A former president of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, on Tuesday canvassed the support of Bayelsa people for the re-election of the governor, Senator Douye Diri. He said the only way to stabilise the state and sustain peaceful co-existence in the state was for everyone to support Diri to return as governor.
His position came just as a former managing director of the NDDC, Chief Timi Alaibe, a former governor of the state, Seantor Seriake Dickson and governors of Akwa Ibom, Pastor Umo Eno, Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, Delta State, Sheriff Oborevwori and other south-south and northern leaders equally made a case for Diri’s re-election.
The leaders were in Yenagoa for the grand finale of the PDP campaign rally. The others who also came were Senators Benson Agadaga, Konbowei Benson, Ned Nwoko and James Manager as well as other members of the House of Representatives, including Dr Fred Agbedi, Mrs. Marie Ebikake, Oforji Oboku, Johnbull Shekarau, Tajudeen Obasa, Dr. Segun Adekola, and Dr Timothy Golu as well as former Reps members Kabir Ajanah and Olayonu Danladi.
The PDP leadership were represented by the Acting National Chairman, Amb. Iliya Damagum, former National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, Governors Kefas Agbu (Taraba), Eno Umoh (Akwa Ibom), Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Senators Abdul Ningi, Ned Nwoko, Konbowei Benson, Benson Agadaga, James Manager and Stella Omu as well as Speaker of the Bayelsa House of Assembly, Abraham Ingobere, his Delta State counterpart, Emomotimi Guwor and members of the Bayelsa Assembly.
While receiving the PDP leaders in his home, Jonathan said Bayelsa has made progress in the area of security and infrastructural development under Diri and expressed delight over the involvement of critical stakeholders such as former Dickson and Alaibe in the affairs of the party, stressing that it signified unity within PDP.
His words: “I have been in touch with our governor and I believe he (Diri) 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.”
At the rally ground, Diri extoleld the virtues of his predecessor and said he was proud to continue with his legacies in the last four years. 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.
“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 PDP Campaign Council, Dr. Agbu Kefas, who is also governor of Taraba State, described Diri as a symbol of peace, development and prosperity. He said his Bayelsa colleague had demonstrated through his projects and programmes that he was concerned about the welfare and wellbeing of his people.
Also, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives and two-term governor of Sokoto State, Senator Aminu Tambuwal, who spoke who spoke on behalf of his colleagues in the National Assembly, attested to the examplary 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 indication 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, Dickson stated that he was 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.