Chairman of the South South Governors Forum, Honourable Henry Seriake Dickson, has congratulated governors of the region re-elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Dickson, who is the Bayelsa State governor, said in a statement by his Special Adviser on Public Affairs, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, that Saturday’s election was a referendum on the excellent performance of the five PDP governors in the zone.
He said it is heartwarming that the mandates of his brother-governors in the region were renewed by the electorate in their various states on Saturday, having given a good account of themselves in the last four years even as the final result of the election in Rivers State was being awaited.
He expressed the hope that the will of the Rivers people would not be subverted following INEC’s suspension of the election and the collation process in the state.
The Bayelsa helmsman, who is the only second term governor in the region having been re-elected in 2016, urged his colleagues not to be distracted by the politics of desperation that was on display during the elections but should rather continue to focus on good governance, development of their states and delivery of the dividends of democracy to their people.
While noting that their victory was not easily achieved, he decried a situation where soldiers encouraged by desperate politicians have made a very dangerous and condemnable incursion into the democratic space as witnessed during the elections in Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers states.
Governor Dickson expressed the concern that violent conduct and militarisation of elections, particularly in the South South states, was a dangerous signal that must not be allowed to fester as it is a threat to our democracy and the country’s stability.
His words: “As chairman of the South South Governors Forum, I warmly congratulate governors of my party, the PDP, in the zone that were re-elected on Saturday. Their re-election was actually a referendum on their wonderful performance in the last four years. I urge them not to relent and to continue to provide good governance, development of their states and delivery of the dividends of democracy to their people.
“These governors were re-elected after a hard-fought battle because of the desperation of politicians who turned the election into a do-or-die affair. These desperate politicians brought in thugs and soldiers into communities to intimidate voters as witnessed in my state, Akwa Ibom, Delta and Rivers.
“The incursion of soldiers into the current democratic space is also a dangerous signal that all patriots and democrats must reject. These acts are not only condemnable but are also a threat to our democracy and the stability of the country. While we await the final results of the elections in Rivers State, it is my hope that the will of the people would not be subverted at the end of the day.”