– Gov. Diri Inaugurates Bayelsa PDP ExcoFormer Nigerian President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, has explained why he has reduced his political activities since he quit power in 2015, saying his foundation was responsible.
The former leader gave the explanation on Sunday in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, when Governor Douye Diri inaugurated the recently elected state executive council of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Dr. Jonathan, who said he was actually moving away from being “an effective partisan politician,” however noted that his absence from political activities was being misunderstood.
His words: “Don’t be discouraged if you do not see me in most party activities in the state. I decided to appear in this event so that I will not be misunderstood.
“I’m shifting away from being an effective partisan politician because of my foundation. People who want to partner with me felt that if you are a partisan leader in the country, they will eat with you with a long spoon.
“I felt that after serving as President of this country, I should go to some other areas where my services would be required. Through that process, I would be able to support the nation and the state in one way or the other.”
He called on the new state executive council to run an all-inclusive administration, to promote peace, unity and stability in achieving more successes for the party.
Jonathan averred that the survival of the party is largely dependent on its capacity to effectively manage its affairs.
“You have an enormous responsibility before you. You must work with the governor and not at cross purposes.
“No matter how strong a party is, if the people don’t appreciate you, you would be struggling to have them on your side. I know you will work harmoniously with members and carry everyone along,” he said.
The former president also applauded the exemplary leadership exhibited by Senator Diri within the short period in office.
Governor Diri, on his part, charged the new party leadership to reach out to all those who had left and to bring them back into the fold towards sustaining the party’s dominance in the state.
He also tasked them on total loyalty to the party and for them to eschew divisive tendencies because, according to him, “we are all brothers and sisters of Ijawland.”
Senator Diri, who noted the forthcoming senatorial bye-elections would be a litmus test for the new council, challenged the leadership to work towards winning the west and central senatorial seats.
“As a result of our divine emergence, we should not be vindictive. Let us forgive one another and bring everyone on board because we want to sustain our party’s dominance in the state.
“It seems like a tall order but you have the capacity to do so. We are all brothers and sisters of Ijawland. So let us not split ourselves. When we are united, we will be stronger and bring development closer to our people.”
Also speaking, the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus represented by the National Vice Chairman of the South-South zone, Elder Emmanuel Ogidi, congratulated the new state exco and implored them to work as a team.
While commending Governor Diri on his reconciliatory efforts, he noted that the move would strengthen the party towards achieving victory in future elections.
Also speaking, immediate past governor of Bayelsa state, Honourable Seriake Dickson, expressed satisfaction with his successor for recording successes in piloting the affairs of the party so far, which he said is evident in the smooth election and successful inauguration of the new leadership.
Represented by the Sagbama PDP Caucus Chairman and Elder Statesman, Chief Francis Doukpola, Honourable Dickson thanked the immediate past chairman for his loyalty to the party and the winning streak during his leadership while congratulating the newly inaugurated executive.
In his acceptance speech, the new chairman, Mr. Solomon Agwanana, thanked Dr Jonathan and Governor Diri for their leadership role in strengthening the party.
He promised that his watchword would be repositioning the party and consolidating the gains achieved by past leaders.
Mr. Agwanana also solicited clear direction from the state governor as the leader of the party, which, according to him, would be the right instrument and synergy needed to record more victories as the leading party in the state.
Highpoint of the event was a minute silence in honour of late Pastor Keniebi Okoko, a former governorship aspirant who passed on few weeks ago.