Members of the Patriots of Ijaw Struggle, a socio-political group in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, have again called on the immediate past Governor of Bayelsa State, Hon. Seriake Dickson to contest the vacant senatorial seat of the region in the forthcoming senatorial bye-election. The group, in a communique made available to newsmen said Dickson has the requisite qualification to give the region the adequate representation it needs.
The communique was jointly signed by Chief Frank Omare; Felix Tuodolo, PhD, Pioneer President, IYC); Alhaji Asari Dokubo (Fmr. President, IYC); Mr. Oyinfie Jonjon (Fmr. President, IYC); Engr. Udengs Eradiri (Fmr. President, IYC); Barr. Owoupele Jeremiah (Fmr. Spokesman, IYC); Adokeme Godwin (Fmr. Chairman, IYC- Central Zone); Bobolayefa Owoupele (Fmr. Chairman, IYC- Central Zone); Chief Williams Mkpa (Fmr. Auditor, INC); Chief Ben Donyegha; Chief Pamotei Wasuote and Mr. Alfred Kemepado (Fmr. Secretary-General, IYC).
In the communique, the group said it’s choice of Hon. Dickson to represent the region at the senate is premised on the fact that the former Governor is ” a man who has the political will and sagacity to muster appeal from fellow colleagues in driving our cardinal objectives on the floor of the Nigeria Senate.”
The group said its choice is further predicated on the fact that “as a Governor, he (Dickson) became the leading voice in the call for restructuring of the Nigeria State, true federalism and the devolution of power to the component units for a greater people-oriented governance. This role made respected senior citizens of our country rally around him as a leader of trust for this national progressive cause.”
The communique reads thus:
“Following the 14th of February, 2020 victory of the duo of Senator Douye Diri and Lawrence Erudjakpor of the Peoples Democratic Party as Governor and Deputy of Bayelsa State, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), declared the two senatorial seats vacant necessitating the electoral commission to begin preparations for a by-election to fill the above seats.
1. We have in this regard x-rayed the many aspirants who have indicated their interest to represent the Bayelsa West senatorial district and have taken the pain to evaluate each and everyone of these aspirants, their background, educational qualifications and political persuasions as well as their belief in our undying IJAW STRUGGLE.
However, given the present unstable and unpredictable nature of our National politics viz a viz the growing National discourse on the shape of Nigeria’s democracy, given the many unpalatable developments of security concerns, environmental challenges and the issues of fiscal federalism and devolution of power.
2. It is in the light of the above-mentioned realities that this political cum social group, as major stakeholder in the larger ijaw CAUSE, consider it an imperative to take these steps to guide and ensure that our corporate interest as Ijaw Nation and a people be given its proper place in adequate representation.
3. That it is also in the interests of our people to find a character whose personality equates such National assignment to drive and place our issues above board and have the capacity to build bridges across the various political blocks and find voices of similar persuasion to protect and project our larger aspirations as a people in the Nigerian project .
4. That such a character must be a man of such legislative experience to hit the ground running and use his influence and contacts to give us such universal and impeccable representation that sees the entire ijaw Nation as his constituency.
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5. That such a man must be one whose knowledge of our corporate issues must be deep and has the political will and sagacity to muster appeal from fellow colleagues in driving our cardinal objectives on the floor of the Nigeria Senate.
6. That further to the above, such a character must have equally participated in our cultural organization’s given the role of our flagships; the Ijaw National Congress (INC) and the Ijaw Youth
Council (IYC) in giving impetus to our collective drive for the emancipation of our people from the clutches of deprivation and marginalisation.
7. That in view of the above mentioned realities, it is hereby resolved that all patriotic sons and daughters of Ijaw Nation should persuade and support His Excellency, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson who has been a pillar of support to all Ijaw people irrespective of our artificial boundaries.
8. And that this decision is unbiased and springs from the above expectations and his overwhelming performance as a former member of the house of representatives for five years and a Governor who served our people for eight years which has given him the much needed requisite experience.
9. That as a member representing the good people of Sagbama/Ekeremor federal constituency, His Excellency Hon H.S Dickson was a voice that was heard conspicuously on matters affecting our people. His deep legal and political knowledge was brought to bear and saw him cause major positive changes to his Federal constituency.
10. That as Governor of Bayelsa State, he ran a government which saw inclusion of our brothers from Ondo, Delta, Rivers and Akwa Ibom States in governance without any segregation. That this exemplary leadership demonstrates his passion and core leadership values that show he is and still a Patriot to our noble cause as a people.
11. That it is on record that as a Governor, he became the leading voice in the call for restructuring of the Nigeria State, true federalism and the devolution of power to the component units for a greater people-oriented governance. This role made respected senior citizens of our country rally around him as a leader of trust for this national progressive cause.
12. That as Governor, his legacies in health sector reforms, education, environment, justice, road, infrastructure and youth empowerment is unprecedented till date.
13. That given the above, it is our considered submission that the people of Sagbama/Ekeremor federal constituency should see his election beyond party lines and a further call to duty and one which is seen as an Ijaw project critical to our collective goal as a people.
14. That we further call on all sons and daughters of Ekeremor Local Government to respect our historical understanding of rotation in the Senatorial district and allow their Sagbama Kit and kin to produce the Senator to complete the remaining term of His Excellency, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpor to further cement this political decision for unity, cohesion and progressive politics.
We, therefore, call on His Excellency, Hon. HSD to contest the senatorial election while appealing to all Ijaw patriots to stand with His Excellency Hon Seriake Dickson and elect him to the senate to continue to fly the Ijaw flag.”