Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
The race for the 2019 governorship race may have begun in earnest in Bayelsa with the people of Ogbia Local Government, where ex-President Goodluck Jonathan hails from, declaring their support for Governor Seriake Dickson and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday.
Several politicians from the area wednesday converged on Yenagoa to review the performance of the party in the last election and thereafter set up a reconciliation committee led by Fred Ogbua, to facilitate the return of those that defected from the party in the heat of the 2015 poll.
Present during the ceremony were former and serving commissioners, state House of Assembly members, Special Advisers, ex-local government chiefs as well as party ward chairmen and other party loyalists.
During Thursdayâ€™s event which came under the banner of the PDP restoration caucus in Ogbia, led by Chief George Okirinya, the party said that though it won in the local council in the last governorship election, it had started noticing some cracks within its ranks.
While passing a vote of confidence in the governor during the event attended by a mammoth crowd in Yenagoa, Chairman of the caucus, who briefed the press, said the support for the governor was necessary because of the way Dickson acted as a prop for their son, former President Jonathan, throughout his political career.
â€œAfter an extensive meeting, it gave us the opportunity to review the immeasurable support Governor Dickson has given our son, Dr Goodluck Jonathan as deputy governor, governor, vice president and president.
â€œDickson was one of the few forces working behind the scene, providing the needed support and encouragement. Even after his presidency, Dickson hosted him to a heroic reception in appreciation for his service to Nigeria,â€ the ex-presidentâ€™s kinsmen noted.
The group listed some of the projects the governor had done in the council in the last six years and the selection of several of his aides from the axis, noting that Dickson had done well for the council despite all odds.
â€œWe want to state it clearly and to let the world know that on no account, irrespective of temptation from the opposition and the antics of some forces within the PDP fold, decide to turn our back on the governor who is a good man,â€ the group said.
All those who spoke during the event declared their support for the governor, noting that though there were challenges during and after the last election, with the opposition poaching some of the PDP chieftains, it was time to ensure that the party goes into the next round of polls in unity.
Some of those who attended the meeting were: Saviour Ibegi, Commissioner for Community Development and Chieftaincy Affairs, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, Commissioner for Information; Fred Ogbua, Special Duty; Mitemma Obodor Ogbia Constituency One; Naomi Ogohi, Caretaker Chairman, Ogbia; Don Evarada, Special Adviser, among several others.