Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, Wednesday debunked insinuations that he was fighting former President Goodluck Jonathan over who emerges as the next governor in the state.
Speaking during a media chat at the Government House in Yenagoa, the state capital, the governor accused the aides of the former Nigerian leader of taking advantage of their closeness to him to make careless statements.
He was reacting to recent reports of a serious friction between him and the ex-Nigerian leader, as the November 16 governorship poll in the state draws closer.
Dickson posited that when the time comes, he would consult with Jonathan and other major stakeholders on the candidate that will emerge on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) platform
He added that their last week’s outing during the launch of the state’s Education Development Fund, should convince naysayers that the relationship between the duo was cordial.
“Let me say that that event should have shown you that there is no problem between us. Jonathan is my elder brother and my leader and will continue to receive his due respect.
“We know what to do quietly. Even in this transition, if there is one person I am going to sit down with; it is going to be former President Jonathan.
“When I am ready after all these prayers, I will visit him because he is an elder and we will compare notes,” he said.
He said that he remains in charge of the state, maintaining that even the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) does not have the capacity to win elections in the state.
He added: “I have the direct responsibility of administering the state and I believe I have his support ; but sometimes from aides, you get all sorts of things. He is traveling round the world.
“But we can’t keep addressing the press everyday that there is no problem, which will mean that there is a problem.
“But we are united when it comes to what is good for our people. There is no political relationship that has lasted longer than that the two of us and we are very mindful of that.
“These are volatile times in terms of managing a transition and it can be quite turbulent. But it can be quite reassuring that you have his support, but the bottom line is that I am in charge of government and there has been no interference.
“We will consult and rub minds. There are no issues, but I know that there are people around who make careless statements and sometimes they have expectations that are unreasonable.
“And they like to take advantage of the proximity they have. But essentially there is no problem between us.
“I have some experience in this game. The outcome of the prayers and consultations will address all these fears. But what is comforting is that there’s no candidate of the APC that myself leading this team and the former president on his own side, can defeat us.
“They can’t win any election. But they will declare violence and the federal forces will swoop on Bayelsans. When the APC was popular we defeated them,” the governor explained.
He stressed that anyone who should qualify to fly the PDP gubernatorial ticket must have the requisite qualities of courage, commitment, vision and guts to protect the interests of the state and the Ijaw nation.
According to him, the candidate of the PDP should have the consciousness and capacity to play opposition politics in the country.
He stressed that the stakes in the next governorship poll were too high to be left in the hands of “lilly-livered politicians who only play establishment politics and shy away from the realities on ground.”
Commenting on the forthcoming local government elections, the governor emphasised that women and youths would be given priority for councillorship positions across the state in recognition of their sustained support to his administration.