A former president of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, has urged his kinsmen in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, to vote massively for the governor, Senator Douye Diri, in Saturday’s governorship poll.
Jonathan explained that the vote was to reciprocate what he described as the good developmental gestures of Diri in the area.
The former Nigerian leader stated this on Wednesday, at his country home in Otuoke, when Diri led a delegation to visit him.
He said Diri had demonstrated love towards the Ogbia kingdom in different ways and that the people needed to reciprocate this by re-electing him and his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo.
Jonathan commended Diri for choosing one of his political sons, Chief Mitema Obordor, as Director-General of his governorship campaign council, stating that it was a signal of more good things to come to the East Senatorial District of the state.
According to him, “I thank the Otuoke community for giving the governor and his team this warm reception. For us in this senatorial district, one thing we should know is that when somebody picks one of your own to lead him in a political contest, that means that person will never forget you.
“For the governor to select Obordor from this senatorial district and indeed from Ogbia as his campaign DG, it means that Governor Diri has the mind to do something for you and will not forget you. And I plead with you all to reciprocate so we can get the benefit in store for us.”
He urged the people to renew the governor’s mandate on Saturday by voting massively for him.
In his remarks, the governor thanked the former president and his wife, Dame Patience Jonathan, for the warm reception and his endorsement, which he said was given freely.
Diri described Jonathan as a unique democrat and patriot that always desired the best for the state and the country.
He also stated that Jonathan had always been a father to all and not a political godfather.
Diri said those speculating that his endorsement by the former president and the former governor, Senator Seriake Dickson, was due to godfatherism were either ignorant or being mischievous.
He stressed that they lacked the understanding of honouring those placed in position to lift others like Jonathan and Dickson.
The governor explained that, “I have had the endorsement of the immediate past governor of the state. Today, I also have been endorsed by the former president of the country, who happens to be our own, and some people say that is godfatherism. I say a thousand times No. We must honour those that God has placed in position.
“Let me make it clear that the former president has never asked me for anything. Some ignorant people were writing on social media that it was because of what the governor is giving to the former president. That is ignorant and very mischievous.
“If there is anything that I convinced myself to do, I support him out of my conviction. The same thing with the immediate past governor. We must recognize our leaders because if we do not, when it comes to your turn, nobody will support you.”
Diri recalled that his relationship with Jonathan dated back to when the former president was deputy governor and later governor of the state and that he alongside Dickson served under Jonathan as commissioners.