BY Ebi Anthony
ARISING from a media chat which Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State hosted select journalists to in his office on Sunday, 22nd October, 2017, a certain banner headline credited to him in the Monday, October 23rd, edition of the Leadership Newspaper alleged that the Governor was certain that PDP cannot win the 2019 Presidential Election. But in a rejoinder signed on his behalf by the Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Francis Agbo, the Governor, said that the emphasis at the media chat was how to make the PDP a cohesive, strong, and purposeful opposition party in Nigeria.
The statement stated that throughout the chat, the Governor did not directly or indirectly talk about the PDP and the 2019 Presidential election; thus positing that the banner headline is therefore false, misleading and mischievous. Find below the unedited version of the Press Statement: REJOINDER TO LEADERSHIP NEWSPAPER; Gov. Dickson Never Said PDP Can’t Win 2019 Presidential Election
The attention of Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has been drawn to the banner headline credited to him in the Monday, October 23rd, edition of the Leadership Newspaper in which the paper alleged that the Governor was certain that PDP cannot win the 2019 Presidential Election. The emphasis at the media chat was how to make the PDP a cohesive, strong, and purposeful opposition party in Nigeria!
To set the records straight, the Governor had a media chat in his office on Sunday, October 22, 2017 where Journalists from different media houses were represented at the session. Throughout the chat, the Governor never directly or indirectly talked about the PDP not winning the Presidential election in 2019. Indeed there was no mention of the presidential election or which party will win or lose in 2019. What the Governor said which was properly recorded and reported by all media houses except the Leadership was that PDP leaders should eschew selfishness and bitterness and work for it to be a strong opposition party. What the Governor meant was that if the PDP leaders work hard, they can overcome the challenges facing the party. The Governor said he is praying and hoping that the party will put its act together and overcome its challenges, adding that the party’s national convention slated for December this year, will be a litmus test for the PDP.
He also said the tragedy of Nigeria’s democracy today is that, we neither have a strong party in opposition nor a strong party in government but believes, the forces militating against the PDP are surmountable if party leaders work together in the interest of the PDP!
We have made the full transcription of the media chat available to media organisations.
The banner headline is therefore false, misleading and mischievous. We believe the Governor was deliberately misquoted to pit him against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), a political party he has laboured for, worked so hard for, strengthened, and tried to unify, by reconciling its feuding forces in his capacity as Chairman of the Reconciliation Committee. The Governor couldn’t have denigrated a political party that means so much to him and couldn’t have condemned PDP to failure in an election.
It is also imperative to state here that Governor Dickson is a committed PDP chieftain and is working assiduously with party leaders to make PDP reclaim its glory. Finally, Governor Dickson is a politician of conviction and not one of convenience. No amount of blackmail or falsehood can distract him from lending his voice to serious national issues whenever the need arises.
Francis Ottah Agbo
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Bayelsa State.