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Azaiki, Ayawei join Bayelsa guber race, as Dickson insists no anointed candidate


[FILE PHOTO] Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa.

Alaibe Submits Nomination Form

The member representing Yenagoa/Kolokuma/Opokuma Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Prof. Steve Azaiki, has join the growing list of aspirants for the November 16 Bayelsa State governorship election. Azaiki, a former Secretary to the State Government, who announced his intention at an evening with selected Nigerians in Kiev, Ukraine, promised zero tolerance for corruption, ineptitude, waste and inefficiency.

Similarly, Chairman of the state Board of Internal Revenue, Nimbofa Ayawei, yesterday, picked the nomination and expression of interest form of the PPD. Ayawei picked the forms ahead of the expiration of the deadline given by the party for the primaries.

Azaiki, if he eventually picks the nomination and expression of interest forms, would be the 18th aspirants that have indicated interest to take over Creek Haven Government House from Governor Seriake Dickson on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PD).He stated: “It is important to note that among all the aspirants, I am the only one who has worked with all previous governors of the state, including the incumbent. I understand the problems and challenges of the state better and can come up with better solutions.


“Starting from the day of my inauguration, there shall be, as an official government policy starting from the very top, zero tolerance for corruption, ineptitude, waste and inefficiency. “To get here, we must replace fear with hope, cynicism with hardwork, negative, divisive politics, partisan, tribal politics with a positive vision that brings Bayelsans together.”

Azaiki, a former Pro-Chancellor of Bayelsa State University in Wilberforce Town, also promised to bring about, among things, capacity development through high value university scholarship for indigent students, good road network, infrastructural development and good waste management disposal.

“I come before you to declare that Bayelsa deserves a governor that works as hard as all Ijaw people do; one who is fully committed every minute of every day to growing the economy, creating jobs, building high quality infrastructure, such as housing, roads, light rail and strengthening the middle class.

“The current government has tried its best to address all these concerns, and I am coming on board to continue from where it stopped and build a better future for our people.“My administration will be known for compelling the multinational corporations to adhere to their corporate social responsibility.

“I will also ensure our young people are given preference and privileges as they engage the multinational corporations in our domain.”On his part, Ayawei said: “I have what it takes to be the next governor of the state owing to my years of experience in public and private service to humanity.

“We can’t afford anyone that will come and destroy the legacies and all that has already been built. Bayelsa is on a milestone, look at what we are experiencing today, Bayelsans are all out to facilitate with the new order.”Meanwhile, Dickson has once again restated his earlier position that the leadership of the party has not endorsed any aspirant for the post.

A statement by his Special Adviser, Media Relations, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, quoted the governor as calling on Bayelsans to discountenance aspirants claiming to have his endorsement, saying he would commence intensified consultations with aspirants and critical stakeholders at the national and state levels of the party with the conclusion of the sale of forms for the election.

Dickson also promised to work closely with the party leadership to ensure the conduct of credible, free and fair primaries, saying aspirants who have picked the forms have the right to pursue their ambition, while the leadership of the party would watch monitor the build up to the primaries.He stressed that his earlier position that there was no anointed aspirant in the election has not changed, because there was no such aspirant.

Meanwhile, former Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs and an aspirants, ‘Timi Alaibe, yesterday, submitted his forms at the Wadata House headquarters of the PDP in Abuja. Alaibe told the leadership of the party that despite the unprecedented number of aspirants from the state, he is seeking the governorship with incomparable public and private sector credentials, in terms of management of both human and financial resources.

He said every aspirant that has picked the form is a credible leader in his or her own right and the more the number of people involved in the race, the difficult it would be for the delegates to make any mistake in picking the right person for the office.

He said having managed nine states with 145 councils while serving as managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Bayelsa, with only eight councils, would benefit from that experience.

Alaibe explained that Dickson has invested a lot in the development of the state, such that the only way forward is to ensure that governance, after his exit, is not left in the hands of those who would neither keep pace with his vision nor take the state to a higher level.

He dismissed rumours that the governor has already anointed a successor among his aides, which explains why many of them were picking the nomination form.

Earlier, Deputy National Chairman of PDP, Adeyemi Akinwumni, assured that the party’s primary would be conducted in a manner that would satisfy the yearnings of the people, especially the international community “to show that PDP is promoting democracy in Nigeria.

The party’s National Organising Secretary of PDP, Col. Austin Akobundu (rtd), expressed delight at the quality of aspirants for the race, advising them to play the game according to the rules. “We do not have a favoured aspirant. PDP ticket is not for sale. Only the best shall win it. We will support all the aspirants equally,” he insisted.


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