The Governor of Bayelsa State, Henry Seriake Dickson, has said that he and the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would present the candidate of the party, Senator Douye Diri, and his running mate, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpor, to former President Goodluck Jonathan as a mark of respect.
The governor said in a statement by His Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, on Sunday, that the decision to present the candidate to the former President, a proud son of Bayelsa, was due to the high respect he has for him as a leader.
Dickson made the statement when the Ogbia Restoration Caucus of the PDP, from Jonathan’s Ogbia Local 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.
He dismissed insinuations of a frosty relationship between him and Dr. Jonathan, saying 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 fail to achieve their political expectations.
The governor 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.
He commended the Ogbia Restoration Caucus and all members of the party for holding onto the PDP which gave the Ogbia people, Bayelsans, the Ijaw people, and indeed the Niger Delta, the opportunity to lead the country and condemned the politics of defection in Ogbia.
The governor said that those making allegations against him in the bid to rationalise 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.
Governor Dickson condemned the way and manner the name of the former President was brought into a governorship contest where all aspirants are his people.
He said that the politicians who framed the governorship candidacy of an aspirant they supported as a contest between him (Gov Dickson) and Dr. Jonathan were unfair to them, especially President Jonathan, stressing that it was a pity that it was allowed.
He said that no governor especially a second term governor almost completing his term would sit idly bye and watch politicians in his party impose a candidate on him as they tried to do in Bayelsa.
“Nobody here is Dr. Jonathan’s mate in Bayelsa. He was a former President òf 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”, he said.