The much anticipated D-Day has come and the excitement of its joyous outcome is a long way from dissipating! Let me start by describing the events of the few days leading to Declaration Day
On Sunday 6th of September, we hosted a dinner for all registered PDP party members in Bayelsa State. The event which held at the state banquet hall was well attended. Among the notable attendees who graced us with their presence were the immediate past President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan; the acting National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, Prince Uche Secondus; and former Chairman of Board of Trustees of PDP, Chief Tony Anenih. Suffice it to say, while we endeavored toward a fairly straightforward yet ceremonial dinner party, the atmosphere was very much one of conviviality and gaiety. A fitting antecedent for the following days’ events.
Monday, the 7th of September commenced with a visit to the Traditional Rulers’ Council where I was very warmly received by the chairman of the State Traditional Rulers Council, HRH King Alfred Papapreye Diete-Spiff and other royal rulers who make up the distinguished council. They unanimously gave their blessing to my second term bid and promised their absolute support. The import of their benediction can never be overstated and I am very aware and highly appreciative of their faith in me.
Next was a formal visit to the Former President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan at his country home in Otueke, Ogbia LGA, Bayelsa State, accompanied by Chief DSP Alamieyesiegha, members of the state executive and select enthusiasts. It was here that I annunciated my intention to run for a second term. My incumbency was unanimously endorsed by Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, HRH King A J Turner and all the royal fathers of the Ogbia Kingdom. I cant begin to describe what a momentous and joyful occasion it was.
We returned to the state capital, Yenagoa, supercharged and set to venture into the deep; to reshape, recreate yet uphold all that we have stood for in years past, our moral stamina never waning. This day saw the commissioning of our campaign office at Yenizue-Gene, and the inauguration of a thirteen-member Restoration Campaign Organisation entrusted with a mission to ensure the successful outcome of our campaign in the forthcoming gubernatorial election on the 5th of December, 2015. I emphasized the responsibility and importance of their commission, stating that they were carefully selected after consultation with leaders and elders of the party. They are expected to bring to bear on the job, the wealth of their collective experience and Hon. Frederick Agbedi, the Director-General of the campaign team responded by acknowledging their responsibility and promising that the team will not fail in the fulfilment of this worthy obligation.
Tuesday, the 8th dawned Declaration Day proper. It was one of the most exciting days of my life because four years ago I was given the mandate to serve as the governor of Bayelsa State. It was not exactly what I expected, yet it was everything I expected: A paradox which I am sure you understand. What inspires me now is this—I received and am still the recipient of such overwhelmingly concrete support which tells me, more than anything else, that we must have been doing something optimally vital in the development of our State that needs further grooming and a failsafe structure. This we will continue to do with passion, drive and focus, come December 5th. The venue was the Samson Siasia Stadium in Yenegoa and the stadium’s maximum capacity of five thousand people was sorely tested by the overwhelming crowd of supporters both within and without. Notable attendants were Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and former First Lady, Dame Patience Faka Jonathan. The Ondo state Governor and Chairman of the PDP Governor’s forum, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, led a team of thirteen governors to the event. Also present was Chief DSP Alamieyesiegha; the National Assembly Caucus; Representatives of the tradition rulers from the eastern zone of Nigeria; government officials (National & State) and—of course—the ever loyal, ever enthusiastic supporters. It was a truly propitious occasion. For recreation there was plenty of music and dancing, a profusion of colour and merriment.
My sincere gratitude to all my leaders and fathers for the honour they accorded me. It was an extraordinarily splendid experience, a presage of transformation and bountiful horizons. The next step on our stairway to victory is the primaries and, as promised, I will furnish you with details of the proceedings as they occur. We will win. I am confident because I have you by me.
Thank you for standing with me.