Over 200 aspirants have indicated interest to contest the forthcoming primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State.
While PDP has announced the commencement of sales of party interest forms through the State Party Chairman, Cleopas Moses, the APC state executives are still putting modalities in place for aspirants seeking interest for various positions at the state and national assemblies.
LEADERSHIP Weekend investigations showed that most aspirants for the various positions include incumbent members of the state house of assembly, past and present members of the umbrella body of Ijaw youths, the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) including the chairman of the IYC, Central Zone, Barr Tari Porri and the immediate past president of the IYC, Udenz Eradiri.
Also indicating interest in the state and National Assembly seats is member of the state house of assembly for Brass Constituency 1, Hon Isreal Sonny-Goli, who is seeking to contest for the ticket of the APC to represent Nembe/Brass Federal constituency at the National Assembly.
Also contesting for the Assembly seat of Brass Constituency 1, on the platform of the APC, is the director general of the New Face political group, Mr Robert Desmond. A university lecturer, Dr Michael Ayibanua Amaegberi, who defected to the PDP recently, is contesting for a seat in state assembly slot of Southern Ijaw Constituency 4.
Two practicing journalists, Comrade Stanley Imgbi and Tonye Yemoleigha, are also running for State Assembly tickets in Southern Ijaw and Brass respectively.
LEADERSHIP Weekend gathered that Governor Seriake Dickson, at a PDP stakeholders’ meeting in Yenagoa, on Wednesday, insisted that the party would file only popular candidates during the state and National Assembly elections. Gov Dickson, at the meeting, underscored the need for PDP members to work together, in building a cohesive and united PDP, rather than engaging in anti-party activities that could undermine the party’s fortunes ahead of next year’s general election.
A statement by the chief press secretary to the governor, Mr Francis Ottah Agbo, quoted Governor Dickson as stating that, if the PDP must win all elective positions from the state to the national levels, members must learn to build consensus with the party’s leadership in the state.
Describing the meeting as a family affair, Governor Dickson maintained that, the party remains supreme and called on all to place the party’s interest above personal ambitions to enable them succeed in the forthcoming elections.
The governor, who also pointed out that they needed to take great care in selecting candidates that could win elections at all levels, however, acknowledged the fact that only God chooses leaders.
He stressed that; the way of politicking for members of the PDP has to change, as they are a party in opposition, noting that the party’s success or failure depends largely on their actions and comments about their government back home.
His words: “In the last two and half years, things have not been the way we have known them to be. In 2015, your party and your state have been in opposition, with the kind of government that you all know is at the centre. Yet, we have all managed to do what we have done in very trying circumstances and in uncharted territory.
“There is no other governor of this state that has that experience of leading a party to a battle when you are in opposition and managing stability in the party, state and the government.
“I thank you all for the support and the prayers of all of you that have enabled me to lead the government of our party and also thank the state PDP chairman and executive members for the stability in the party, coordinated by experienced party leaders that have kept our party alive.
“For the first time since inception, our party is in opposition and that means that within the party, our way of politicking has to change to reflect the fact that you are in the opposition. And we need to know that our party’s chances of success or failure depend on your actions and comments publicly about your government back home.
“In the end, it is not you that is bigger than a system or government, so you should proudly own the achievements of your government.
“You want to spoil your own government even more than the opposition. That kind of evil politics has to stop. What they don’t know is that, whatever they want to be, when we meet at the primary level, it is the strength of the party and government here, led by me, that you are going to battle with. That’s the reality.
“So it is amateurish for you to start politicking by attacking your own government, a government that everyone is celebrating. In what area have we not tried our best? You can’t solve all the problems of a people and of a state or a nation in eight years though.
“ In the last two and half years, we have been concentrating on working, even when they bring issues, we brush them aside and concentrate on the work and that’s why you have these showings in all sectors. At the end of the day, people will judge us, not by what other people didn’t do, but what we have done. We are now getting to the stage of politicking where from the other side, they will see that there is a government and a party that is ready for them.
“From now on, I will be interacting on how to build consensus in the local government areas for the various elective offices. I want you to take charge of the processes. I prefer the situation where the people themselves take ownership of our candidates. I frown against personal sentiments that will rob us of good candidates; we will overrule and override that. We want to support people that can win elections freely and fairly and such candidates should be able to understand and respond to challenges.”
Earlier, the state chairman of the party, Mr Moses Cleopas, expressed optimism about PDP’s victory in the 2019 general elections and urged political appointees, who are prospective aspirants, to resign on or before 15th August 2018.
According to Mr Cleopas, 4th to 24th August is slated for the sale of forms for state and national assembly elections, while screening of aspirants would hold on the 27th of this month.
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