A businessman and philanthropist, Mr. Keniebi Okoko, on Friday became the first aspirant in the party to pay N21million to secure the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Expression of Interest and Nomination forms ahead of the party’s primary for the November 16 governorship election in Bayelsa State.
The ruling party in Bayelsa at the end of its 86th Emergency National Executive Council (NEC) meeting pegged the nomination form at N20million and the expression of interest form at N1million.
Speaking after picking the forms, Okoko, an alumnus of the Harvard Business School and the University of Port Hacourt, cowed to sustain and expand the achievements of Governors Seriake Dickson in the educational sector.
Okoko, an indigene of Obunagha in Yenagoa said having served his people through the Keniebi Okoko Foundation; it was time to extend his service to the public.
He recalled that the foundation brought succour to the people by providing aids during the perennial floods, granting scholarships, payment of hospital bills for the underprivileged among others.
Okoko said that as an aspirant he was aware of the supremacy of the party adding in following the rules of the party he decided to be the first to pick the forms in the entire state.
Describing the PDP as the beacon of the revival of democracy in the country, he expressed confidence that the process of nominations during the primaries would be free and fair.
Keniebi, who is the son of foremost educationist and Ijaw leader, Prof. Kimse Okoko, said when elected, he would ensure that investment flows into the state.
He said: “With the right infrastructure in place, good roads, steady power supply, reliable security in place, good hospitals, good and quality education, captains of industries and entrepreneurs will be comfortable and willing to come to Bayelsa and invest and jobs will be created through the private sector participation.
“Dickson has done very well in changing the face of education in Bayelsa state and one of the major things I want to do is to build on that. The educated mind is a liberated mind. We also want to increase the quality and number of companies that come into the state and create the right environment for business to thrive”.
In his remarks, the Director-General of the Keniebi Okoko Campaign, Chief Darius Obiene, described Keniebi’s decision to buy the form in the state as an expression of his seriousness in the governorship race.
“We are sure that if this man is voted during our states special congress, definitely he will go on to win the election and bring victory”, he said.
Also, Dr. George Fente, an elder’s statesman and Chairman of the campaign, said Okoko remained the only candidate without any political baggage.
He said: “Anybody I have worked for in the past , won election and I am sure it is not going to be different this time. I believe he doesn’t have political encumbrances. He’s fresh in the field and I tell you that he will emerge the governor by God’s grace”