Former President Goodluck Jonathan has said the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State lack the political presence to win the November 16 governorship election.
Jonathan, who spoke at the PDP Elders Advisory Council meeting at the Government House in Yenagoa, explained that a large number of PDP aspirants showed the party’s dominance as a preferred platform for the election.
A statement by Governor Seriake Dickson’s media aide, Fidelis Soriwei, said Jonathan noted that PDP had the requirements to win at the poll.
The ex-President praised Dickson; PDP Chairman Moses Cleopas and critical stakeholders, including the 21 aspirants, for working to stabilize the party.
He noted that it was important for PDP to get its act together so it would not create room for opportunistic platforms to steal its victory.
He said: “I need to plead with all the aspirants and all political leaders that there should be no mudslinging. We must free the space and eschew rancour because finally one person will become the candidate of the party and other aspirants must work for that one person for the party to win the election.
“It is only our unity that can give us victory; if we are not united, they (APC) can get away with it. For example, it took the unity of the people of Rivers State, including women who were resolute against soldiers, to get the PDP victory. If that had not happened, the opposition would have taken it.
“For us to secure this state for PDP, we need maximum unity and that is why all the 21 aspirants are important to us; we must have that maximum unity and not create division or discrimination. At the end of the day, one person will emerge and all of us will work for whoever emerges as the candidate of the party.”
Dickson stressed the need for members to be united to maintain their dominance, starting with the council poll on August 10.
The governor called on members, particularly the governorship aspirants, to work for the party’s victory for all positions in the council election.
He said: “When people say 21 aspirants are too many, I disagree. In 2006, we had close to 11 aspirants, and for a party that is strong, a party that has strength, attraction, and connection, a party which is the dominant political platform, it is expected.
“It’s not completely out of order as a ruling party, with all that we have done and with the way we have decapitated, decimated the other party because they virtually don’t exist in this state. So it is normal for any serious-minded person who wants to serve our people to think of doing so on our dominant platform which we have led and all of us has built and made stronger even in the face of very serious opposition. So, my leaders, there is nothing to lose sleepover.”