Former President Goodluck Jonathan has hinged his support for Bayelsa State governor Seriake Dickson’s re- election bid on the fact that the governor is one of the most performing governors in the country, based on his excellent track record of regular payment of workers’ salaries, reduction of the state’s huge debt profile and the unprecedented infrastructural development.
Dickson, last week, submitted his nomination and expression of intent form at the National Secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abuja to contest for a second term in office, ahead of the December 5 Governorship poll in Bayelsa State.
Speaking while receiving Dickson at his country home, Otuoke, Ogbia local government area of Bayelsa State, Jonathan said his decision was based on the developmental strides of the governor in the last three and a half years in the state.
He said, “If Bayelsa is compared to other states in the country, in terms of the level of physical infrastructure, coupled with the degree of indebtedness in terms of bank loans and capital market, Governor Dickson deserves to be praised.”
“I am not expecting the governor to score 100%. There are three key parameters I will like to score Governor Dickson, which are payment of salaries, physical infrastructure and low indebtedness of the state in terms of bank loans and in the capital market. If you compare what has happened in other parts of the country, you will praise the governor. People should think more about the way the state is being run and prepared for our future generations.”
“Bayelsa is not a cursed state. The notion that governors in Bayelsa cannot do 8 years slows down the rate of development and except there is continuation in government, development will be truncated. Performance is not about satisfying individual needs and so, we need to encourage Governor Dickson to go for second term.”
Describing Dickson as his political first son, the former president noted that if Governor Dickson is given the opportunity of a second term, he would strive to consolidate the achievements already recorded.
Earlier in his remarks, Dickson had solicited the support and encouragement of Jonathan to run for a second term, stressing that he and his entourage needed to seek his support, as he is the leader of PDP, both at the state and national levels.
Governor Dickson, who has been canvassing for support from stakeholders of the party as well as royal fathers of the state preceding his formal declaration to run for the Governorship election, had earlier paid homage to the chairman of the state Traditional Rulers Council, King Alfred Diete Spiff.
Governor Dickson, who equated Dr. Jonathan’s support to him with the Rock of Gibraltar, said his encouragement dated back to 2005, when he served in the former president’s cabinet as attorney general and commissioner for justice.