Bayelsa Governor Seriake Dickson has promised to present the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Douye Siri and his running mate, Senator Lawrence Ewrujakpor, to former President Goodluck Jonathan as a mark of respect.
The governor said in a statement at the weekend by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, that the decision was borne out the high respect he had for Jonathan as a leader.
He said the presentation would take place at the earliest convenience of the former President.
Dickson made the statement when the Ogbia Restoration Caucus of the PDP, from Jonathan’s Ogbia Local Government Area, visited him for an interactive session on Sunday.
Dickson, who described the former President as his elder brother and leader, noted that he was deeply appreciative of the mutually beneficial political alliance and relationship spanning over 17 years between the two of them.
The governor dismissed the insinuations of a frosty relationship between him and Dr. Jonathan, saying that the report was the handiwork of self-centered politicians on a mission to use the former President’s name to cause mischief.
He explained that politicians around the former President had been in the habit of fabricating reports of non-existent conflict between him and Dr. Jonathan over the years once they failed to achieve their political expectations.
Dickson told Jonathan’s kinsmen that he visited the former President on 15 occasions out of respect to compare notes with him and to agree on a candidate to support collectively which unfortunately did not happen during the transition period.
The governor commended the Ogbia Restoration Caucus and all members of the party for holding onto the PDP which gave the Ogbia people the opportunity to contest highest offices in the land.
He said: “If the rest of this state, the rest of the Ijaw nation, the rest of Nigeria, supported us and worked with us, then the least we can expect is that we in Bayelsa and Ogbia in particular should be faithful to the PDP.”
Dickson said that he was not particularly surprised by the defections in Ogbia as shown by the defections that immediately followed Dr. Jonathan’s lost in the 2015 elections.
According to him, a week after the Presidential election of 2015, a serving Senator, a member of the House of Assembly from the Local Government Area and even the Representative defected to the APC.
The governor said that those making allegations against him in the bid to rationalize defections and ingratitude to the PDP should make bold to tell Nigerians that they were leaving in pursuit of money and Federal appointments being dangled to them.
Dickson further condemned the way and manner the name of the former President was brought into a governorship contest where all aspirants were his people.
He said that no governor especially a second term governor almost completing his term would sit idly and watch politicians in his party impose a candidate on him as they tried to do.
He said: “Nobody here is Dr. Jonathan’s mate in Bayelsa. He was a former President of Nigeria but some people around him are always dragging his name into the local politics of the state, the politics of the local government area just to have their way, and when they fail, they spread the propaganda that the former President is sidelined. I have been silent all along out of respect for the man that I respect as my oga any day.”