By Ndu Samuel
Foremost diplomat and aspirant in the just concluded Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial primaries in Bayelsa State, Ambassador Dr. Godknows B. Igali has congratulated both his party and the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidates that emerged winners at the various party primaries with a charge to make their campaigns issues based.
Amb. Igali gave the charge during a praise and worship service organised by his supporters and staff of his campaign organisation in his residence in Bayela on Friday.
Igali told the front line candidates, Sen. Douye Diri and Chief David Lyon of the PDP and APC respectively to lead an issues based campaign and focus on solutions that can advance the progress of the state to improve the conditions of the people.
He particularly urged the aspirants and their campaign teams to focus on how Bayelsa can surpass the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) noting that “this must be the benchmark for our people to live in the 21st century as many parts of Nigeria are beginning.
Describing the conduct of the PDP primaries as peaceful, he noted that there were still some condemnable intrigues and back door dealings that preceded the voting proper,
He, said many of the PDP delegates were induced with mind blowing sum of money by agents of the state government and other aspirants to pressurize them into voting against their choice warning that such acts may impact on the quality of leadership after election.
He decried that in spite of all efforts which various administrations seem to have made for the economic development of Bayelsa state, available data from the National Bureau of Statistics still shows that the state remains one of the most backward in terms of access to portable water, access to sanitation, access to anti-natal care.
Igali congratulated his campaign team under the banner of “Project Bayelsa” for focusing on facts and evidence-based articulation of issues. He restated that his campaign mantra covered the entire spectrum of modern governance and tried to proffer solutions aimed at moving the state to an enviable status. Igali encouraged Bayelsans and the candidates to access his detailed thoughts and ideas by visiting his Bayelsa Project website www.projectbayelsa.org.ng for guidance.
He maintained that ” Increasingly, the reliance on allocations from the central government for sustainable economic and social development, and for ushering our people into modern living will become an anachronism. Both candidates must therefore redirect their energies on strategies and clear roadmaps on how to bring development through non traditional and innovative sources.”
Amb. Igali said the plight of the common person motivates his entrance into the guber race , expressed gratitude to the people who stood by him as a result of his records at the state, national and international levels.
To his supporters he siad, “Do not feel humiliated or saddened because hundreds of delegates who did not vote for us have, surprisingly, been calling to express regret and attempt to absolve themselves. As most of them have stated in their phone calls and text messages, they were forced by circumstances and against their conscience to do the wrong thing. Be assured that as a Christian, I sincerely forgive and pray that the Lord will strengthen them all.
”To the rest of the people of Bayelsa state let us put the primaries of PDP and APC behind us and move on with the aim of focusing on a new Bayelsa. My late father, Newton Igali, FCCA, who was one of the founding fathers of old Rivers state and later Bayelsa, was known for espousing the doctrine of ‘moving on’ despite the tumbling circumstances of life. ”
“We must therefore move on to new grounds and recover our state and the Ijaw nation for the collective good of our children and even those unborn .” He concluded. ” He added.