I haven’t yet anointed any aspirant to succeed me, says Dickson
Gov. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa says he has not anointed any aspirant to succeed him for the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of the Nov. 16, gubernatorial polls.
The PDP had slated its party primaries for Sept. 3, while the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had slated the governorship elections for Kogi and Bayelsa for Nov. 16.
A statement by the Special Adviser, Media Relations, Mr Fidelis Soriwei, quoted the governor as having called on Bayelsa people to discountenance aspirants claiming to have his endorsement.
The Governor said he would commence consultations with aspirants and critical stakeholders at the national and state levels of the PDP with the conclusion of the sale of the gubernatorial nomination forms for the next election.
Dickson also promised to work closely with the party leadership to ensure the conduct of credible, free and fair primaries in Bayelsa.News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that no fewer than 16 aspirants collected the expression of interest forms under the platform of the PDP.
Some of the aspirants who collected PDP nomination form include Dr Ayawei Nimbofa, Chairman of Bayelsa Board of Internal Revenue; a former cabinet member in the state, Mr Reuben Okoya; and an ex-militant leader, Great MacIver.
Others are incumbent Deputy Governor Gboribiogha Jonah, a businessman, Kenebi Okoko, former Commissioner for Works and Transportation in the state, Mr Franklin Osaisai, Chief Benson Agadaga and Chief Ndutimi Alaibe, former Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission.
They also include Amb. Boladei Igali, Rep. Fred Agbedi, Sen. Douye Diri (Bayelsa Central), Chief of Staff Government House, Mr Talford Ongolo, and Secretary to the State Government, Mr Kemela Okara.According Dickson, while the aspirants who had picked the party’s nomination form have the right to pursue their ambition, the leadership of the party will watch and indeed monitor the build up to the primaries.
“Now that the collection of gubernatorial forms has ended, the leadership of the party in the state wishes to say that there is no anointed aspirant against the practice in those states where outgoing governors endorse one single aspirant.
“I decided to open the state for people in my government, my team and other members of the party who have the interest to indicate their interest.“I promise the state that there would be no imposition so would it be.
“The aspirants who have bought forms have the right to express their ambition but the state leadership of the party would watch keenly.
“I am following the comments and making observations and inappropriate cases making consultations.
“And at the end of the day I intend to work with the party at the national and state levels to ensure that there is a free and fair election.“Those using my name should be disregarded, it is not true, I have not endorsed anybody yet,’’ Dickson said.