Former President Goodluck Jonathan has said that for the stability of Bayelsa State, Governor Douye Diri should be encouraged to complete a second term in office.
Speaking at his Yenagoa residence on Tuesday when members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Bayelsa National Governorship Campaign Council, alongside governors, former governors of the party and National Assembly members and other stakeholders paid him a visit, the former Nigerian leader said he is in touch with Governor Diri and his activities in the state.
The party leaders visited the state for the grand finale of the Governor Douye Diri re-election campaign rally.
Dr. Jonathan said Bayelsa has made progress in the area of security and infrastructural development under Diri.
He expressed delight over the involvement of critical stakeholders such as former Governor Seriake Dickson and the former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Chief Ndutimi Alaibe, in the affairs of the party, stressing that it signifies unity within PDP.
Jonathan restated the need for a peaceful election in Bayelsa, insisting that politics was not a do-or-die affair but should be a means to serve the people.
His words: “I have been in touch with our governor, and I believe he should be encouraged to do his eight years. He has been able to stabilise the state.
“Let us find a standard way of doing things. We cannot kill ourselves; we do not want crisis.
“I thank you all for what you are doing. While we struggle for leadership, we must have a country.”
The delegation which included PDP’s Acting National Chairman, Amb. Iliya Damagum, former National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, Governors Kefas Agbu (Taraba), Eno Umoh (Akwa Ibom), Sheriff Oborevwori (Delta), his predecessor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Senators Abdul Ningi, Ned Nwoko, later stormed the Ox-Bow Lake pavilion for the grand finale of the governorship campaign.
Speaking at the rally, Diri, said Bayelsa people will re-elect him for a second tenure on the basis of his first-term performance.
Addressing a large crowd at the pavilion, Governor Diri said his administration completed projects he inherited and equally embarked on his own projects in a terrain his opponent in the All-Progressives Congress (APC) described as difficult.
The Bayelsa governor said: “They say we only completed projects that we inherited. But the Unity Bridge in Nembe, where my APC opponent hails from and which he abandoned, was constructed and completed by my administration.
“Today, one of the best dual carriage roads in Yenagoa, the Glory Drive, for which they collected money in billions and abandoned, has been completed and inaugurated by my administration.”
Diri, who stated that the APC candidate, Chief Timipre Sylva, was governor for five years but had no achievements to campaign with except fake promises, said his administration had been in the saddle for about four years and was rolling out projects he inherited and initiated.
“Today, we are all witnesses to the fact that there is peace and security, and we can all sleep with our eyes closed.”
Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Bayelsa Governorship National Campaign Council, Dr. Agbu Kefas, who is also governor of Taraba State, described Diri as a symbol of peace, development, and prosperity.
Governor Kefas said his Bayelsa colleague has demonstrated through his projects and programmes that he was concerned about the welfare and wellbeing of his people.
Also, former Speaker of the House of Representatives and two-term governor of Sokoto State, Senator Aminu Tambuwal, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues in the National Assembly, attested to the exemplary character and capacity of Diri.
Acting PDP National Chairman, Amb. Umar Damagum presented the party’s flag to Diri and his running mate, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo.
Damagum noted that PDP was the only party that had given the state and South-South zone the opportunity to produce president of the country in Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, saying that Bayelsans should reciprocate the gesture by voting the party again in this Saturday’s election.
Former PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, said former Dr. Jonathan’s and the Ijaw nation’s endorsement of Diri and Ewhrudjakpo were indications of the governor’s victory.
Speaking on behalf of the PDP governors, Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, described Diri as a humble and focused personality that is determined to reposition the state.
In his remarks, former Bayelsa governor, Senator Seriake Dickson, stated that he is solidly behind the re-election of his successor and his deputy, and called on Bayelsans to vote for them again.
He stated that Diri had done very well in development of the state, having built on his achievements, and embarking on his own projects.
In a goodwill message, the immediate past governor of Delta State and running mate to the PDP candidate in the 2023 presidential election, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, applauded the unity in the state, saying that the presence of Dickson, Chief Timi Alaibe and others at the campaign rally showed that the PDP had a formidable front to win the election.
Other dignitaries at the well-attended event included Governors Sheriff Oborevwori (Delta) and Umo Eno (Akwa Ibom) as well as Senators Benson Agadaga, Konbowei Benson, Ned Nwoko and James Manager.
The PDP National Vice Chairman, South-South, Chief Dan Orbih, the Board of Trustees and the National Working Committee members and the immediate past South-South Vice Chairman of the party, Elder Emma Ogidi, and former Presidential Adviser and Chairman, Presidential Amnesty Programme, Dr. Kingsley Kuku, also attended.
Olusegun Samuel in Yenagoa