The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has chided the All Progressive Congress (APC) over an alleged “attempt to rely on federal might” to reclaim Bayelsa State in the November 11 gubernatorial election, saying “it won’t work.”
Inaugurating the party’s national campaign council for the November governorship election in Abuja, on Thursday, the party reminded APC that President Bola Tinubu, as a democrat, won’t circumvent the process.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had on June 9 uploaded a list that shows that 18 political parties are fielding candidates in the elections in Kogi State, 17 in Imo State and 16 in Bayelsa State. The list also shows that two political parties are fielding female candidates in Bayelsa State, one in Kogi State and none in Imo State.
According to the INEC timetable, the campaign officially commenced on Wednesday, June 14, 2023, in line with Section 94 (1) of the Electoral Act 2022 and ends on November 9, 2023; that is 24 hours prior to election day.
Governor Douye Diri, while speaking at the ceremony at the PDP national secretariat in Abuja, assured that he would be returned to office having performed to the satisfaction of the people of the state.
“I am not sure that there will be any federal might for a candidate that has been roundly rejected by the people. The current Federal Government under President Bola Tinubu is also not a government that will be anti- democracy.
“The Federal Government will stand to defend democracy. We are in a democratic system and I believe that if we work well and we do not take it for granted, we have already won.”
The governor, who expressed optimism about winning the election, however, warned that the party must not be complacent in view of the intentions of his main rival at the poll.
According to him, “There is a popular saying in my place that when a blind man tells you that he is going to stone you, it means that he is standing on top of a stone. So, let us not take our opponents, especially the APC for granted. In Bayelsa, I would like to let you know that this election is across party lines. So, we are not going there to deride APC.
“I am happy that the little efforts we are putting in that part of our country are resonating across the whole country.
Read also: Troops destroy illegal refinery in Delta
Governor Agba Kefas of Taraba State, who is the chairman of the PDP Bayelsa Election Council, assured that the campaign team will focus on retaining the Bayelsa governorship position.
“In this pivotal moment, we recognise the weight of our responsibility to the people of Bayelsa State. As we set our sights on retaining our governorship position in Bayelsa State, we embrace the task of a prosperous and great future for every citizen of Bayelsa State.
“Our campaign is not merely a quest for power but a commitment to transformative leadership that fosters growth, equity and unity.
He described Bayelsa’s potential as “limitless”, adding that “we stand at the threshold of history waiting to shape a trajectory. Our campaign will be driven by the voices of the people and our policies will reflect their aspirations.
“Our governor (Douye) promises to prioritise education, health care, infrastructure, job creation, youth and women empowerment and also sustainable development as the cornerstone of his agenda. Our success will not be defined by victory at the polls, but by the trust we have built over time and the positive impact we have made in the lives of Bayelsans,” Kefas said.
Taofik Arapaja, deputy national chairman, South of the PDP, while also describing Bayelsa State as a stronghold of the PDP, said, “we will retain Bayelsa, adding that “but we need to work very hard, we should not leave any stone unturned.”