Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has alleged that the All Progressives Congress (APC) was preparing to unleash mayhem and manipulate the outcome of the November 16 governorship poll in the state.
Speaking in a live media chat in Yenagoa, Dickson claimed the APC lacked the requirements to win any elections under a peaceful and democratic atmosphere in the state.
Dickson in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, maintained that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) would beat its major opposition to retain political control in Bayelsa in the election.
He said that the PDP Candidate, Senator Douye Diri, had a robust history of productive public service driven by his passion and love for Bayelsa and the Ijaw nation.
He said the outcome of the APC controversial governorship primaries reflected the pitiable credentials of the party, and its level of unpreparedness in terms of engaging the PDP in a free, fair and credible political contest.
Describing the APC governorship candidate as unsellable, the governor called on the media to provide a platform for all the governorship candidates to debate on issues bordering on their party manifestoes, the polity and development of the state.
He said: “This election is a very important election where you will either vote for stability or instability, security or insecurity, development or retrogression. But knowing the kind of people you are, I know the party you will cast your votes for.
“The candidates are all there. As a party, we are preparing to kick-start our campaigns. I know the other side (the APC) is not prepared for election. They are preparing to kill and maim. They are preparing for a fight and intimidation of our people.
“As usual, they are also preparing to write and announce fake results. But my party will be going out to all the nooks and crannies to talk to you the people.
“I urge you all to shun violence. Say no to those young men who are carrying arms and driving their fellow brothers and sisters from their communities because of partisan differences.
“Let me use this opportunity to again call on security agencies to be alive to their responsibilities. I also call on the leaders of these communities to rise to the occasion because communities are bigger than political parties. The historical, cultural and even the blood we share are more important than any partisan differences.”
Dickson said his administration raised the standard of governance for the people to make an informed choice that would sustain the prevailing peace, stability and development in the state.
He dismissed the allegation of hobnobbing with the APC, stressing that as a politician of conviction, he would continue to play opposition politics for as long as possible.
Dickson, however, pointed out that he acted in the best interest of the state and the Ijaw nation when he congratulated some APC chieftains of Bayelsa extraction on their appointments at the federal level.
He specifically mentioned the ministerial appointments of Senator Heineken Lokpobiri and former governor of the state, Chief Timipre Sylva who is the leader of the APC in Bayelsa.
According to the governor, his political liberality and maturity also culminated in the appointments of other APC stalwarts, including the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board and the immediate past Managing Director of the NDDC, Prof. Nelson Brambaifa.
Dickson who decried what he described as pettiness in Nigerian politics, urged politicians, particularly in the South-South to turn a new leaf to enhance the political and economic development of the region.
The Governor explained that, although, he was opposed to Chief Sylva’s brand of politics, kicking against his nomination as a minister would have done a great disservice to the state.
He, however, called on Chief Sylva to work with the state government as Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, to ensure the actualization of the Nembe-Brass Road, Brass Natural Liquefied Gas and Fertilizer Company projects.
Governor Dickson expressed his desire to collaborate with the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and other patriotic stakeholders to ensure that, such critical development and economically viable projects are brought to the State