Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has said Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) delegates in the state would support any presidential aspirant of the party that will restructure Nigeria if elected.
Senator Diri spoke when he received a former Senate president and presidential aspirant, Senator Bukola Saraki, in Government House, Yenagoa.
Diri noted that as an oil and gas producing state, which contributes huge revenue to the country’s economy, restructuring would ensure equity and fairness to the oil-producing Niger Delta region, the state and the Ijaw nation in particular.
The governor said the federal government does not encourage productivity and competitiveness. Rather, he said, it turns the federating units to beggars where states go cap in hand to Abuja on monthly basis for revenue sharing.
He said there is too much concentration of power at the centre, which has prevented the country from functioning effectively, adding that devolution of power would enable states to develop at their own pace.
The Bayelsa helmsman restated his call on aspirants to place the interest of the party and country above their ambition, saying that as an opposition party, what is required to wrest power from the ruling party and rescue the country from total collapse is unity among members.
Diri stressed that only the PDP is capable of tackling the challenges facing Nigeria and restore it to the path of growth and honour it was known for.
“Let us go back to the foundation of this country where we had regions that took responsibility for their economy and policies. Allow the states to carry some of the responsibility.
“The present structure does not make room for productivity and competition among our states. State governments go cap in hand to our Federal Capital Territory in the name of federal allocation.
“You have been governor and president of the Nigerian Senate. You are one man that Nigerians can go to sleep with if you emerge as president,” he said.
Diri also stated that despite being a believer and advocate of power shift and zoning, he had accepted the decision of the party to allow aspirants from all parts of the country to vie for the presidency and would work to ensure that a candidate that represents the interest of the party and country emerges.
Earlier, Saraki said Nigeria was moving towards becoming a failed state in terms of security and its poor economy and needs a competent person to reverse the drift.
He said he is bold and can spearhead restructuring of the country if elected as president in the 2023 election.
While lamenting the disunity among Nigerians, he said he would be the bridge to unite the north and the south, young and old as well as Christians and Muslims.
Saraki appealed for support from the state’s delegates in the forthcoming party primary election.