Tunde Opalana, Abuja
A serving senator, Senator Douye Diri representing Bayelsa Central Senatorial District and a son of former Governor Idris Ibrahim of Kogi state, Abubakar Ibrahim have joined the list of aspirants jostling for the governorship ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of the November 16 polls.
Both aspirants collected expression of interest and nomination form at the national secretariat of the PDP in Abuja on Wednesday.
Sen. Diri said he is in the race because he wants to deepen the service that Governor Henry Seriake Dickson has given to the people of Bayelsa state in terms of health, education, security and infrastructure.
He said he does not have any inordinate ambition, but service to all Bayelsans and service to the Ijaw ethnic nationality having held several positions in the state.
Assuring that the primary to pick the party’s candidate will not be a do or die affair, Sen. Diri said he needs the understanding of all aspirants on board because the the primary election will be a family affair.
“The primary is not a do or die affair; it is an intra-party election. It is a delegate election and so I will call on all my co-aspirants that we avoid throwing tantrums at each other so that our family will be one when one man emerges so that we can all work in unison to defeat our opponent.
“There are different caucuses, caucuses take decisions but mark you this is a party primary. And so nobody has said that anybody should not pick forms. If you look at the scroll back, our governor who is the head of the restoration government is still saying that it open to all restoration members.
Also speaking to journalists, Abubakar Ibrahim said he was unhappy with the present state of both human and infrastructural decay in the state over the last three and half years.
He said that “there has been the issue of salaries, pension, education, health, infrastructure, agriculture to mention a few. We are now faced with a state that has so many problems.
And that has necessitated my coming in to throw my hat into the ring so that we could make and change the narrative of what is going on presently in my state.
“I hope to see a Kogi that is self-sufficient in the future; a state that will depend very little on the federal government in the sense that we have more than enough to run our state.
I hope to see a Kogi where the workers are happy and paid as at when due. I want to see a Kogi that has is of good educational standard being uplifted.
“By and large, I hope to see a Kogi that is better than what it currently is right now.”
Abubakar said being a child of a former governor doesn’t stop him from contesting an election because the constitution allows him to vote and be voted for.
“I have met the prerequisite in terms of education, being a Kogite and of age. I have all these to my kitty. I dont need to be a former governor’s son to run for an election in Kogi state,” he said, adding that it is not true that the party want to impose him on other aspirants.
“My greatest crime now is being my father’s son. And when you look at it critically, even where we borrowed democracy from, George Bush (snr) was the 42nd President of the United States of America. George Bush (jnr) was the 44th President of the United States of America. Nobody had any issues with that.
“Now let’s come back to Nigeria. Former Governor of Abia state, Theodore Orji’s son just became the speaker of the state. We have seen situations like that in Kwara state.
“Let’s come back to Kogi state. We have found a situation where not only I being a former governor’s son running for governorship, there are two sons of a former governor also running for governorship election,” he said