Jonathan, wife absent as Gov. Dickson takes oath in Yenagoa

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Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, who was on Sunday inaugurated for his second term in office, said his new term would focus on economic diversification, rural electrification scheme, massive investment in power to drive industrialization, youth empowerment and investment in agriculture.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Patience, who recently attended a thanksgiving ceremony organised in Port Harcourt by Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, were conspicuously absent at the swearing-in and thanksgiving service.

But governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), members of the National Assembly, the PDP’s National Working Committee (NWC), the party’s Board of Trustee (BoT) members, traditional rulers and many stalwarts of the party witnessed the event at the Samson Siasia Sports Complex, Yenagoa.

Some of the PDP governors in attendance were – Ayodele Fayose (Ekiti), Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Emmanuel Udom (Akwa Ibom), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Dairus Ishaku (Taraba) and Dankwabo Ibrahim (Gombe).

The 2015 governorship candidate of PDP in Lagos, Jimi Agbaje; the Senate Minority Leader , Goodwill Akpabio and his counterpart in the House of Representatives, Leo Ogori and a host of other dignitaries were also present at the occasion.

The state’s Chief Judge, Justice Kate Abiri, administered the oaths on the governor and his deputy, Rear Admiral John Jonah (rtd).

Abiri said she was empowered by Sections 185 (1) and 187 (2) of the 1999 Constitution as amended to perform the ceremony, adding that Dickson and his deputy were required to take fresh oaths to renew their mandates.

Speaking after the traditional parade by the police, Dickson said his victory was a testimony that the Ijaw nation had never and would not be conquered.

Dressed in blue traditional attire, Dickson restated his commitment to security of lives and property of the people in the state and called for the collaboration of relevant security agencies.

While expressing dismay over the violence that trailed the conduct of the governorship election in the state, Dickson said now that the election was over, it was high time members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) put aside their political differences and join the Restoration Government in its efforts to rebuild the state.

“I respect your right to hold different views. Your participation in the process made this contest more vibrant and our victory more worthwhile and legitimate. Yesterday, we were opponents; today, we must be partners for the security, development and prosperity of Bayelsa State. I now invite you all to join me in this enterprise of consolidating the gains of restoration. Let us work together to move our state forward.

“I salute the leaders and members of the opposition majority of who are already amenable to this new thinking of building a united and prosperous Bayelsa. In the nearest future, we shall be convening an all-Bayelsa Summit to discuss our common challenges, aspirations and the way forward. Arising there-from, we should be in the vanguard of leading our region to engage our brothers in the Nigeria Project, and to build a stronger and more egalitarian country.”

On the need for the sustenance of the existing peace in the state, the Governor submitted that, this is the only way to attract foreign and local investors to the state, adding that, this could only be achieved through the collaboration of stakeholders, including security operatives.

He warned the government officials both at at state and federal levels against the use of their positions to encourage crime and criminality under any guise, stressing that security officials at federal or state levels should not be afraid to execute their statutory functions for fear of retribution.

“Nobody, regardless of political persuasion should be allowed to subvert national institutions or undermine the security and stability of the state or the nation.

“Our experience in Bayelsa State in the recent past has shown a tendency to misconstrue membership of the political party at the center as cover and license to kill, maim and destroy while security officials look on helplessly. Let us not allow partisanship to slide our country into anarchy. The consequences will be too grave”, Dickson said.

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