By Samuel Oyadongha & Emem Idio
Commercial and governmental activities were on Tuesday brought to a stand still as Bayelsans besieged the Samson Siasia Stadium to witness the formal declaration of Governor Seriake Dickson to run for second term in the forthcoming governorship election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The occasion attracted prominent Bayelsa elders and top PDP members led by chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State; Nyesom Wike of Rivers State; Deputy Governor of Delta State, Kingsley Otuaro; Abia, Chris Akomas; Ebonyi, Kelechi Igwe and Kogi, Yomi Awoniyi among others.
The former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, was accompanied by his wife, Dame Patience Jonathan, who received a thunderous applause when her name was mentioned.
Jonathan said though his decision to endorse the second term bid of Governor Dickson has attracted some reactions through bulk SMS in circulation, the action was based on the conviction that the incumbent has performed in the areas of prompt payment of workers’ salaries, proper management of state resources without recourse to borrowing, improved infrastructural development and road construction.
He said: “I have stayed in government for 16 years. I stayed with Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha for six years and stayed in the Presidency for another six years. And in all those years, I think I know much about what some state governors have done.
Declaring for second term
“I may not know all that state governors do. And I also may not known all they don’t do. And I know what pained the people too. When he told me that he wants to declare for second term, I said he should do it. As I said, he should do it some people were asking me questions through bulk SMS.
“But I want to tell him that I would also be here when he is presented with the flag of the party. One of the things worrying the Federal Government is the issue of workers money in the states. Dickson has done well in that aspect. Also, another issue is that of borrowing. Dickson has done well. On infrastructure and development, Dickson has tried.”
In his goodwill message, Olusegun Mimiko said the decision to call for Dickson’s re-election was based on noticeable development trend in the state, adding, ”when you have a governor that has lifted his people, there is need for him to return. Some people are Abuja based giants and newspaper giants in terms of politics. Dickson is a man of accomplishment.”
He added that a meeting of the PDP Governors Forum, held on Monday night, also dwelled on the rising and dangerous incursions made by the All Progressive Congress (APC) led administration into the PDP controlled states of the South-South.
“The South-South people can not allow the APC to trample on the states. More than 50 per cent of the governors in the APC are products of the PDP. For us in the PDP, there is no shaking. We know that the truth will come out one day,” he declared.
Also speaking, the pioneer executive governor of the state, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha described the gathering of PDP stalwarts at the event as an indication of victory for the party come December 5.
The event, according to him, is nothing but a pre-electoral victory celebration for the party.
In his declaration, Governor Seriake Dickson said the decision to run for second term was a call for his team of administrators to re-dedicate themselves to the stability and development of the state.
According to him, “some people came here sometime ago to say the PDP is finished in Bayelsa, the gathering here today is that the PDP is in charge of the state.
“Of all the political offices in the state, the opposition party has only one at the state Assembly.
“Out of all the 105 councillors, they have none. From 1999 till date, we have had four governors and three are still in PDP. “Only one went astray. It shows that this is an unshakeable party. Bayelsa has no room for any other party. The other party has no message for us.
“It is not because they have federal might behind them but because we have you, the people of the state.
“The good news is that they are not on ground in the state and they are not our match. The good news is that unknown to them, they are another arm of the PDP. After their primaries, we will appoint for them interim party executive committee and we will shut them down gradually.”