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Bayelsa elections: Ikoli warns PDP aspirants against disunity

Chief Anthony George Ikoli SAN, PDP governorship aspirant, Bayelsa State
A Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant in the forth coming coming Bayelsa State Gubernatorial elections, Chief Anthony George-Ikoli SAN at the weekend warned PDP aspirants to desist from washing the linen of the party in the public. Rather, he admonish fellow contestants to engage in vibrant ideas contest that will move the state forward. He warns all aspirants against actions that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) could capitalize on to take away the state away from the popular PDP.
In a press release signed by his campaign office, Ikoli, the first Senior Advocate from Bayelsa State and grandson to foremost nationalist, Ernest Ikoli, said he feels sad about the events leading to the party primary elections where some contestants have already started attacking themselves negatively in the public space.
He also decried the situation where individual contestants are at loggerheads with the establishment to the extent that name calling in the media becomes the order of the day. “It is certainly an avoidable display of our undergarments in the market square. A situation where tapes of internal conversations of party meetings whose purport is an undue skewing of the rules, are leaked into the public domain is unsavory”.
Ikoli therefore warned the aspirants against the use of court injunctions to disrupt the party primaries. “I think it is incumbent upon us as loyal party members to take stock of the current situation, strategically assess its potential fallout and devise a methodology of remediation by walking our way back from our intended goal to the current state of affairs”.

He therefore admonished his fellow aspirants to heed the advise of former President Goodluck Jonathan on the primary elections. “Already our leader, Dr. Jonathan has sounded a clear warning about the dangers that lie ahead if we do not conduct ourselves in a manner that promotes and is seen to promote the finest traditions of the PDP in our internal and external processes and in our individual and collective conduct”.

Below is the full text of the press release:

“My dear fellow party men and women of the People’s Democratic Party, today I write with quite a heavy heart at the unfolding events leading into our party’s primaries of the 3rd September 2019. It is my experience that the party primary season in a vibrant democracy and within an effervescent and ebullient pollical party like ours should be a season of intellectual contestation of ideas, a titanic battle of wits and a colorful cornucopia of contestants trying to outdo one another through the deployment of the best in political philosophy, strategy and tact. Sadly, the events leading up to the primaries and the undue tension within the party and the state is indeed a cause for concern and urgent remediation.
I think it is incumbent upon us as loyal party members to take stock of the current situation, strategically assess its potential fallout and devise a methodology of remediation by walking our way back from our intended goal to the current state of affairs.
A situation where individual contestants are seemingly at loggerheads with the establishment to the extent that name calling in the media becomes the order of the day is certainly an avoidable display of our undergarments in the market square. A situation where tapes of internal conversations of party meetings whose purport is an undue skewing of the rules, are leaked into the public domain also adds to the current unsavoriness.
There are even now murmurings of injunction actions to threaten the legality of the nomination process by parties who feel there are manifest incongruities in the process of delegate selection not to mention the threat of spoilers who may want to scuttle the process even when they know they do not have the capacity to go the distance or the ability to provide leadership thereafter.
Already several statements between some of the key stakeholders and aspirants paints a picture of gloom, doom and falling skies – as if we are not all of the same party striving for the same goal of ensuring the PDP retains its rightful place in Bayelsa politics.
Borne out of the G34, a group formed and led by my late illustrious in-law Chief Dr. Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme and others; the PDP was a creation of the struggle to liberate Nigeria from the shackles of military rule, a movement of national consensus, universal fairness and a platform of republican idealism. Sadly, for a time, a lot of the underlying ideals of the party suffered seemingly fatal erosion, the fallout of which was an untimely reversal of fortune at the center in 2015.
Now that the party has reformed itself and refreshed its belief in those founding ethos and the people have shown renewed faith in us as the evidence of the 2019 elections where we were able to claw back several states bear eloquent testimony, it is incumbent upon us as stakeholders of the party to resist the urge to return to the old ways that led to our aforementioned demise.
Already our leader, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has sounded a clear warning about the dangers that lie ahead if we do not conduct ourselves in a manner that promotes and is seen to promote the finest traditions of the PDP in our internal and external processes and in our individual and collective conduct.
Bayelsa and indeed Kogi State in the forthcoming elections must not be the exceptions that buck the current trend of our resurgence, we must work assiduously to deliver victory to our party come November. A PDP leadership in Nigeria despite all its innate idiosyncrasies and shortcomings guarantees an inclusive Nigeria, a PDP leadership guarantees a prosperous Nigeria, it is our duty and responsibility to ensure our party is successful if not for ourselves alone, then for Nigeria.
Our state is fighting its own contradictions, whilst on the one hand, the outgoing Seriake Dickson (Ofruma Pepe) restoration administration has scored significantly high marks in many areas, there still exists a specter of apparent dislocation at the micro-level which the opposition will look to feed on in the coming elections. A major thrust of the Ikoli campaign has been our promise to ensure the linkage between the infrastructural achievements of the current government with the needs of the common man at the bottom of the pyramid whilst implementing measures that expand the economic base and potential of the state. Likewise, I take cognizance of the plans of other aspirants and the diligence in regard thereto but note that none of these plans will be realizable if our party falls into opposition after November.
My clarion call is for all stakeholders within the party to put all personal differences aside and work towards a fair and transparent primary that leaves no one in doubt about the outcome, an outcome that ensures that all individual structures willingly collapse themselves into one homogenous unit that will ensure our party’s success at the elections.
I further urge the party to further assume its leadership role and work assiduously to calm all frayed nerves and go over and beyond the assurances it has already provided of a level playing field to proactive engagement of all the stakeholders with the endgame of ensuring the party is united going into November and victory is secured thereafter.”

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