Bayelsa Governor, Seriake Dickson, has advised Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders not to see the party’s National Convention on Saturday as an end but a means to regain power in 2019.
Dickson gave the advice when he received a national chairmanship aspirant of the party, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, at Government House, Yenagoa.
According to him, the major concern of PDP leaders now should be to have a successful convention that would lead the party to victory in 2019.
“Let me caution our party leaders, I hope that we are not focusing too much on this convention instead of focusing on winning federal power.
“I think we should be focused and be strategic and also think of how to get an acceptable candidate through a fair process open to the three north zones in the South.
“This is to enable us to get somebody who we will support and move forward. That is the key thing.
“I advise that people should not treat the next convention as an end to itself but as a means to an end.
“Nevertheless, the convention is important; we need to get it right. The process must be right and the outcome should also be acceptable so that we can move to the next stage,” he said.
Dickson, however, warned against any form of imposition or manipulation at the convention, saying that the election was important to the future of the PDP and the country.
He said that the position of the governors had been that the delegates should decide who should lead PDP.
“There should be a paradigm shift in terms of the ways we conduct and perform party duties because we are now the opposition.
“In opposition, we must build bridges, do things rightly, respect and consult one another when there is a contest like this. We must compete fairly.
“I have always been inspired that the next convention should be conducted in a transparent manner so that the outcome will be acceptable to all party men and women,” he added.
The governor commended Dokpesi for several years of dedicated and meritorious service to PDP, Ijaw Nation and Nigeria as well as his leading role in issue-based campaigns.
Earlier, Dokpesi had told the governor that he was in Bayelsa as he did in other states, to appeal to delegates to the convention to vote for him for the progress of PDP and nation.
He said that he was in the chairmanship race to ensure that PDP regained power in 2019 as well as to correct the ills of the party.
Also, the Director-General of Dokpesi Campaign Organisation, Mr Baba Kachalla, described the aspirant as a good brand for the PDP.
“A good brand does not require marketing. Dokpesi remains a good brand for the PDP leadership,” Kachalla said.
At PDP Secretariat, Yenagoa, Chairman of the party in the state, Mr Moses Cleopas, stressed the need to harness the potential in PDP ahead of 2019.
“If we can harness the kind of credential we have in PDP, no party can win us in any election,” Cleopas said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Dokpesi and his campaign team were also in Asaba, Delta and Benin, Edo, where the aspirant interacted with PDP leaders and members.
In Benin, Chairman of PDP in the state, Mr Dan Oribih, described Dokpesi as a “great party man and a true son of Edo” who deserved all necessary support.