By Nathan Nwakamma
Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa has urged the people of Bayelsa to keep faith with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as they go to the polls on Nov. 16 to elect his successor.
Dickson, who made the call in a radio broadcast, on Sunday night, monitored by News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Yenagoa, noted that voting against the PDP would amount to betrayal of trust to PDP faithful nationwide.
He said that the faithful of the party who supported former President Goodluck Jonathan to become President would be disappointed if the people of Bayelsa dumped PDP for the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC).
He advised the people to make informed choices between Sen. Douye Diri of the PDP and Chief David Lyon of the APC having heard the candidates sell their plans as they canvassed for votes in a peaceful atmosphere.
“I advise Bayelsa people in their own interest to keep faith with PDP; the followers of PDP across the country who made sacrifices and supported one of our own to become President will feel disappointed if we abandon PDP.
“It is on record that some of them were attacked for supporting former President Goodluck Jonathan and so it is only reasonable that we remain with PDP,” Dickson said.
On the purported rift with Jonathan over the choice of the PDP governorship candidate, Dickson blamed ‘political jobbers’ for making misleading comments and misrepresenting his actions.
Dickson said that those who claimed to be working for Jonathan did not mean well for the former President.
He said that Jonathan remained his leader, adding that he served as a political strategist to the ex-president.
He, however, added that those sowing the seed of discord between them were unfair to him.
“I do not want to say much but those of them sowing the seed of discord were not there when I fought battles for the former President,’’ he stated.
Dickson noted that he stood with Jonathan and never compromised during his re-election bid in 2015 as some did.
“I told him then that the election was our own and those who wanted to impose a successor on me are unfair.
“I will reveal more in my memoirs when I leave office and people will have the details,” Dickson said.
On the Bayelsa International Airport project, Dickson accused Nigeria’s aviation sector regulators of conspiracy and connivance with APC in the delay to grant regulatory approval for Bayelsa International Airport.
The governor alleged that the APC was sabotaging the development efforts of his party in Bayelsa.
Dickson also blamed the approval delay on the activities of some overzealous officials of the Ministry of Aviation who he accused of playing with the development of the state.
He maintained that the Airport was built to international standards at the cost of less than N70 billion and urged the people to vote against APC for playing politics with the development of Bayelsa.
It will be recalled that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority had inspected the airport in September and insisted that the facility be fenced before final approvals for flight operations.
The state obtained a N40 billion loan to finance the project, and later sought the state Assembly’s approval of an additional N40 billion for its completion and other capital projects.
Meanwhile, the APC in Bayelsa said that computing the interests paid on the loans shot the project sum to over N100 billion, making the airport the most expensive in the world.
Bayelsa APC described borrowing from short term money market at prevailing interest rates to fund a long term project as unsustainable.