ODAHIEKWU OGUNDE, Yenagoa
Ahead of the primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State, a socio-political group has urged Governor Douye Diri and party leaders to allow competence, track records and loyalty determine the candidates of the party.
The group, Southern Ijaw Patriots (SIP), made the call in a statement on Friday by its Chairman, Chief Paul Authority.
The group said the call became necessary due to previous experiences when people who lacked competence and previous track records of performance were foisted on the people.
The SIP said: “We want to use this opportunity to call on Governor Douye Diri, the prosperity administration and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to place a premium on competence and previous track records in the selection of people as flagbearers in the coming primary elections.
“When the right persons are elected, there won’t be contestations and the electorate will be willing to work with such candidates. But when the opposite is the case, it breeds division and schisms in the party. It is against this backdrop that we are urging the governor as the leader of the party and the party chieftains to bear this in mind.
“We as stakeholders of the PDP in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state have been keeping tabs on the activities of political gladiators and leaders in the area. We hope that the choice of the people will prevail in the long run.”
SIP extolled the virtue of the member representing Southern Ijaw LGA in the Bayelsa State Post Primary Schools Board, Elder Tanwei Stanley Bazigha, describing him as a square peg in a square hole.
The group said Bazigha is a man with the requisite leadership qualities and competence to manage the affairs of SILGA in the next political dispensation.
It urged Bazigha from Korokorosei to defy all the odds and contest the upcoming council election as chairman on the platform of the ruling PDP.
SIP said the need for Bazigha to contest as Chair of SILGA became imperative considering his wealth of experience in the public service and contemporary politics.
In his response, Bazigha commended the SIP for their well-thought out decision, assuring the group that he would make wide consultations with various leaders, elders, traditional rulers as well as the political class in the area before taking decisions.
Many members of the group drawn from the 17 wards of the council area accompanied the SIP Chairman during the visit to Bazigha to woo him to come out to contest the forthcoming LG poll in the state.