Posted by News Express | 11 January 2016 | 2,622 times
Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, has thanked the electorate for their gallantry in ensuring his re-election for another four years, but said there would be no celebration because of the number of lives that have been lost in the process.
The governor in an emotion-laden statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, released to journalists on Sunday night in Yenagoa, however vowed that he would do everything possible to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
He promised to work tirelessly to justify the mandate given to him “as we tried to do in the first four years to almost universal acknowledgement and approbation.”
While extending a hand of fellowship his political opponents, Dickson said since election has been won and lost, the needs of Bayelsans, the challenge of improving their material condition remains and is even more urgent.
The Governor’s statement reads thus: “My good people of Bayelsa State,
“I am extremely humbled tonight on the valiant efforts you made to revalidate the mandate you gave me four years ago. With all manner of forces arrayed against us not least the utter desperation of our political opponents, community after community led by women and youth stood gallantly to defend the sanctity of their vote and to resist the efforts of hoodlums who style themselves as ‘militants’ to undermine the democratic process.
“To the extent that the people ensured that they spoke loud and clear and that their choice clearly emerged provides some reassurance that our democracy is coming of age. Sadly however the elections were conducted at the price of several lives lost and mayhem visited on many communities by mindless brigands clearly suborned by those who do not respect the democratic process and have equally scant regard for the sanctity of lives and property. Unfortunately, we can’t celebrate because people have died.
“I want to assure you that we will do everything possible to identify the culprits and bring them to justice. I want to express my heartfelt condolences and sympathy to the families of the innocent victims of the violence. The government will be undertaking a full accounting of what happened.
“The mandate you have given us having been clearly demonstrated, I want to assure you that my administration will work tirelessly to justify this mandate as we tried to do in the first four years to almost universal acknowledgement and approbation. The present economic climate in the country may be very harsh with the precipitous slide in oil revenues but I want to assure you that we will courageously tackle the challenges of economic and social development with renewed vigour.
“Here I will like to extend a hand of fellowship to our political opponents. The election has been won and lost but the needs of our people, the challenge of improving their material condition remains and is even more urgent. That should now be the focus of all our attention and efforts.
“God bless the valiant people of Bayelsa.”
In a related development, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) last night congratulated the people of Bayelsa for their support for its candidate, Governor Dickson, which led to his victory at the just-concluded governorship election in the state.
The party however said the victory is painful because of the number of those that were killed.
“It’s painful that this victory has come with so much pain because we lost dear ones. Those who died are our brothers. So many are yet in the hospitals nursing life threatening injuries because our opponents wanted to win at all cost. We wish to express our deepest condolences once again and to assure them that their death will not be in vain,” it stated.
PDP’s position was contained in a statement by its Director of Publicity, Restoration Campaign Organisation, Jonathan Obuebite, shortly after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the incumbent governor winner.
The party thanked the people for renewing Dickson’s mandate for another four-years, attributing it to the “resilience and uncommon courage” of the people.
Obuebite stated in particular that the victory was important because it came the way of the PDP even in the face of intimidation, tyranny, threats and violent attacks, but however, observed that “despite the challenges, democracy won.”
He said: “We want to use this opportunity to sincerely thank all Bayelsans for their doggedness and patriotism because even in the face of such terrible intimidation and violence decided, out of their own volition, they came out to re-elect and return the Countryman Governor to office for the next four years. We are grateful for your remarkable decision as expected in a democracy.
“The people have spoken and we are indeed grateful. It’s your victory, you the good people of Bayelsa State. Without doubt, a new dawn is here. Bayelsans, through their uncommon courage have defeated tyranny and oppression by voting for the continuation of the restoration of our dignity and pride as amply demonstrated through their votes.”
The RCO stated that the victory was a sweet one which signposts the end of an era of a political class whose stock in trade was “violence, brigandage, militancy and bloodletting as the only means of accessing power.”
He said never again will Bayelsa State harbor criminals and rogue elements as contestants for power.
“Going forward, the Bayelsa political space will only be for those who have the intellectual rigour to trade their fine ideas in exchange for votes, not bullets. Our society must groom new set of leaders who will only access power through their superior ideas to regenerate society rather than through the barrel of the gun,” he stated.
Obuebite condemned the sheer scale of violence and mayhem that characterised the 2015 governorship election in Bayelsa State, saying it will go down in history as one with the highest record of casualties.
While calling for the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators of the reported killings, the PDP condoled with the families of those who lost their loved ones.
•Photo shows Governor Dickson.
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