The Governor of Bayelsa State, Henry Seriake Dickson, has called on the leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party to focus more attention on how to recapture political power from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the forthcoming election in 2019.
Dickson according to a statement by his Special Adviser (Media Relations), Fidelis Soriwei, threw the challenge during a courtesy call on him by the DAAR Communications Chairman Emeritus, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, a contestant for the position of the party’s national chairman, at the Government House, Yenagoa.
Dickson, a former Chairman of the party’s National Reconciliation Committee (NRC) said that it was important that the convention was viewed as a means to an end.
However, the governor said that the convention was very important as the PDP needed its successful conduct to get things right in preparation for the 2019 election.
He said, “And let me use this opportunity to caution our party leaders across this country. I hope we are not focusing too much on this convention instead of focusing on winning federal power.
“I think we should be strategic and focus and think of how to get an acceptable candidate through a fair process too, for all the zones; in a process that is open to all the three zones of the north so that we can get somebody who would have the support to win the presidency for us. That is the key thing.
“So I advise that people should not see the forthcoming national convention as an end in itself. People should see it rather as a means to an end. Nevertheless, the convention is important because we need to get it right; the process itself must be right and the outcome should also be acceptable so that we can now move to the next stage.”
The governor expressed concern that some party members were still stuck in the old way of doing things in the PDP and insisted that the forthcoming convention must be credible, transparent and devoid of manipulation.
Dickson who also commented on the speculations about endorsement of candidates for positions in the party stressed that only the convention had power to endorse candidates.
Earlier, Dokpesi had told his host that he was in Bayelsa to solicit the governor’s support for his quest to become the next chairman of the PDP.
He explained that he was in the race for the position of chairman in consonance with the recommendation of the 88 man committee of the party which zoned the position of the Chairman to the South and the Presidency to the North.
Dokpesi also said that the South South which he described as the most vulnerable region which is open to attack by the APC Administration deserved a committed representation, a personality of courage and vision like Dickson who stood his ground to defeat the APC in the last governorship election in Bayelsa.