to journalists earlier, the member representing Ogbia Federal Constituency at the Federal House of Representatives, Honorable Sodoaguo Festus-Omoni led her credence to Dickson continuity ,adding that Seriake Dickson,s Restoration government had delivered verifiable and tangible dividends of democracy and that he deserved a second tenure for him to consolidate on the foundation he had laid since he assumed office in 2012.
She therefore added that those opposed to Seriake Dickson second term bid do not mean well for the state, hence she is ready to mobilize her followers and supporters to support the project.On gender, she said the Seriake Dickson led administration was the first to elect four women into the state House of Assembly, apart from other appointments as commissioners and Special Advisers, to this the women will remain ever grateful and would be mobilized to support his second term bid.
Across section of those interviewed during the the declaration said” With the mammoth crowdat the Samson Siasia Sports Complex and its surrounding filled with party faithful who shoved and elbowed one another to catch a glimpse of the declaration event, confirmed that Governor Dickson is the only person eligible for second -term in office, come February 06, 2016.