Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The immediate past Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Heineken Lokpobiri, has joined the Bayelsa governorship race on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC).
Lokpobiri, who declared his intention at the party secretariat where he met the state party Chairman and members of the Executive Committee, said he had decided to contest the governorship election to rescue the state.
The former minister appealed to the party to ensure a fair playing field for all governorship aspirants so that the party would remain united.
“I am here to formally inform my political family about my intention to contest the governorship of Bayelsa State on APC platform. I have the support base to win the election come November 16, 2019. My plea to the leadership of our party is to ensure that the party remains united in order to form a formidable front to win this election,” the former minister announced.
“If the party members work together, we will surely win the governorship election, come November.
“I am coming to give direction to Bayelsa State, develop the state and build the economy beyond oil,’’ he added.
The Chairman of the party in the state, Mr Jothan Amos, assured Lokpobiri and other aspirants that the party would conduct a free and fair election.
At the formal opening of Heineken Lokpobiri campaign office, one-time Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, assured APC members in the state that the party was solidly behind Lokpobiri to rescue Bayelsa from the rival People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
According to him, Lokpobiri had worked closely with him and had demonstrated the competence that is required to unleash development in Bayelsa State.
Lokpobiri, speaking briefly, said that the PDP government in the state had failed in the areas of security and welfare.
He expressed optimism that he would emerge the candidate of the party and would become governor following the November 16 election.
Leaders of the party at the event led by Ambassador Felix Oboro appealed to the party to conduct transparent primaries that would produce the party candidate.