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Bayelsa bye-elections: Ijaw leaders endorse Dickson

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Prominent Ijaw leaders, including Alhaji Asari Dokubo and chieftains of both the Ijaw National Congress (INC) and the Ijaw Youths Congress (IYC), have endorsed immediate past governor of Bayelsa State, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, as their candidate for the forthcoming Bayelsa West Senatorial by-election.

This endorsement by the pan-Ijaw socio-political group cuts across party divides, and is said to be informed by the need of the Ijaw nation to send their bests to represent them at the national level.

Rising from a meeting in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state capital, the group, under the aegis of Patriots of the Ijaw Struggle, said it was not only impressing it upon Dickson to contest the seat vacated by new Deputy Governor Lawrence Ewrujakpo, but also calling on all Bayelsans and those who have the interest of the Ijaw Nation at heart, to support and massively vote for the candidacy of the former governor, as he is clearly the best man for the job.

In a communiqué jointly signed by Chief Frank Omare and four other past presidents of the IYC, including Asari Dokubo, the Ieaders said they had “x-rayed the many aspirants who have indicated their interest to represent the Bayelsa West senatorial district and have taken the pain to evaluate each and everyone of these aspirants, their background, educational qualifications and political persuasions, as well as their belief in our undying Ijaw struggle”, and arrived at the conclusion that Dickson is the most qualified to represent both the senatorial zone and the Ijaw nation at this point in time.

It said this has become most germane now , giving “the present unstable and unpredictable nature of our national politics, vis-à-vis the growing national discourse on the shape of Nigeria’s democracy, given the many unpalatable developments of security concerns, environmental challenges and the issues of fiscal federalism and devolution of power”.

The communiqué said what placed Dickson heads and shoulders above other aspirants is not only because he has experience as a former member of the House of Representatives, but also stands out as a result of his sterling performance as a two-term governor of Bayelsa state.

Similarly, the Ijaw leaders argued that Dickson’s known position on burning national issues, his ability to galvanize the Ijaws from all the states that have indigenous Ijaw population, and his ability to leverage his enormous contacts from within and outside the country to put every Ijaw interest on the national table, all combine to stand him out as the best of the lot.

The Ijaw leaders concluded: “It is our considered submission that the people of Sagbama/Ekeremor federal constituency should see his selection beyond party lines, and a further call to duty, and one which is seen as an Ijaw project critical tour collective goal as a people”,
They said that the choice of Dickson is further informed by the need to respect the historical understanding of rotation in the senatorial district and allow their Sagbama kith and kin to produce the senator to complete the remaining tenure of His Excellency, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpor”, who is from Dickson’s senatorial zone.

Other Ijaw leaders who co-signed the communiqué include Barr. Owoupele, Mr. Alfred Kemepado, and five other former Executives and chieftains of both the INC and the IYC, as well as lading lights of the Ijaw struggle.

It would be recalled that, a few weeks ago, a leading chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State had also appealed to his party not to field any candidate against Dickson for the senatorial election, saying that attempting to stop dickson would be a total disservice to both Bayelsa State, the Ijaw nation and Nigeria at large.


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