THE FULL TEXT OF GOVERNOR HENRY SERIAKE DICKSON’S SPECIAL BROADCAST TO THE PEOPLE OF BAYELSA STATE ON THE 2015 GENERAL ELECTIONS ON THURSDAY, 26TH OF MARCH, 2015
My dear good people of Bayelsa State, it is once again a great privilege to address you today. As you are aware, the long period of electioneering campaigns are gradually winding up, climaxing in the holding of the Presidential and National Assembly general elections on Saturday 28th of March, that is 2 days from Today, throughout our country.
Let me use this opportunity to thank all political parties and their candidates for the very peaceful campaigns conducted throughout our state so far. I would like to appreciate all the traditional rulers, religious, political and opinion leaders, youth and women leaders and all party leaders and activists for joining our government and heeding also to the call of INEC, in calling our people to obtain their PVCs.
As you are all aware, the government embarked upon a massive sensitization programme, called “Operation Show Your PVCs” which campaign took us to the nooks and crannies of our state. We also declared work free days to enable public servants to collect their PVCs. As a result of our collective efforts, our state now is one of the states with the highest percentage of PVC collection rates in our country and for this, I thank you.
Let me also register my appreciations to all traditional rulers, all Bayelsans for all the warm welcome accorded me and the members of my entourage in the cause of the tours. I saw firsthand, your enthusiasm to cast your votes for candidates of your choice.
My dear good people of Bayelsa State, INEC has assured the whole country of their readiness for free, fair, credible and peaceful polls, beginning on Saturday. Now, I call on you all to turn out enmass to cast your votes in your registered polling units on Saturday and I know, that you will.
I am calling on you specifically today for three (3) main reasons for you to all turn out enmass to cast your votes; The first is that, in this election, all materials will get to the polling units in the state and accreditation will begin by 8 a.m on Saturday, using your permanent voter’s cards. This is an election therefore, where all your votes will be counted. The outcome of this election will very well depend on your one vote and so it is important for you all to come out enmass and cast your vote.
Secondly, it is the desire of this state to have a maximum voter turnout, as our registered voters strength is among the least in this country, and that is why our government has taken the pains to mobilize our citizenry to enable them to collect their PVCs, but that is not the end, as your PVCs will be of no use, unless you turn out enmass to cast your votes.
Thirdly, as you are aware, our leader and brother and the President is the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, whose election will be due on Saturday the 28th. For us in Bayelsa state, this issue of re-electing our President is not a partisan one. This is a matter of state interest, and I urge you all, therefore, to turn out enmass and cast your ballots for him as our leader and brother and as well cast your voters for all other candidates of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party.
My fellow Bayelsans, let me remind you of the historic privilege, that this opportunity presents. It is an opportunity for us to vote one of our own as the President of the Federal Republic and I assure you that, succeeding generations of Bayelsans will be envious of those of us, who have this rare honour and privilege to exercise our franchise in this historic moments.
Let me also remind you that, when generations of Bayelsans unborn will re-examine the events and the behaviour and conducts and how all of us are responding to the challenges of the time, let it be said that, like most of us, you also did your duties. Let it not be said that, history will record you on the wrong side, and I know that, you will heed this call to turn out enmass to support our dear President of this great nation, who needs our support right now. I call on all community, political and religious leaders to rally their people to this course.
My dear people of Bayelsa state, as a result of the peculiar terrain, as a result, also of the transportation difficulty of our state, most especially, traveling to the hinterland and back and in other to encourage all registered voters to proceed to their registered voting centers to cast their ballots and to get there early enough, to enable accreditation begin at 8am on Saturday, I again at this moment, declare Friday the 27th day of March, 2015, as work-free day in Bayelsa State. That is, tomorrow is a work-free day to enable all registered, public servants and all others, will need to be free to travel through our difficult water-ways back to their registered polling centers in other to enable them get up early for accreditation to begin by 8am on Saturday.
This directive affects all offices in the state, except financial institutions. I have set up a special committee to ensure compliance in all offices, private as well as public where Bayelsans, registered voters are working. I enjoin all employers and others to show understanding and support.
Fellow Bayelsans, you are aware that our State has become one of the safest States in the entire Federation of Nigeria and this is a feat that, we have achieved working and collaborating with our hardworking and selfless security agents, their officers and men of all services. Again, I pay tribute to them. Let me remind you that this is also an opportunity for us to work with them to continue to keep our state safe and even improve on the safety records of our State.
INEC and security agencies and particularly, Youth Corpers will be posted to our communities, villages and towns across the length and breadth of this State. I like to use this opportunity to call on all community, religious, political and opinion leaders in all our communities to give them all necessary supports and assistance and encouragements, as they go to join us to perform their electoral duties.
Fellow Bayelsans, yesterday the state security council met and reviewed security plans for the elections and members assured me of the plans by various security services to protect our liberties and ensure the safety of our people, while they move around to cast their votes. While they travel to their communities to heed this clarion call and also to ensure that, they vote freely without any adverse incidence. I believe them and I know that, they are ready for the polls.
I urge you all to cooperate with them. I urge anyone planning anything untowards to desist forthwith, because the security forces are on red alert to nip in the bud and deal with such cases decisively. The state Security Council recommended and I have accepted their recommendations, that in the interest of preservation of public order and peace in the State, no boat or river-craft of any description should be allowed to ply on the rivers or water-ways of this State for two nights. This is beginning from 7pm on Friday 27thof March to 8am on Saturday morning and then Saturday 7pm to 8am on Sunday morning.
That means for two nights, no river-craft shall be allowed to ply the waterways except those on essential duties or medical emergency movements. We have directed the security teams, that are on the water-ways to intercept and take appropriate actions in the case of defaulters.
My dear people of Bayelsa State, as we go to the polls, let me wish you all, journey mercies and as you cast your ballots, be reminded to vote wisely and be on the side of history and on the protection of what we all know as the interest of our State.
I wish you all journey mercies and good luck to Bayelsa. It is my prayer that God shall grant all of us victory on Saturday in Jesus name, Amen! Thank you for your understanding and support. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and may God continue to bless Bayelsa. Good morning and thank you for listening.