BAYELSA WEST SENATORIAL SEAT: How I will defeat Seriake Dickson in 2023 – Wilson Dauyegha
…Declares intention for senate
… urges Seriake Dickson, Sagbama people to respect zoning arrangement
Hon. Wilson Ayakpo Dauyegha is the member representing Ekeremor Constituency II in the Balyesa State House of Assembly. He is also the Deputy Minority Leader of the Bayelsa House Assembly and also the Acting National Chairman, APC House of Assembly Forum. He is now gearing up to run in the forthcoming Bayelsa West Senatorial District election in 2023.
GbaramatuVoice caught up with him recently. In the interview, he talks about his achievements, internal democracy in his party and his decision to throw his hat into the ring for the senate seat in 2023 and how he will defeat former governor Henry Seriake Dickson.
Hon. Dauyegha, also has asked Senator Seriake Dickson, particularly, and the Sagbama people, generally, to respect the zoning arrangement in place between them and the Ekeremor people and refuse to field candidates for the Senate in 2023.
GbaramatuVoice: You are of the APC. Can you give us a few of your antecedents so far in politics?
DAUYEGHA:: The experience is really good. I am happy I am able to partake in politics. We started the Not-Too-Young-To-run with some other states and I picked up form and won in 2019 in the Balyesa State House of Assembly. I discovered the youths are not holding prime positions in society.
GbaramatuVoice: We gather you hope to go to the Senate.
DAUYEGHA:: My people — the youths, the women and the elderly are calling me to contest. The youths are clamouring it must be me since there is a zoning arrangement between Ekeremor and Sagbama people. For now, I am consulting.
GbaramatuVoice: What have you done that your people are clamouring it must be you? Don’t forget your opponent is a former governor.
DAUYEGHA:: We, the Ijaw people, hype former governor too much. The former governor is a human being like us. He has flesh in his body, I also have flesh. I am a youth and the youths love me. I am a youth-friendly leader and in my capacity, being the only APC in the whole of the west, I found out there is no opportunity for my people and the state will not give me any opportunity so I had to go to Abuja to source for opportunities for my people.
So far, so good, during the COVID-19 period, I was able to empower over 1589 persons who received COVID-19 loan of N500,000 each that our President, Muhammadu Buhari, gave through the Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva. Three thousands names have been submitted and they are expecting their payments as well. I have bought JAMB forms, WAEC forms. I was able to built roads for my people and my door is always open to the youths and everybody. I am always encouraging youths to partake in politics; not to be Special Advisers only on Media alone. I think all these qualities are what they have seen and are calling me to contest for the Senate.
My popularity alone and why I believe I can defeat him (Seriake Dickson) if he picks the PDP ticket is because of the zoning arrangement in place between the Ekeremor and the Sagbama people. Of course, it is the turn of the Ekeremor. I believe since it is the turn of the Ekeremor people, the Ekeremor and Sagbama will stand by me and I will defeat Dickson woefully and with a very serious margin.
GbaramatuVoice: What is Dickson doing wrongly that you are coming to correct?
DAUYEGHA: When he was a governor, he did a lot of wrong things. Like the location of the airport, for instance, is wrong and the amount he claims he spent on it. Dickson did not develop Bayelsa State. Sylva and Alamiesiegha had good plans for the state; Dickson came and scattered everything. As a commissioner, Dickson did not come close to anybody. Even as a member of the Senate, he has not been doing anything because he knows it is the turn of the people of Ekeremor. He is doing Ayetofele wrestling and football match, buying used cars for some youths so that he will cause violence in Ekeremor because he is known as a violent person. This time around, Ekeremor people will disappoint him because it is their turn and they will stand by it.
GbaramatuVoice: These mistakes you allege he made, how do you hope to correct them?
DAUYEGHA: As a youth, I will bring the youths close just as I am doing; my door is open. The youths now understand what is assembly. They don’t see it as something for the big. I make them understand they can also be here (House of Assembly) and I will make sure it will be the same with the Senate. I will bring them close and touch their lives the way I have been doing. People know me as close to the grassroots and I will bring the Senate close to the grassroots. That is my point.
GbaramatuVoice: How do you rate the performance of your party, the APC?
DAUYEGHA: President Muhammadu Buhari is doing very well. Look at the level of funds he has been releasing for COVID-19 and other funds for the commoners. In terms of agriculture, I will give him A1; infrastructure, he is doing very well. I don’t think we can have a President that has done better than him so far. I am happy with him at the national level. At the state level, APC would not have won the gubernatorial election with David Lyon with a serious margin if we are not on ground. We are the majority for now and will win elections anytime, any day even if they say election is tomorrow. Our supporters are very much on ground and we have a leader who is guiding us very well and we believe in him — Chief Timipre Sylva. He has been carrying us along, putting us through, showing us how to carry out our day to day activities. You can go to the streets and find out; almost everybody is APC because you can’t pinpoint one thing this present government has done.
GbaramatuVoice: From what you have said, I want you to take a retrospective look at your party. What do you think it has done that could be done differently because If you go to the streets, the common man will tell you the price of rice has gone up, etc.
DAUYEGHA: Like I told you. In agriculture, President Buhari has done very well. Coming to the Petroleum sector, Sylva has done very well. Buhari met a government that was already sinking. If I hand over this house to you when it is already sinking, it means you came to repair. Buhari came to repair.
GbaramatuVoice: So you think he has done well in every aspect?
DAUYEGHA: One thing I want him to address, is our own internal issues within our party; there are one or 2 things. You know, in every house, there is bound to be disagreement, so there are one or two things I want him to address before the 2023 elections.
GbaramatuVoice: What message do you have for your constituents?
DAUYEGHA: They should be rest assured that I am here fighting for them, struggling for them. Any opportunity that will still come outside of the COVID-19 loan, outside of the little projects I am doing, I will do more for them. They should remain strong and keep hope alive.
GbaramatuVoice: How prepared are you for the Senatorial election?
DAUYEGHA: Like I told you, I am still consulting. If I am able to get the ticket, I am set and prepared to serve. I am one person, when I am going for something, I don’t look back; I am very much prepared for 2023.
GbaramatuVoice: We understand there are factions within your party and a feud. With these, how do you think you will be able to defeat other candidates from the other parties?
DAUYEGHA: We don’t have any feud in the APC. Sylva is our leader in Bayelsa State and he has all the qualities to deliver; I am happy with the way the President is working with him. Through him, we were able to have five APC members in the state assembly, 2 House of Representatives and 2 Senate, if not that one of them lost through bribery and corruption. Through him, we won the gubernatorial election before the court took us out; we thank God for everything. He has His reasons. There is no single dispute in our party. We are one and will take care of that.
GbaramatuVoice: What is your message for the Bayelsa people?
DAUYEGHA: Election is coming; 2023 is coming. That same spirit they used to support the APC in 2020, they should still use it to support our party in 2023.
GbaramatuVoice: Thank you very much for speaking to us.
DAUYEGHA: You are welcome.