By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
A political group in Bayelsa State, The Restoration Team, which controls over 80 percent of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state, has encouraged all its members interested in contesting the November 16, this year’s governorship election, to freely pick the party’s nomination form at the PDP headquarters in Abuja.
The leader of the team and Governor of the state, Hon. Seriake Dickson, who gave the advice in a statement at the weekend, reasoned that such was necessary for the process of consultations to begin.
The group assured that it would only back one of its own for the governorship primaries.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Media Relations, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, quoted the Governor as having called on members of the Restoration Team “with interest to contest the governorship election to pick the party’s form for the process of consultations to begin in a statement on Tuesday.
“The Governor said that three aspirants had earlier approached the leadership of the party and the Restoration Caucus to indicate interest in line with the decision of the Governor to approach the issue of candidate selection for the next election with prayers and consultations.
“The Governor expressed happiness that several members of the Restoration Team have come out to indicate interest in the governorship contest.
“He said that the expanding number aspirants from the fold of the Restoration Team under his leadership showed the existence of large number of highly competent, dedicated men of repute who are prepared to undertake the crucial mission of leading the state after me.
“The Governor has said severally that the party’s candidate would be a member of the Restoration Team must have the qualities of being steadfast and loyal and would be product of wide consultation.
“Governor Dickson said that with the successful conclusion of the prayers and fasting session, all members of the Restoration Team with the ambition to govern the state should make their interest known to the party so that they could get the form”, it said.
The statement also quoted the Governor as having called on Bayelsans to make dispassionate assessment of the aspirants for the Restoration team to make the crucial decision on who to back in the primaries.
He said that all members of the Restoration Team with interest to contest the governorship would be supported for the purpose of continuity and stability in the governance of the state.
The Governor added that all key members of the Restoration Team would sit to decide on which candidate to back in the forthcoming PDP primaries in the state.
He stressed that the assessment by the state was crucial as it would form the basis upon which a final decision would be made.
According to him, “The Restoration Team has taken a decision to back one of its own to contest the primaries of the People’s Democratic Party in the state.
“The Restoration Team is inclined to support a candidate from the Restoration Caucus òf the PDP for the governorship ticket because of the imperative of continuity and stability in governance.
“It is on the basis of this that any member of the Restoration Team who has an ambition is called upon to pick the form. The caucus shall make all the necessary arrangements for consultations within the Restoration Caucus òf the PDP before taking a final decision on who to support”, it said.
The Governor added that adequate mechanism had been put in place to get feed backs from the citizens in addition to wide consultations within the party and the entire state upon which a decision would be taken on who should be backed in the primaries.