Former President Goodluck Jonathan was conspicuously absent yesterday at the grand finale of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship campaign in Bayelsa State.
The absence of Jonathan, who failed to send either a written message or a representative, at the rally attended by some PDP governors, further lent credence to the breakdown in relationship between him and the state governor, Seriake Dickson.
Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike, was also missing in action at the mega rally that was held at the Ox-Bow Lake Pavilion, Yenagoa, the state capital.
But the National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus led other national executive members of the party to the occasion, which was attended by mammoth crowd of party faithful.
The Governors of Sokoto, Aminu Tambuwa; Bauchi, Bala Mohammed, who is the Chairman of the PDP Campaign Council; Imo, Emeka Ihedioha and Delta states, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, graced the occasion.
Also present were some of the PDP National Assembly members, various youth and women groups, who turned the event to a carnival.
Secondus, who presented the flag of the PDP to the party’s governorship candidate, Senator Douye Diri, described Bayelsa as a PDP state and warned security agencies against compromising the election.
He said the PDP was on ground in the state, alleging that there was no federal presence of the APC in Bayelsa.
He said the APC took the control of the federal government from former President Goodluck Jonathan, a son of Bayelsa and appealed to voters to shun the APC.
Secondus, who derided the APC candidate, Chief David Lyon, said there was a huge difference in qualification between him and the candidate of the PDP.
He said while Diri was tested, trusted and educated to govern Bayelsa, Lyon lacked the academic qualifications to represent Bayelsa as a governor.
He said: “There is a great difference between our candidate and their candidate. Lyon cannot represent himself. It is not enough to say I want to be a governor. It is not a village affair. We don’t want people who will go there and will not represent Bayelsa.
“If they wished Bayelsa good, will they bring that kind of candidate? Douye Diri has been tested and has performed. He will not hire professors. He is professor himself. With Douye and his running mate, what else are you looking for? Don’t be deceived.”
“The leader of APC wants a man he can control. Are there no professors in APC? The APC and its leaders must apologise for bringing such a candidate. We call on security agencies not to allow themselves to be used by the APC to rig this election. We know that the APC is not on ground but they are planning to come with evil”.
Speaking after receiving the flag, Diri promised to consolidate on the achievements of Dickson in education, infrastructure and health.
He said his administration would surpass Dickson’s achievements and create prosperity for everybody in the state.
In his reactions, Tambuwal, said the crowd at the event was a clear testimony that Bayelsa belonged to the PDP and urged the people to come out en masse and vote for the PDP.