Bayelsa 2019: PDP kicks off guber rally, as APC mocks absence of Jonathan
In politics, the opposition always looks at the negatives because they feed into its expectation and narrative. Highlighting the positives will give it away as having no grounds in wanting to takeover the affairs of state.
This is the scenario the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) tries to paint of the launch of the campaign by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the November 16, 2019, governorship poll in Bayelsa State.
Rather than face the crisis that threatens to sink its local chapter, ranging from the platform’s less-than-stellar primary election that has attracted legal redress, to its inadequate political structures to prosecute its campaigns, the APC is concerned with the attendees at the PDP kick-off rally in Yenagoa on Monday, October 7, 2019.
The party is belly-aching over the absence, at the rally, of former President Goodluck Jonathan, governors of the PDP and its National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus.
No doubt, the significance of these personalities were not lost on the observers of the event. The absence of Dr. Jonathan was mostly accentuated, being a former PDP leader, and an illustrious son of Bayelsa.
Besides, there’s an alleged beef between Jonathan and Governor Seriake Dickson (which they’ve denied) over choice of the PDP flag-bearer in the November election.
But the swarming crowd at the rally at the Ox-Bow Lake Pavilion, Yenagoa, the capital city, was a definitive statement that mitigated the said absence of PDP bigwigs, and highlighted the popularity of the party and the candidacy of Senator Diri Douye.
In any case, PDP’s Vice-Chairman (South), Elder Emmanuel Ogidi, represented Prince Secodus at the occasion, which was the start of the campaigns that would last till November 14.So, there’s enough time for Jonathan, Secondus and the PDP governors to make their rounds to boost and energise the party’s chances in its avowal to retain the governorship seat.
Until then, members of the PDP in Bayelsa, under the able leadership of Governor Dickson, will continue to hold the flag high, as they did last Monday in their thousands.
The party faithful left no one, including the APC, in disbelief that Bayelsa, the ‘Glory of All Land,’ is a PDP state. This was solidified by the defection of a prominent APC member from Sagbama council area, Pastor Miebi Biribena, and his teeming followers to the PDP at the “celebrative” rally. The gathering was a huge success.
Governor Dickson emphasised this prospect at the rally. He said only the PDP has the political structure to win any election in Bayelsa, as the party “controls the grassroots with its eight local government chairmen and 105 ward councillors.”He solidified his position by saying, “The other party (APC) didn’t do primary, and continues to bring candidates from their pockets and show to the world sometimes in hotels and drinking parlours.”
“We, the PDP, did a very serious and hotly contested primary,” he said, adding, “Just as we defeated them (APC) with their so-called federal support in 2015, we will defeat them (this time) with bigger margins.”But the governor advised against the use of “Abjua power” for politicking and elections, warning of the dire consequences should the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies conduct themselves otherwise.
Turning to the subject of the rally: the presentation of Senator Douye and Senator Lawrence Ewrujakpor, as candidate and running mate, respectively, in the November 16 poll, Governor Dickson said the PDP was offering them as a “ticket of stability.”
“We are presenting a ticket of stability; a ticket of development and a ticket that will not turn this state into a gathering place of hooligans and criminals; where people will be running away, as they were doing before,” he said.Affirming that his ‘Restoration’ government had done a lot in the areas of education, health, road infrastructure and political stability; the governor admitted there’re still jobs to be done.
“There is no government that can claim to solve all problems of a state or of a country; there are so many things that we have done; there are a lot of things that are ongoing and so many things we plan to do but due to time and resources,” he said.
But he added: “All of these, Douye Diri and his new government, from February (2020) will continue and complete. That is why we are presenting this ticket, and by the grace of God, your next governor in 2020 will be Senator Douye Diri.”
In his speech, Douye, whose ground was softened by the oratorial prowess of the governor, pledged to continue with, and improve on the policies and programmes of the Dickson administration.He also promised to complete, and construct new road networks in the three senatorial districts of the state; industrialise and open several frontiers, including making Bayelsa a net exporter of fish; and give special focus to youth and women empowerment with more skills and loans through government’s established micro-finance banks, to set up businesses.
Most importantly, Douye vowed to champion the “Ijaw struggle” and the comatose “resource control” for oil-bearing states of the Niger Delta.If elected on November 16, these two crusades – Ijaw struggle and resource control – and other developmental challenges in Bayelsa will shape the character and direction of a Douye government anchored on his ‘FORWARD TOGETHER’ and ‘No One Left Behind’ mantra.
Observers ay nonetheless, the campaign as powered by Governor Dickson and the PDP, must set the eye on the ball, and assuage the pockets of dissatisfaction arising from the primary, for the sake of continuity of the party’s administration in Bayelsa.Letting the opposition APC to sneak in, through whatever means legal, would unsettle the apple-carte.
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