Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri has tasked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies for a level playing field ahead the October 31 Bayelsa Central and West senatorial bye- election.
Diri who stated this over the weekend while inaugurating the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) campaign council for the Bayelsa Central senatorial bye-election expressed optimism that the PDP would retain the seat he vacated after he was sworn in as governor on February 14.
While charging INEC and security agencies to build on the gains of the Edo poll by ensuring that the will of the people of Bayelsa Central prevailed over those of godfathers he described the candidate of the party, Moses Cleopas, as eminently qualified to represent the people of the district in the Senate.
The governor commended the party faithful for the peaceful and transparent conduct of the primary election, which he said proved naysayers wrong.
He observed that over time, the PDP has proved to be a truly democratic party with a history of producing qualified candidates, stressing that politics was not about violence and imposition but about the people as was seen in the recent election in Edo State.
He said: “I want to thank the Central Senatorial District for the peaceful manner in which it conducted its own senatorial primaries and the democratic way we are trying to show the other party how to conduct elections. Internal democracy is very important in the democratic process and we have proved that as a party we are disciplined and ready to do what is right.
“I am not unaware that the other side was praying that at the end of that contest PDP will be divided. But as it stands today, we are more united and our candidate in the central senatorial district has all it takes in terms of experience, attitude and education. I have no doubt that he can stand tall in the red chambers.
“For those who think that politics is all about violence, there is a new dawn in Nigeria. We all saw what just happened in Edo State. We believe that with what INEC has done in Edo, it will do the same in this bye-election. We expect that the process will be fair and transparent.”
Also speaking, Special Adviser to the Governor on Political Matters, Chief Collins Cocodia, expressed the optimism that with the calibre of persons in the campaign council, the party was sure of victory.
The council has veteran politician, Chief Diekivie Oboh, as Director-General with a former speaker of the House of Assembly and current Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Konbowei Benson as Deputy Director General (Administration) and Mr Ebiye Tarabina as Deputy Director General (Operations).