Yenagoa — The Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, has insisted that he will not support any candidate outside his Restoration Team on the platform of the PDP for the November 16, governorship election in the state.
The PDP governorship primary in the state has been fixed for September 3.
There were 21 PDP gubernatorial aspirants in Bayelsa but only eight of them belonging to the Restoration Team purchased the form and now undergoing screening ahead of the primary.
These included the Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral Gboriobogha John Jonah (rtd); the immediate past Secretary to the Bayelsa State Government (SSG) Barr. Kemela Okara; Talford Ongolo (immediate past Chief of Staff to the governor); Fred Agbedi (member representing Sagbama/ Ekeremor Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives); Nimibofa Ayawei (chairman of Bayelsa State Board of Internal Revenue); Senator Douye Diri (PDP, Bayelsa West); Konbowei Benson (immediate past Speaker of Bayelsa State House of Assembly); and Prof. Steve Azaiki (member representing Yenagoa/ Kolokuma/ Opokuma Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives).
Gov. Dickson said the leadership of the restoration caucus would decide on who among the aspirants to support during the PDP primary.
In a statement, Special Adviser on Media Relations to the Governor, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, quoted Gov. Dickson saying this while inaugurating the restoration governorship primary election committee at the Government House in Yenagoa.
Mr. Soriwei said it would amount to "heavy moral burden" to support any aspirant of the PDP outside the restoration group.
Gov. Dickson stressed that his upbringing and values which placed emphasis on reward for sacrifice, loyalty and steadfastness would not allow him to turn his back on those who stood by him as leader of the party in the state.
He also hinged his decision to support a restoration aspirant on the imperative of continuity, effective service delivery and commitment of the restoration caucus to the socio-economic growth of the state.
The governor dismissed those accusing him of refusing to support a certain aspirant, insisting that it was his right to decide who to support during the PDP gubernatorial primary.
Gov. Dickson further said there was no law in the PDP constitution that prevented elected local government officials from becoming delegates in a primary.
He said, "There are people who fought to stop our chairmen and councillors from participating in the last election and they failed. The propaganda out there is that our elected chairmen and councillors are not going to participate as delegates in the election.
"Let me make it clear that no one by the rule of this party will prevent elected council officials from voting as delegates. No one will stop them from entering the venue to vote for a candidate of their choice."