Business and commercial activities were temporarily put on hold at the weekend in Yenagoa, as thousands of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) supporters within and outside the state led by the immediate past President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, thronged the Samson Siasia Sports Complex, venue of the PDP governorship flag presentation rally.
The crowd, which political watchers described as unprecedented in the political annals of the state, further confirmed the supremacy of the PDP and its candidate, Governor Seriake Dickson over other contesting parties in the December 5 election.
With songs and dances, the party faithful left no one in doubt of their preparedness to come out en mass to vote for the governorship candidate of the PDP, which according to them, has rewritten the political history of the State in the last four years.
Security operatives had hectic times controlling the crowd as market men, women and thousands of PDP supporters from across the creeks of Bayelsa defied the scorching sun to witness what is being described as the mother of all rallies.
Describing Bayelsa State as a PDP stronghold, Jonathan, the immediate past president, in his solidarity message, said that Dickson, by all conceivable standards, has performed creditably well and is qualified to do a second term in office.
He called on Bayelsans, particularly youths, to secure their future by voting for the PDP in next Saturday’s governorship election, adding that “Dickson is the only candidate that can secure your future”.
Describing Dickson as a visionary leader, Jonathan stressed the need for Bayelsans to reciprocate his good deeds in terms of provision of infrastructure and laying the foundation for investment and entrepreneurship to thrive in the State.
According to him, “for the past 16 years, being a pioneer deputy Governor and a Governor at the State level, a vice-president and President of our Country, I am in a position to say that Dickson has tried and is still trying.
“You can see that within this short period, Dickson has been able to build a flyover and dualize a number of roads in Yenagoa. He has been able to build Toru-Ebeni Bridge. These are signs of development, in a town that is growing to be a city”
Jonathan, who later commissioned the first ever flyover and the newly dualised Azikoro road in Yenagoa, shortly after the rally, added: “We should all be concerned about what Bayelsa will be in the next 25 years and beyond, and not what we want to gain today. You can only see that from the kind of policies, projects and programmes that a governor brings to bear.
“I have looked at his policies and programmes and I am convinced that he is visionary. He is preparing Bayelsa State for tomorrow. I am telling the young people that this election is not for Jonathan or Dickson. This election is for you. So, vote for your liberation. You vote to live in peace and a developed society.
Performing the flag handing over ceremony, the Acting National Chairman of the Party, Prince Uche Secondus, berated the Buhari-led Federal Government for running the nation’s economy aground six months into office and urged Bayelsans to totally reject the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the forthcoming election.
Secondus, who noted that the PDP was aware of clandestine moves being made to rig the election, called on the electorate to come out en masse to vote for the PDP and stand firm to defend their electoral rights.
In the same vein, the Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, described the APC government as clueless and without direction in managing the national economy.
He urged Bayelsans to remain resolute in their support for the PDP candidate, as a vote for Dickson will usher in more development, peace and stability.
In his speech, Dickson reiterated his commitment to peaceful poll, and stressed the need for the Federal Government to do everything within its reach to ensure a free and fair election in the state.
Appreciating the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP and his teeming supporters within and outside the state, Dickson disclosed that the turnout has further confirmed that the people of the state have rejected the leading opposition party, (APC).
Dignitaries in attendance included the Acting Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees, Haliru Bello, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, Vice-Chairman, PDP, South-south, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, Chief Olisa Metuh, serving and former National Assembly members, including Senators Adolphus Wabara, Ibrahim Mantu, Chief Emeka Ihedioha, Hon. Leo Ogor, Nollywood stars and a host of others.