Seven governors under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday witnessed the swearing in ceremony of the Bayelsa State governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson and his deputy, Rear Admiral John-Jonah (Rtd) for a second term.
The state governors: Ayodele Fayose (Ekiti); Nyesom Wike (Rivers); Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia); Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom); Darius Ishaku (Taraba) and Hassan Dakwanbo (Gombe) led the national leadership of the PDP to the event.
Other notable PDP leaders at the ceremony held at the Samson Siasia Sports Complex, Yenagoa, include the former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, minority leader of the Senate and former governor of Akwa Ibom State,Godswill Akpabio, the minority leader of the House of Representatives,Hon. Leo Ogoh, Senator Foster Ogola, former Senate President, Adolphus Wabara, Senator J.K. Brambaifa, Senator Emmanuel Diffa and the former military governor of Rivers State, Gen. Zamani Lekwot.
Governor Seriake Dickson, who was sworn in by the state chief judge, Justice Kate Abiri at about 1:00pm, attributed his victory to God and the people of the state. In his inaugural speech the governor promised to consolidate on the gains of the last four years and assured Bayelsans of an all inclusive government where there will be no discrimination, and there will be equity, justice and fairness.
According to him, “First and foremost, we thank God Almighty for making today’s historic event possible. Today’s event coming at the end of all the political trials and tribulations I have had to manage in the last four years from within and without manifesting in different shapes and forms is a testimony to God’s faithfulness and mercies and shows also that power comes from God and God alone.”
He said: “As we gather here today, let us not forget the long and exciting journey that has brought us here. The electoral contest for the governorship of our state will undoubtedly go into the annals of Nigerian political history as a reference point both for study and inspiration on how a people can rise to defend their democratic rights and dignity against forces of desperation and oppression. After giving glory today to God, I thank all persons whom God used, in diverse ways, to make this day possible.
“Let me express my profound gratitude and immeasurable appreciation to you the good people of Bayelsa State who stood resolute in the frontlines across the length and breadth of this beautiful land to cast your votes and defend your dignity.
“Armed only with your permanent voters cards (PVCs), you confronted anti-democratic forces in their varied manifestations including savage violence of the most extreme kind and we prevailed together. I assure you that when the history of this period is written , generations unborn will accord each and every one of you a place of honour as a testimony to your courage for rising up to defend the pride and integrity of our people.
“This victory was not as a result of my might, prowess or intellect but purely by the hand of God through you the people. And so I dedicate this victory to God and you the people.”
The governor also lauded the roles played by the relevant national institutions including the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), its ad hoc staff especially members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and the security agencies.
Noting you performed your statutory roles as best as you could in very challenging circumstances, in our very difficult terrain.”
Continuing he said, “I thank all NGOs, foreign and local observers as well as the Media for their keenly sustained interest and vigilance in the course of the elections. Your extensive professional reportage brought a state election into such profound national and international focus that made it difficult to manipulate.