One of the founding fathers of Bayelsa State, Chief Thompson Okorotie, has called on all Bayelsans and the entire Ijaw nation to join forces with Governor Seriake Dickson to regain political relevance at the federal level.
According to him, Dickson deserves a second term based on his performance in office.
He spoke with journalists in Yenagoa ahead of the forthcoming governorship election in Bayelsa State, shortly after a marathon meeting with leaders and members of a socio-cultural group, the Bayelsa Development Forum, which is at the vanguard of emancipation and economic development of the the Niger-Delta region.
Okorotie, who reviewed political developments in the state in recent times and the implications for the future, said the choice before Bayelsans and the entire Niger Delta region would have to be one that would ensure the protection of their common interests now and in the future.
This, he said, must also be founded on demonstrated actions in the past and now, by those who are angling for leadership positions.
"Having lost power at the centre, we have to come together and be unified for a common purpose that can realistically help us to reposition Bayelsa State and the Niger delta for greater political relevance. It is imperative for all Bayesians and the entire Niger Delta region to remain committed in our support for Dickson’s Restoration Government. We have seen what he has done and his resolve towards the key interest of the Ijaw nation, which no one can wish away", Okorotie stated.
He, therefore, cautioned the people against politics of greed and self-centeredness which, he said, were the bane of underdevelopment, adding that, true development can only be made possible when public spirited leaders were at the helm of affairs.
This, he said, should be the concern of the people rather than cultivating cut-throat politics or the tendency to blackmail those in government.
While endorsing the incumbent Governor, Seriake Dickson, for a second term, which he said was based on his performance in office, he advised the people of the state to disregard attempts by those he referred to as "desperate politicians" to run down his administration, saying the governor's record in infrastructure, education, health, urban renewal, economic diversification and general restructuring of the government to deliver on the welfare of the people were clear indications that he meant well for the state.
The former legislator in the old Rivers State, said that, such antics by those opposed to the governor were only devised to advance their own political ambition, adding that, those involved were not credible alternatives as their antecedents did not justify the prostituting for political leadership.
He criticised in particular, those behind a recent statement credited to some Bayelsa Elders, which claimed that, the people did not get what they deserved from the PDP both at the federal and state levels and were in support of change.
He said such claims were unrealistic, adding that the level of delivery of democracy dividends by Dickson's administration in the last couple of years was unprecedented in the political history of Bayelsa state.