Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), David Lyon, has mocked Governor Henry Seriake Dickson over what he described as the rejection of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by Bayelsans.
Lyon in statement by his Media Adviser, Gift Ebiki reacting to comments made against him by Governor Dickson said rather than be fixated on happenings in the APC, the governor should be concerned about the rejection of his party by Bayelsans after seven years of broken campaign promises and insensitive government policies that have inflicted pains on the people.
He said all the energy Governor Dickson is using to castigate members of the opposition should be deployed to solve the myriads of problems ranging from non-payment of salary arrears, pensions and gratuities for seven years, student bursaries for seven years and non- provision of pipe borne water to residents of the state capital Yenagoa for seven years despite budgetary allocations to Ministry of Water Resources.
He said Dickson should be worried that his deputy, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah, Former President Goodluck Jonathan, national leadership of the party and leaders of the party across the eight local government areas have abandoned him and party because of his style of leadership.
“The PDP today is a sinking ship because of the style of leadership of the Governor. During the campaign rally, former President Goodluck Jonathan, the deputy-governor Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah, national leadership of the party, PDP governors and colleagues of the PDP candidate and his running mate in the National Assembly failed to turn up because Dickson has made PDP very unattractive in the state”, he said.
Lyon said he is ready to offer his services to Bayelsans and uplift the people from poverty through pragmatic leadership and people-oriented policies that would make Bayelsa conducive for business and economic activities to thrive.
“ Bayelsans are aware of the propaganda Dickson has been using over the years and they are tired. Dickson should know Bayelsans are well informed and need someone who has the capacity to provide food for Bayelsans, create employment and improve the standard of living. By the grace of God, I have the capacity to provide these essential amenities. Bayelsans know that by God’s grace, I have provided job opportunities for Bayelsans that the Dickson administration has impoverished. The days of politics of bitterness, name- calling are over. Bayelsans want a governor that can alleviate their sufferings and that is why they have rejected the PDP.”
YIAGA Africa trains, deploys 48 Long Term Observers for pre-election activities
An advocacy group, Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement ( YIAGA Africa) has said it is deploying 48 Long Term Observers(LTO) to monitor pre-election activities in the governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi states
A statement by the Executive Director, Samson Itodo noted that the deployment became necessary because the governorship elections is anticipated to be keenly contested in the two states and with a lot of expectations from all election stakeholders, it becomes pertinent to engage the process from the pre-election period.
He said having observed the political party primaries in both Bayelsa and Kogi states, YIAGA Africa’s Watching the Vote (WTV) has deployed 48 LTOs to observe the pre-election environment.
Itodo said that out of the 48 Ltos who are residents of the Local Government they are observing, 21 were deployed to Bayelsa while 27 were deployed to Kogi State.
He explained that the LTO are also expected to recruit polling unit observers from sampled polling units that will observe the governorship election on November 16 in both states.
“The Long Term observes who also double as Local Government Supervisors are deployed to each of the 8 Local Government Areas in Bayelsa State and the 21 Local government areas in Kogi State to report on events, activities and critical incidents using a specialized checklist and critical incident form. The observation reports from the field are sent in form of coded SMS to the WTV Data Center bi-weekly.
“YIAGA Africa’s Watching The Vote Pre-Election observers will observe issues related to the activities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ranging from recruitment and training of ad hoc personnel, identification of polling units, meeting with stakeholders, voter education and information campaigns to the collection and distribution of Permanent Voter Card, activities of political parties like rallies and campaigns, activities relating to security agencies and incidents capable of undermining the electoral process”, he said.
Ripples over Dickson’s aides’ resignation
There are ripples over the resignation of two aides of Governor Henry Seriake Dickson ahead of the election.
The Special Adviser to the governor on Power and cousin to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Mr Mike Ogiasa resigned his appointment from the government.
Though he did not state any reasons for his resignation, it is linked to the alleged cold war between Jonathan and Dickson over the outcome of the PDP governorship primary election, which produced Senator Douye Diri.
Jonathan who is believed to have supported Mr Ndutimi Alaibe had stayed away from PDP activities since the emergence of Diri as the party’s standard bearer.
Also, Stephen Diver, the Special Adviser on Political Matters 1, in a letter dated October 9 and addressed to Dickson has also resigned his appointment.
Diver is from Otuan in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, the same local government of Chief David Lyon, the governorship flag bearer of the APC.
The letter reads in part: “ Your Excellency Sir, you tenure will come to its end in three months and consequent upon tha,t you have chosen a team to take over from you as Governor and Deputy- Governorship candidates under the PDP platform. I wish to make it clear to you that this team are not politicians of like minds with me and it is not part of my character to disagree with my boss on very important decisions that have to do with the future of our people and still remained in government to receive salaries and allowances. I hereby resign my appointment in the Executive arm of Government as Special Adviser on Political Matters 1.”