The Bayelsa State governor, Hon Seriake Dickson has said that the planned boycott of the forthcoming local government council poll by some political parties particularly the All Progressives Congress is a demonstration of their understanding of inability to win elections in the state.
Governor Dickson stated this during a meeting with members of the State Executive Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the party’s secretariat in Yenagoa.
A statement by his Special Adviser on Media Relations, Fidelis Soriwei, on Tuesday, quoted the governor as having noted that the election would hold on the 10th of August as scheduled by the State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC).
Governor Dickson, who acknowledged the APC’s right to boycott the election, however stressed that the party lacked the popularity and the capacity to challenge the PDP under his leadership in a free and fair election devoid of federal intervention.
He stressed that the APC was in no position to contest the upcoming governorship election if it could not demonstrate its strength in the council election.
Dickson, who said that the PDP would embark on robust campaigns across the state, expressed confidence that all the local government councillorship and chairmanship candidates of the PDP would emerge victorious.
His words, “I understand that some parties are boycotting the council election especially the APC, but that’s their own right. But we expected them to show their strength in this state in an election that does not have much to do with federal might.
“We thought they would take advantage of this election to show their real strength on ground, but unfortunately they chickened out. The party that is now running away even from council election, let’s see the fire they have in their stomach.
“I urge all our party leaders and members to resist the temptation both within and mostly from outside the state where people want to interfere. Our party has always built a party of inclusion to weather all the storms that we have seen in the politics of this state and in our country.
Dickson emphasised that the PDP would not be distracted in view of the antics of some mischief makers to undermine it.
He called on party leaders and members to always protect the overall interest of the PDP and the state in all their dealings.
“Leaders and members of our party should reflect deeply on the consequences of what we do, say and the kind of politics we play bearing in mind the overall interest of the party, the state and Ijaw nation.
“I urge party members to follow developments closely ahead of the elections. I have done my best in the past seven years; you all should be prepared to make your input.”
The governor also expressed appreciation to party stakeholders over the implementation of the 30% affirmative action for women representation at the local government level, promising that those who stepped down for them would be accommodated.
In his remarks, the state PDP Chairman, Hon. Moses Cleopas said the PDP remains indivisible and focused, stating that sale of nomination forms for the governorship election has commenced.
Highpoint of the meeting was the ratification of the results of the local government congresses to be forwarded to the SIEC for the election.
Also, Chief Victor Sam- Ateki from Ward 1, Brass Local Government Area was nominated as Deputy Chairman of the party in line with the party’s constitution following the resignation of the former occupant of the position.
Member representing Sagbama/Ekeremor Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon Fred Agbedi, Chairman of the Elders Committee of PDP and member of the Board of Trustees, Air Vice Marshall Larry Koinyan (Retd),
former Speaker and PDP Secretary of the South-South zone, Rt. Hon. Boyelayefa Debekeme, Speaker of the State Assembly, Rt. Hon. Tonye Isenah were among the party leaders at the meeting.