Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
A governorship aspirant in the just-concluded Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primaries in Bayelsa State, Mr Keniebi Okoko, Thursday said he remains undeterred by the result of the exercise, vowing to work for the emergence of a PDP governor in the interest of Bayelsa and the party.
Okoko, who came third during the exercise which had 21 contestants, in a statement he personally signed, noted that as a loyal party man who believes in party supremacy, he had decided to team up with the winner to ensure a PDP victory on November 16.
He added that he was seeking the highest office in the state not because of his personal interest, but to uplift Bayelsa and make it the envy of all.
He said: “In the morning of Wednesday, the 4th of September 2019, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Electoral Committee which was sent from the national headquarters of the party to conduct the governorship primaries, officially declared Senator Douye Diri as the candidate of the party.
“While we leave the bickering occasioned by the politics of the time behind, I have also reminded myself that I went into the race not for personal reasons, but out of the conviction that I could genuinely make a huge difference in the lives of our people if given a bigger platform.
“Though things have not worked as planned, we see this as a temporary setback in our quest to truly make Bayelsa a 21st century compliant, forward-looking state which will be the envy of other states. We remain undeterred in this pursuit.
“We also are cognizant of the fact that our great party, the PDP, is greater than any individual and the interest of Bayelsa should be paramount at all times, no matter what anybody feels.
“We may not have achieved our goal in the short term, but we are certainly not downcast. We have drawn a lot from the lessons learnt.”
The businessman and philanthropist said he would continue to work for the progress of the state, stressing that his recent foray into politics had taught him very valuable lessons which will be useful in the future.
“Being relatively new in politics, I can in all modesty state that my team and I haven’t done badly, coming third in the race before far more experienced people in the politics of Bayelsa.
“I want to thank the people of Bayelsa for their unwavering support and steadfast love and prayers throughout this process. Let me say that I do not take for granted the sacrifice made by my teeming supporters who were there in the rain and in the sun to ensure we emerged victorious,” he added.
While thanking the former President of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, who he said played the role of a father throughout the entire process, he also lauded Governor Seriake Dickson being a leader of the state.
“Let me further use this opportunity to thank the Governor Darius Ishaku-led committee for the hard work they put into ensuring that the process was largely transparent. I harbour no bitterness against anybody.
“The future is still ahead of us and in the deepest recesses of my heart, I believe it looks even brighter than anyone can ever imagine.
“Therefore, after due consultations with my team, I have formally visited the winner, Senator Diri to personally congratulate him on his victory. I have also been in touch with my brother, Chief Timi Alaibe.
“In this regard, I have decided to fully support the winner of the PDP primaries, Senator Diri, in the interest of Bayelsa and the PDP and to work for his victory in the November 16 governorship election. We cannot afford to lose this state to the opposition.
“Like I said earlier, the future ahead of us looks even more blazing. In my private capacity, I have done my utmost best to lift the people of my state in my own little way. I will not relent,” he concluded.