By Samuel Oyadongha
YENAGOA—GOVERNOR Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has said his successor must be principled, bold and courageous enough to protect the collective interests of the Ijaw nation at all times.
Dickson, who stated this while fielding questions during a live media chat in Yenagoa, noted that in view of the challenges facing the state, Bayelsa cannot afford to have a governor who cannot defend Ijaw interest.
He said: “The next governor of the Ijaw nation must be courageous, he must be ready to defend the Ijaw nation at all times. He must not be the errand boy of any ethnic group. I will be sad to see the governor of Bayelsa playing just politics, without being able to take a decisive position on issues.
“The shoes I am leaving behind are very big. Posterity will judge. Only very few of the people who come to talk to me have the interest of the state at heart. There is no free money to give anybody in Bayelsa. Don’t kill for anybody, none has the power to make you a billionaire.
“Our people are oppressed. We have a lot of stories to tell Nigerians. When it comes to speaking for the Ijaw nation, I have not been found wanting. I want that tradition to continue. I want my people to be safe.
“More than any other time, Bayelsa needs a governor with the requisite courage to lead the Ijaw nation. What is at stake is your destiny and survival. Our people are balkanised into small units from Ondo State to many other states.
“In the Niger Delta, the Ijaw voice must be heard. I hope those buying the forms are aware of the enormity of the responsibilities of being the governor of Bayelsa State.”
He also attributed the peaceful atmosphere in state to the new political culture of tolerance and maturity his administration had promoted over the last seven and half years.
On the crowded aspirants jostling for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, ticket in the state, he described the development as a testament to his democratic style of governance where people are allowed to pursue their political ambitions without any form of interferance.
On the local council polls, slated for Saturday, he lamented what he described as the desperation of some politicians who, according to him, do not mean well for the state.
He, however, stressed that the election will hold as planned by the State Independent Electoral Commission.