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Bayelsa Guber Poll: I Won’t Impose Candidates – Dickson

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – With about five months to the November 16 governorship election, Bayelsa State governor, Henry Seriake Dickson in Abuja on Monday advised aspirants who believed in imposition of candidates to have a rethink.

According to him, any of the aspirants who feel they have experience and capacity should go and make their case to Bayelsans.

The governor made the clarification during a courtesy visit to the Chairman Emeritus of Daar Communications Plc, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, to commiserate with him on the onslaught by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

He said, “I led a party to victory against a vicious opposition. I alone can lead PDP to battle, I have done it repeatedly. You saw the election, there will be no form of manipulation.

“People talking about manipulation are anticipating that they should be imposed. I’m not going to impose any of them. Any of them who feel they have experience and capacity should go and make their case to the people of Bayelsa State.”

The governor also said that sustaining what he had done so far would be a decision of God Almighty and the people.

“I hope that the right person with competence, capacity emerges to build in the foundation which I and my team have laid over the last seven years. I have no doubt that the right person will emerge with my support”, he said.

Speaking on the preparedness of the PDP for the battle of November 16, Dickson said he had made PDP “the most attractive platform.”

He said, “The PDP is the most prepared party, I have in the last years built a solid, formidable and all-inclusive party, such that even those who left found it as the most attractive platform to return back to. I have made it very inclusive and everybody will be consulted, everybody who have a role to play would be allowed to play that role.

“The party leaders will play their role, and delegates ultimately will decide who the candidates shall be. So I want to use this opportunity to call on those who are interested on the platform that we have worked out to create to tell the state and us how farther they can deepen what has been started. The PDP is an all-inclusive, big and strong platform, backed up by concrete performance on ground with credible leadership.”

The governor described the closure of Daar Communicstiins as a serious threat to democracy in Nigeria.

He said, “A few days ago, we were shocked at the sudden closure of Daar Communications by NBC. When we got the unfortunate news, we included the condemnation in the public domain.

“We thank the judiciary for its decision, the right of free speech should be the first to be protected. We consider what happened as a serious blow to our efforts to deepen the nation’s democracy and free exchange of views.

“We commmed you for the great efforts in the interest of our country and democracy. If in the course of carrying out your duties you are accused, the due process should be followed instead of arbitrary abuse.

“Daar Communication has become a national institution. No one will be allowed to limit the rights of free speech which is essential for the existence of our country. Great care must be exercised when matters of such are on. The task of building a democratic Nigeria is ongoing.”

Dokpesi said at the the age of 68, he has no regret staging a protest in defence of freedom of speech.

“The fathers of the industry have waded in and met the NBC. I’m pleased to inform you that a truce was agreed upon that Daar Communication Plc should appoint an ombudsmen”, he said.


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