Bayelsa poll: Deputy gov, SSG join race

John Jonah

The Bayelsa State Deputy Governor, John Jonah, the Secretary to the State Government, Kemela Okara, and Chief of Staff to the Governor, Talford Ongolo, have joined the race for the state governorship election.

The three cabinet members of the incumbent administration of Governor Seriake Dickson on Thursday obtained their expression of interest and nomination forms at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national headquarters in Abuja.

The three aspirants were also members of the Bayelsa Restoration Government, a political movement led by Mr Dickson.

Mr Jonah, while speaking with journalists after obtaining his forms, denied the insinuation that there was crack in the group.

He said the group and the PDP in Bayelsa were ever united, saying the movement actually opened the race to whoever that was interested.

“There is no crack, if there is anything there is cohesion within the restoration family.

“People were expecting that by this time the governor will bring one candidate and say this is my candidate.

“In fact they are speculating that others will not be allowed to show interest and they will be forced to just withdraw.

“That can bring cracks, but in the thinking of the administration collectively we have to note that it is not just the governor.

“We felt that those that have interest and with capacity to administer the state should show interest and we proceed from there.

“Other modalities will be worked out and at the end we go for primary.

“It is the primary that will decide who becomes the candidate. All we are doing is to show that we are interested so there are no cracks,” he said.

Mr Jonah said his driving force was his passion for service to the people and to delivering development to the state.

Mr Jonah, who said Mr Dickson, in line with the vision of the restoration government, had developed the state, pledged to improve on the achievements of the incumbent, if elected.

“If you love the state you will not change the vision; we will develop infrastructure; we have set all the basic foundation there; all we will do is to start building from there.

“We will go to the critical mass, health, ensure no civil servant pays for treatment, the health insurance scheme, other states are going to study it.

“You go to schools, public schools, there is free accommodation, free feeding. These are two critical areas if you want to develop your state,” he said.

Messrs Ongolo and Okara also affirmed that obtaining nomination forms by other members of the movement was not an indication of a crack, saying they were united.

Mr Ongolo said it was a party affair, adding that only PDP had the capacity to deliver Bayelsa in November.

“Bayelsa is a PDP state and we are stronger than ever before,” he added.



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