As the December 5 governorship election in Bayelsa state continues to gain momentum, Governor Seriake Dickson has expressed confidence of clinching a second term in office.
In an interview with The Nation, Governor Dickson firmly stated that there are no threats to his second term ambition.
He said: “The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is on ground, and if you look at the statistics, we have three senators out three, five House of Representatives members out of five, we have 21 members of the House of Assembly out of the 23 declared and as a governor who is with people, providing leadership, with councillors and appointees down the line, you will agree that we are on ground. I have not officially announced my intension; I hope to do so very soon.
“But, if you ask me after announcing my intention, what my chances will be, then, it will be understood. But, right, now I have not announced my candidature. I am working, praying and also doing the people’s work. My chances will be as bright as the northern star. There can be no threat to us in the way people are looking at it.
“Most of what you guys heard and what has happened is hype. It is propaganda. I will confirm that people who are with us all these years, who have played the kind of role even in my government, I will confirm that, due to their own ambition, their own calculation for federal appointment, they are going away.
“It is not an ideal situation because in this game everybody matters. It is not an ideal situation, but you can’t stop people from moving. The reason they are moving is simple, they are positioning themselves for federal appointments. I and my party the PDP are not in control of the federal government. We don’t have federal appointment to give to any of them. So, we can’t nominate any of them for federal appointment.
“So, if you are a politician in Bayelsa and your calculation is to have a federal appointment, the All Progressives Congress (APC) is the place to go. That is what is playing out, and if you are also a politician, with the intention to contest for governorship, with me as the presumptive candidate, leader of the party, who is entitled to a second term, a governor many of the people in the state believe has done well, therefore, there is the temptation who want to contest to go to another platform, knowing that if they go to the APC, that is in control of the centre, there is this Nigeria expectation of display of power, manipulation of security and the INEC, that is what they are counting on. So, is you want to position yourself for federal appointment, APC may be the place to go now.
“The PDP has no central government or appointment to give at the federal level. If you want to contest against me, the doors in the PDP are quite narrow, particularly a party that is now in the opposition and particularly governors who are well grounded. When they look at all of this, and see people gathered here and there, these are the voters, they tend to quake. I have not even been to Bayelsa since they started doing this, two to three days ago.
“Recently, the endorsement in Alaibe local government, I haven’t gone there to campaign, the situation in Bayelsa is that we are not shaking. And particularly when I announce my candidature and I begin campaign, it will be cleared that the governorship election in Bayelsa is just for the PDP to take.”
This comes weeks after there were indications that former first lady Dame Patience Jonathan has surprisingly thrown her weight behind the immediate past governor of Bayelsa state Timipre Sylva of the APC.
Governor Dickson has however addressed his relationship with the ex-first lady.
According to the governor, his relationship with Patience Jonathan is very cordial, adding that former president Goodluck Jonathan has also been supportive and understands why he should be re-elected.
He said: “If there is anyone who is supportive and who understands why I should be re-elected, it is former President Jonathan. He believes I have done well and I am doing well.”