Gov Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa on Thursday confirmed reports of violence and use of firearms resulting to widespread shootings with several casualties during Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Assembly primaries held on Wednesday in Yenagoa, Sagbama and Ogbia senatorial headquarters in Bayelsa.
Armed thugs loyal to some PDP aspirants considered by Gov Dickson.as disloyal sht sporadically at the Samson Siasia Stadium and Ogbia venues of the primaries opposed Dickson anointed candidates.
Dickson who spoke during a meeting with his loyalists, leaders of the party in Government House, Yenagoa vowed to deal with disloyal members of pDP who he acused of being the masterminds behind the violence which had injured the reputation of the party.
Senators Ben Bruce of Bayelsa West, Foster Ogola of Bayelsa West and Emmanuel Paulker of Bayelsa Central all lost their re-election tickets to return to the Senate on the platform of PDP.
Dickson , while reacting to the development condemned reported case of valence during the PDP’s Senatorial and House of Representatives primaries at the Samson Siasia Sports Complex, Yenagoa and at Ogbia town on Wednesday.
He called on the people to always conduct themselves peacefully, as elections were not a do-or-die affair.
Dickson described the primaries that had taken place across the state as largely peaceful and transparent.
He said the full weight of the law would be brought to bear on all those involved in the attempt to disrupt the process no matter how highly placed.
"I have made it clear to the party and the panel that, we don't want any more violence or any attempt at violence.
“The exercise in our state has gone on fairly smoothly. And, I condemn those who shot guns yesterday at the Sports Complex and at Ogbia Town and I have directed investigations.
"When people take the laws into their hands and do what is wrong, there are consequences and those consequences must flow irrespective of who is concerned.
“And when the consequences come, people should not read meanings. When the law takes its course, they will now be looking for people to blame.
“We will punish each and every one who took part in that. Investigations have already started." Dickson said.
Dickson also urged all political aspirants in the state to exhibit team spirit, stressing that, politics should be seen as an opportunity to serve the people and not a one man game.
"In politics, things change. There are some people, if it is not their own way, it is the highway, everybody will go and crash, they don't care. Those are not politicians but mercenaries.
“This game is a group game and never about one man or one woman. The day we worked for them and they became senators, it was not imposition.
“Some stayed there for eight and 12 years and others for four years. They tend to forget that this game of political service requires loyalty." Dickson said.
Dickson said he would convene a meeting with all those, who lost the primaries, noting that, the political system has a way of making them relevant by offering other opportunities to contribute to the development of the state.
According to the Governor, Bayelsa delegates to Saturday’s Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) Presidential primaries, will vote en bloc for the candidate that will restructure the country.
PDP’s Presidential Convention is scheduled to take place on Saturday in Port Harcourt, the Rivers capital.
He said that, the state and the entire Ijaw nation would only vote for a candidate that is ready to promote mutual respect for all Nigerians as well as create a level playing ground for all Nigerians.
Dickson explained that the Ijaw nation would only support and work with a candidate that will give the people equal opportunities and stake in the oil and gas industry.
According to him, the Ijaws have been relegated to the background in the oil and gas sector over the years, despite, their enviable role as oil producing areas.
“Why I have assembled you all is about the position that we will all take as a state and the entire Ijaw nation.
“All the delegates will vote at the PDP Presidential Convention in one direction and as a bloc.
“No one delegate’s vote will be lost because the 2019 general election is a very serious election for our people." Dickson said.