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Ahead of the forthcoming governorship election in Bayelsa State, a former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr Timi Alaibe has said that he possesses the sufficient experience to make the state the economic hub of the nation if elected the governor of the state at the November poll.
Mr Alaibe, an aspirant under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), stated this at the weekend while speaking with newsmen shortly after he submitted his expression of interest and nomination forms at the National Secretariat of the party in Abuja.
This is coming just as 21 aspirants have signified their intentions to fight for the governorship ticket of the PDP in the November 16, election.
Each of the 20 aspirants paid the sum of N21m for the expression of interest and nomination forms respectively while the only female aspirant paid only N1m for the expression of interest form inline with the party’s policy to encourage more female aspirants in elective offices.
Some of the aspirants included a former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Timi Alaibe; a member representing Sagbama/Ekeremor federal constituency of Bayelsa State in the House of Representatives, Hon Frederick Agbedi; the senator representing Bayelsa Central Senatorial District, Douye Diri; the State Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral John Jonah rtd , Mr. Tobin Igiri, Mr. Anthony George-Ikoli (SAN) Teriale Oliver and Reuben Okoya among others.
Speaking on his chances to clinch the party’s ticket, Alaibe declared he remained the man to beat in the race base wealth of experience gathered over the years at both private and public sectors over the years.
According to the aspirant, “Bayelsa State is very strategic to Nigeria. Bayelsa State is supposed to be an economic hub for the people of Ijaw nation and Nigeria. And from our experience in the public and private sectors we need to implement shared economic prosperity since a lot of infrastructure work has been done by the current governor, Hon Henry Seriake Dickson, who we adore and we are going to take off from that point when we get in as governor.
“We have rolled out a blueprint for the economic development of our state which will soon be publicised and of course with special emphasis on our ability to deliver them.
“There are a few attributes that give leadership strength that we will put on the table. That leadership strength of political capital we have, that connection and reputation, the strong business skills, the social capital also, social networks and the implementation capacity are the attributes that we have to be able to go to work immediately as we are sworn in as the governor of Bayelsa State.
“We want to tell our people that we shall face the creation of jobs, we have a strategy for resolving conflicts and youth restiveness. All that we have done so far in the resolution of youth restiveness in the Niger Delta and the experience and capacity is what we will put on the table to try to deal with the security dynamics in Bayelsa State and provide jobs for our teeming youths and resolve some of their issues.
“We will emphasize on skills development for our teeming youths and ensure that the shared economy that we talked about is something that will energise that growth and propelled the economic development of our state.”
While not underrating other aspirants in the race who he described as a member of the same political family in the state, Alaibe said, “all those that came to pick forms are credible Bayelsa people and I respect all of them and it is not a question of putting my chances and their chances and all that.”
According to him, “I am only here to talk about myself and what I will be able to offer Bayelsa people and to underscore the fact that the sufficient experience I have in sustainable development in the Niger Delta is something for them to juxtapose when discussing development issues with other aspirants
“I managed 145 local governments in the institution that I worked with, the NDDC. We did strategic plans at the NDDC at a time. Bayelsa State is just 8 local governments. So if I was able to manage the activities of 145 local governments, then you will know that this is something that we can deal with. So that is the experience I am bringing on the table.”
Speaking on the speculation making the round that Governor Dickson had endorsed a candidate amongst the aspirants, Alaibe dismissed it as a mere political rumour.
According to him, “I think it’s all about rumour-mongering and what I do not do in politics is to sustain rumours. The governor has never said that he has endorsed anyone. Those of his immediate staff and others who have signified their interests and even gone as far as collecting forms for this process are all qualified to do so.
“They have equal rights like any other person in fact, Bayelsans have equal rights to contest as governor. In fact, if anyone is actually looking for endorsement, I should be the one to be endorsed. So there is no story about him endorsing anyone, he has not said that publicly and people should stop carrying these rumours.”
Source; Nigerian Tribune