With about five months to the Bayelsa State governorship elections, Governor Henry Seriake Dickson has expressed optimism that he would be re-elected, based on his record of concrete achievements and grace of God upon him.
Speaking with journalists in an interview in Yenagoa, he stressed that the restoration support base was far more robust now than it was in 2012.
The Governor explained that in 2011 when he was running for the governorship election, he did not have the benefit of a support base comprising of assembly members, local government chairmen and councilors as compared to now when all the groups were on board.
Dickson said, “The campaign team we have, when we unveil it, you will see that it is made up of who is who in politics of their communities, wards and their constituencies. It is an impregnable thing. I will be back based on my strong support base and God’s grace which is upon me.”
“The restoration support base is actually far more robust now than it was in 2012 and we have the advantage that I am running on a record of concrete achievement not promises as any other person may be. The core restoration team is still intact. As a matter of fact, we are even stronger now because at that time, we didn’t have national assembly members supporting me.
“Now, all national assembly members are on board; all 21 State Assembly members are on board. I didn’t have local government chairmen when i was running last time, now they are all on board. I didn’t have councilors supporting, now they are all on board, commissioners and elders of the state are all on board.”
Responding to a question if he was not concerned about his support base depleting in the recent defections from the PDP, Governor Dickson said a number of those who have decamped were loyalists to former Governor Timipre Sylva.
According to him, the defectors were displaced when the restoration government came on board, adding that the development was not a big deal as they have gone to join their benefactor.
The governor said, “We took out a sitting government. So if you see a man who was Sylva’s deputy governor and his speaker who became acting governor decamping to join Sylva, you shouldn’t be surprised because they were not with us. It may sound as if some big thing is happening because they are the same characters that we replaced.
“They were not just with Sylva in his APC and that tells you a lot about the way they practiced politics because if they were loyal and committed to Sylva and his political tendencies, they should have been in APC long ago but they were with us and they stayed back and now they are going to meet their master because the APC has won power at the centre so they were not part of our winning formula in 2012. The chairman of APC in the state was Sylva’s commissioner and when i became governor, he served out his tenure and he has gone to join his master. That is what is happening.”
While describing his record of service in the last three years as “good enough”, Dickson expressed confidence that although power comes from God, the people appreciate the development strides of the present government amidst challenges.
He noted that the forthcoming election was not only about him but also about securing the future of the people and the state.
The governor expressed hope that it was his incumbent on Bayelsans to vote for development, security and prosperity which his government represents.
Governor Dickson who described members of the All Progressives Congress, APC as propagandists whose antecedents were well known by the people, expressed confidence that whoever emerges as its flag bearer would be roundly rejected and defeated at the polls as the party has no political structures in the state.
“What I know is that the APC has no chance at winning the election in this state. I know that the APC has no chance of winning governorship election. The APC is not on ground. It is a party of propaganda; a party of lies; a party of people whose antecedents are very well known by our people. I believe and I’m confident that whoever is the candidate of the APC will be roundly rejected and defeated.”
He however urged those who have defected to retrace their steps back to the PDP, adding that the party would accommodate them into the PDP fold, as all hands were required to build the state.