Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Bayelsa State Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah has joined the governorship race.
Our correspondent had reported on Wednesday that Jonah who had declined Governor Henry Dickson’s request to contest for the Bayelsa East senatorial ticket actually wanted to quietly retire after his tenure as deputy- governor but had been persuaded to succeed his boss as the search for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) flag- bearer intensifies.
Jonah was at the PDP secretariat, Wadata Plaza to pick his Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms for the September 3 governorship primaries with a promise to build on the legacies spear-headed by Dickson in the last seven years.
Investigations revealed that the entrance of Jonah into the governorship race had changed the contest as he is now the front-runner to get the ticket.
“By this action, he has not only made a bold statement in the political space but has answered the clarion call by Bayelsans urging him to contest the governorship,” a top official of the party said.
Meanwhile the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has commended Dickson for providing a level-playing ground for competent members of the party to express interest to contest the governorship primaries.
The Secretary-General of the IYC, World Wide, Mr. Alfred Kemepado, said in a statement that Dickson deserved commendation for allowing all aspirants who have ambition to procure the indication of interest and nomination form of the PDP in pursuit of their gubernatorial ambitions.
He said that what the governor had done was to create the opportunity for all the aspirants with a strong quest to govern the state to test their popularity with the delegates of the PDP during the forthcoming primaries of the party on September 3, 2019.
According to the IYC scribe, it is in the interest of democracy and its growth that the governor resisted the strong temptation to impose any candidate on the party contrary to the rampant practice across some states of the federation.
Kemepado who stressed that the Governor’s action should serve as a template for others to copy in order to avoid the unhealthy contests occasioned by bitterness and acrimony said his action was a courageous display of character and fairness which should be commended by all lovers of democracy and the general good.
He said that the IYC was interested in the democratic process of the PDP, the opposition All Progressives Congress and other major parties because their primaries and their outcomes could record serious effect on Bayelsans and indeed the Ijaw nation.
Kemepado, however, said that the events in the Bayelsa PDP where all the top political office holders in the state have indicated interest in the governorship of the state was not too healthy.
He noted that while it was good to exercise the freedom that flows from democratic governance, it was also pertinent that those expected to be entrusted with the leadership of the state make some sacrifice in the interest of the general good by showing some coordination.