Guber Polls: APC Should Forget Bayelsa, Ijaws Yet To Forgive Party For Denying Jonathan Second Term, Says Dickson
If the All Progressives Congress, APC, thinks it can win the December 5 gubernatorial election in Bayelsa State, it should better have a rethink because the Ijaw people have not forgotten how the party denied one of their own, ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, a second term in office, Governor Seriake Dickson, has disclosed.
The APC candidate in the forthcoming poll, Chief Timipre Sylva, has expressed confidence of emerging victorious based on his antecedents as a former governor of the state as well as his belief that Bayelsans are disenchanted with the incumbent administration of Governor Dickson.
But Dickson, who is seeking re-election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, expressed a divergent opinion, saying Bayelsans are self-respecting people and they would not have anything to do with the APC.
“Bayelsans are self-respecting, and if they want other Nigerians and even foreigners to relate with the Ijaw people with respect, then this is not the time to embrace the APC. The Ijaw people will not be put to shame”, he said.
According to the governor, it is no longer a hidden fact that the governing APC hates the people of Bayelsa, going by the humiliation Bayelsans have suffered in the hands of the party, starting from the defeat of Mr. Jonathan in the last presidential election.
“From the ministerial positions they gave, we can see how they rate Bayelsa. From a state that lost the Presidency, our only permanent secretary has also been removed. Only God knows what will happen next. Our highest-ranked Customs officers have been retired. They gave us Minister of State for Agriculture, but I say no, that is an assistant minister. In effect, it is minister without portfolio. The truth is that Bayelsans must wake up. The elites must learn to put the people’s collective interest ahead of their own selfish interest”, Dickson stressed.
Speaking on his chances of defeating the APC candidate in the forthcoming polls, Gov. Dickson boasted that the people of Bayelsa do not know any other governorship candidate other than him, saying he has the overwhelming support of the majority to retain his seat.
“I have seen the massive outpouring of genuine love and support from the chiefs, elders, youths and women groups”, he said, adding that he has changed the face of politics in the state, compared to how it was done when his opponent, Sylva, was governor.
“The level of maturity and tolerance I have brought to bear on the politics here is such that you see the opposition campaigning against me as vigorously as I am also campaigning. That is happening for the first time.
“When Chief Sylva was governor, we all saw what he did. Even the primaries in his own party were filled with shooting and holding people hostage. Anybody who wanted to campaign against him would be attacked.
“One of his supporters, Chief Rufus Abadi, knew what happened to him in his own house at Otuan. But some of our people have a short memory. I want to challenge my opponent, Sylva, to sleep in the communities as I have been doing, instead of bragging about federal force. No one knows him at the federal level other than he was used to unseat his brother. Let him go to our communities and relate with them freely as I am doing”, Dickson said.