Former President Goodluck Jonathan was conspicuously absent on Monday when his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) flagged off its campaign for the November 16 governorship election in Bayelsa State.
Also, governors elected on the platform of the PDP were not on ground to support the campaign inauguration, which held at the Ox-Bow Lake Pavilion, Yenagoa, the state capital.
But the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, was represented at the event, which attracted thousands of party faithful across the eight local government area of the state, by the party’s Vice-Chairman, South, Emmanuel Ogidi.
The party also received defectors from the All Progressives Congress (APC) led by a former APC stalwart from Sagabama Local Government Area, Miebi Bribina.
While addressing the crowd, Dickson reiterated that only PDP had the political structure to win any election in Bayelsa adding that the party controls the grassroots with its eight local government chairmen and 105 ward councilors.
The governor reeled out all his achievements in education, health, road infrastructures, political stability among others and insisted that development was brought to the state by the PDP.
He said through the party, many youths had been given appointments and noted that his administrations would engage more youths in governance.
Dickson told the crowd that one of his big-ticket projects, the Bayelsa International Cargo Aiport, would take off within the month “no matter the antics”.
He described the PDP Candidate, Senator Douye Diri and his running mate, Senator Lawrence Ewrujakpor as a ticket of stability predicting that Diri would succeed him by God’s grace.
He said: “We are presenting a ticket of stability; a ticket of development and a ticket that will turn this state to a gathering place of hooligans and criminals where people will be running away as they were doing before. That is why we are presenting this ticket and by the grace of God, your next governor in 2020 will be Senator Douye Diri.
“There is no government that can claim to solve all problems of a state or of a country. There are so many things that we have done. There are a lot of things that are ongoing and so many things we plan to do but due time and resources. All of these, Douye Diri and his new government from February will continue and complete.
“This election is about you and your future. It is not about Governor Dickson. By the grace of God and with your support I am today the longest-serving governor in the state. Just as we defeated them with their so-called federal support in 2015, we will defeat them with bigger margins.
“Unlike the other party that didn’t even do primaries, that continue to bring candidates from their pockets and show to the world sometimes in hotels and drinking parlours, we the PDP did a very serious and hotly contested primaries”.
He asked the APC leaders not to use federal might for politicking and elections but to deploy the same in the development of the state adding that the PDP had continued to champion development in the state.
Dickson advised the Petroleum Minister and former Governor Timipre Sylva to use his position to bring development to the state adding that he had yet to impact positively to the state since he joined the APC.
He said: “This state is totally and wholly PDP. Let me caution the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies, if you are here to kill and intimidate, you will have to do so much work because you have thousands of people to intimidate, to maim and to kill”.
Diri vowed to continue with the programmes and policies of the Dickson’s administration and pledged to award and compete the three senatorial roads.
He said Bayelsa would become an exporter of fish adding that his administration would give special focus to the youths by empowering them with more skills.
He promised that if elected, he would give women loans to set up businesses through the micro-finance banks established by the present government.
Diri also vowed to champion the Ijaw struggle and to lead the campaign for resource control.