Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
With less than two weeks to the take-off of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primaries, the Bayelsa State Government, on Friday, called on all the aspirants in the state to have an open mind as they go into the contest.
The state government asked aspirants to avoid negative tendencies that could lead to an avoidable division of PDP in the state.
Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, in an interview with journalists, in Yenagoa, said the primaries should not throw up negative reactions that would lead to the exit of some members from the PDP.
According to him, only one person will emerge in each of the state and federal constituencies as well as senatorial zones, adding that the person should be supported to win the main election in 2019.
The Commissioner explained that only bad losers and those without sound political ideology would dump the party because of their desperation and parochial interests.
Iworiso-Markson argued that the collective interest of PDP is more important than that of any individual and urged all aspirants to work hard to win the hearts of delegates at the primaries.
He maintained that every loyal member of the PDP should work assiduously to keep the party together and confront the challenges of winning the general elections next year, rather than opt out to other parties.
While commending Governor Henry Seriake Dickson for the current political stability being experienced in Bayelsa state, Iworiso-Markson said that the state would have been up in flames because of political tension, if not for the governor’s intervention.
He also commended the leadership of the PDP in the state for the maturity it has displayed in the discharge of their duties and expressed confidence that the primaries will be free, fair and credible.
Speaking on the number of forms sold by the PDP especially for State House of Assembly aspirants, the Commissioner said it suggested the desperation of people who want to hold political office by all means.
He described the development as a dangerous trend, saying most of those aspiring for the House of Assembly seats were doing so for inordinate reasons and therefore lacks the capacity to be lawmakers.
Iworiso-Markson said that some people see political offices as the easiest way to walk their way to financial freedom, a mentality that has been consistent with Nigeria’s political system.
He said, “I am not excited about the number of people vying for House of Assembly seats in Bayelsa. It shows that politics is now an all-comers affair. It is a dangerous thing for our democracy. This is because managing the outcome of the primaries is often a difficult thing because a number of the aspirants lack the spirit of sportsmanship.
“Once they fail to clinch the ticket all hell is let loose and the polity becomes overheated unnecessarily. People now see political offices as the easiest way to enrich themselves and with that kind of mindset they go into those offices to fight for their own interest rather than offer the needed service to the people.
What I am excited about is the peace and stability in the state. The elections are here and yet we don’t have the usual security challenge caused by unnecessary political tension as it was in the past.
“If you listen to the developments in other states, some of the neighbouring states around us you will hear the drums of war. So we have Governor Dickson to thank for that. Let me use this opportunity to call on all aspirants of the PDP, to remain loyal members of the party, despite what will be the outcome. They should be patriotic in defeat by remaining in the party. All hands need to be on deck to win the general elections.”