The commissioner for information in Bayelsa State, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, has dismissed as untrue, reports that the state governor, Serieka Dickson, ignored the advice of the former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, and other chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during the process that led to the election of Douye Diri as the governorship candidate of the PDP.
Mr Diri, a senator representing Bayelsa Central District, was backed by Mr Dickson during the PDP governorship primary.
Twenty other aspirants, including the former managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Timi Alaibe, contested the primary.
Mr Alaibe, who is in court to challenge the election of Mr Diri, reportedly had the support of the former president, Mr Jonathan.
“It’s inconceivable that anyone will accuse Governor Dickson of abandoning the advice of elders,” the commissioner for information, Mr Iworiso-Markson, said in an interview published on Sunday by The Guardian newspaper.
“It’s most unfair for anyone to wrongly accuse him in such a manner.
“Those behind such accusation really don’t know who Governor Dickson really is. I know for a fact that the governor had several consultative meetings with leaders and key stakeholders of the party leading up to the process that eventually threw up Senator Douye Diri as the candidate. At every given point in time you will find the governor engaging in regular consultations with every stakeholder in the party,” Mr Iworiso-Markson said in the interview.
The commissioner described Mr Dickson as a “consensus builder”.
“He is one politician who devotes a great deal of time consulting with various people, groups, just to get their buy-in on this matter, especially as it has to do with the crucial business of deciding who becomes the next governor of Bayelsa State.
“I do know for a fact that he had several meetings with former President Goodluck Jonathan. People are just fond of making up stories and spinning of all kinds of lies against the governor out of pure mischief. It’s really very sad, very sad indeed.”
There have been reports of a rift between Mr Dickson and Mr Jonathan, as a fallout of the primary.
The commissioner also dismissed this as untrue, saying the PDP was going into the November 16 governorship election as a united party.
“It will interest you to know that the ongoing reconciliation effort is yielding tremendous results as most of the aggrieved persons have been reconciled and fully committed to work for the victory of the party. We are even seeing more and more defectors from the APC moving in their numbers to join the PDP because they know that the APC is not on ground in Bayelsa.
“It’s becoming very clear that the PDP will win by a very wide margin if elections are free, fair and transparent,” he said of the November 16 election.