Former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, has said integrity has been brought into the governorship contest of his home state of Bayelsa by entry of the lawyer-turned politician, Chief Anthony George-Ikoli (SAN).
Jonathan commended the decision of Ikoli to join the race and expressed confidence that his election would bring credibility, respect and development, not only to Bayelsa State, but the entire Niger-Delta region.
The state’s gubernatorial poll to elect Governor Seriake Dickson’s successor will come up on September 3, 2019.
Chief Ikoli visited President Jonathan on Wednesday in his Abuja home where he formally informed him of his aspiration, and also presented him with his blueprint for the development of state.
Ikoli has always enjoyed the former president’s admiration as, in 2006, when he became a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, the highest rank in the legal profession, Jonathan, who was then the Governor of Bayelsa State, did not only attend his investiture at the Supreme Court of Nigeria, he threw a lavish dinner in the lawyer’s honour at the State Capital, Yenagoa to celebrate the first SAN from the state.
Speaking at the occasion, President Jonathan said that Ikoli’s joining the race has already added credibility to the contest. He warned him that the competition will be stiff and ask him to work hard to attain the goal, not only for himself, but also for the good of the state.
“Some of us have been thinking of zoning because of fairness. But competence will definitely erase that fear as a competent leader will be fair to all. In any case, in less than 50 years from now, nobody will be talking of zoning”, he said.
An elated Ikoli thanked Jonathan for his leadership of the Nigerian people. He said that his achievements while in office could not be forgotten in a hurry, adding that he was confident of the former President’s support in his bid to occupy the Bayelsa’s highest political office.