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Bayelsa 2019: I’ll hand over to another PDP governor in 2020 – Gov. Dickson

...Decries dwindling revenues from FAAC to states

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Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, on Wednesday, said he would lead the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with the support of leaders of the state towards ensuring that the baton of leadership is handed over to another PDP governor comes February 14, 2020.

A statement by his Special Adviser on Media Relations, Fidelis Soriwei, quoted the governor to have made the statement at a PDP stakeholders meeting in Yenagoa.

He advised the PDP governorship aspirants to play opposition politics rather than scheming and causing divisions in their own party.

Governor Dickson reportedly reminded the people that the last election showed how the Federal Government deployed its might to undermine  the security of the state in favour of their party members.

He, therefore, urged the PDP aspirants seeking elective positions in the forth-coming local government council and governorship polls, in the state, to embark on massive mobilisation of people across the communities to achieve victory for the party.

According to the governor, the PDP aspirants have a better platform to contest elections and should campaign on the strength of the party’s landmark achievements in the state.

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He stressed that the PDP was the only political party with the popularity and strength to win free, fair and credible election in Bayelsa State.

Governor Dickson, who is chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, also cautioned that the gubernatorial election in Bayelsa State would be a clash of two systems: the PDP and its massive supporters in the various constituencies and communities and the APC-backed by Federal Forces.

He urged the people to resist any attempt by cultists masquerading as politicians to return to power in Bayelsa State, adding such development would retard the process of growth in the state.

He stated that another PDP Governor would be elected in the next election and urged all the people to step into the communities and mobilize the people.

He added, “It will be my pleasure to lead the PDP with your support so that another PDP governor will be elected.

“How we survived during the 2015 governorship election is by the grace of God and our mobilization skills. You now have people who know how to play opposition politics. As we begin the transition programme, we expect you to put on the toga of an opposition person.

“You have a lot of work to do. It is their work to sow seeds of discord but it’s your job to keep your party united, strong and stable.”

While calling on the people not to use former President Goodluck Jonathan’s name to destabilise the party, Governor Dickson pleaded with the stakeholders of the party to enforce the 30 percent affirmative action accorded women for councillorship positions.

Governor Dickson, who also raised alarm over the gradual decline of revenues from the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), said the state’s earnings for March alone was more than N3 billion less, in spite of the increase in crude oil price.

“The economy is so terrible. We are praying that the country doesn’t go into another recession with the way they are going. Crude oil is being produced; the quantity is high and the price is even better.

“Since January your allocation has been nose diving. In January we had a shortfall of over N1 billion, in February it was N2 billion and we recorded a shortfall of N3 billion in March. That is what we are going through. Throughout this year, your government has actually been in the red.”

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On the forthcoming local government council election, the governor said that extensive consultations were ongoing.

In his remarks, the state PDP Chairman, Hon. Cleopas Moses, urged stakeholders to place the interest of the state above other considerations in the course of their consultations concerning the governorship election.

Hon. Cloepas, who said engaging in consultation was key to resolving issues, also noted that 30% affirmative action had been set aside for women in the local government election in line with the party’s gender friendly policy.

Air Vice Marshall Larry Koinyan (rtd) and Ms Patience Ranami Abah were some of the stakeholders who thanked Governor Dickson for convening the meeting and expressed the need for the party to field candidates with capacity to deliver.

State PDP Women Leader, Madam Eunice Akene also expressed appreciation to Governor Dickson for giving women the opportunity to serve at the local government level.