Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
Bayelsa State Governor, Mr Seriake Dickson, yesterday maintained that he would not support politicians he described as errand boys in the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
Governor Dickson, who spoke in Yenagoa during a media chat, said that his successor should be principled, bold and courageous enough to protect the collective interests of the Ijaw nation in the Nigerian federation at all times.
He noted that in view of the challenges facing the state, Bayelsa cannot afford to have an “establishment errand boy,” and insisted that the next governor should have a clear agenda and to serve the people.
According to the governor: “The next governor of the Ijaw nation must be courageous. He must be ready to defend the Ijaw nation at all times. He must not be the errand boy of any ethnic group. I will be sad to see the governor of Bayelsa playing just politics, without being able to take a decisive position on issues.”
Governor Dickson enthused that he has raised the standard of governance and expectations in Bayelsa and promised to publish an audited account of his eight years stewardship.
Said he: “The shoes I am leaving behind are very big. Posterity will judge. Only very few of the people who come to talk to me have the interest of the state at heart. There is no free money to give anybody in Bayelsa. Don’t kill for anybody. None has the power to make you a billionaire.
“Our people are oppressed. We have a lot of stories to tell Nigerians. When it comes to speak for the Ijaw nation, I have not been found wanting. I want that tradition to continue. I want my people to be safe.
“More, than any other time, Bayelsa needs a governor with the requisite courage to lead the Ijaw nation. What is at stake is your destiny and survival. Our people are balkanized into small units from Ondo State to many other states.
“In the Niger delta, the Ijaw voice must be heard. I hope those buying the forms are aware of the enormity of the responsibilities of being the governor of Bayelsa state.”
Dickson also commended the political class for the current peace in the state in spite of the multiplicity of aspirants and expressed the hope that all political parties and candidates would abide by the rules of the game for the greater good of the state.
The governor observed that the Peoples Democratic Party had so many governorship aspirants in the state because it has remained the only solid and robust platform that could win election in the state.
He described the development as a testament to his democratic style of governance where people are allowed to pursue their political ambitions without any form of interference.
“In spite of the multiplicity of aspirants, we have a new political culture. There is no incidence of violence. I am happy that the state is growing politically.
“I want to see more engagement. I want to see people talk about their dreams and visions. I want to see more issues being addressed.
“The fact that you have 21 or so aspirants gives the clarity that PDP is the only party that can guarantee success and the platform that can connect with our people.
“It tells a lot about the capacity of the party and the leadership that I have provided to make it attractive,” Dickson said.
He, however, condemned the desperation of some politicians in the build up to the August 10th local council polls in the state. He described these politicians as those who do not mean well for the state.
The governor also confirmed that the council elections would hold as planned by the State Independent Electoral Commission and warned that the proposed boycott of the election by the main opposition party, the All Progressive Congress would not in any way affect the credibility of the poll.