Jonathan arrives Bayelsa to a rousing welcome

VANGUARD Newspaper- Samuel Oyadongha

Yenagoa the Bayelsa State capital was yesterday locked down as the former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan returned home to a heroic welcome from Bayelsans who in their thousands converged at the Gabriel Okara Cultural Centre to receive him.

JonaotuJonathan clad in black traditional Ijaw attire, accompanied by his wife, Dame Patience Jonathan who was decked in a flowing red frock and other retinue of aides arrived the Government House helipad at about 3pm and received by the Bayelsa state Governor, Seriake Dickson, his deputy, Rear Admiral John Gboribiogha Jonah (rtd) and other respected Bayelsa elders and chiefs.

The Jonathans were later driven in a motorcade accompanied by Governor Dickson and his wife Dr (Mrs) Rachel Dickson to the venue of a civic reception. There were thousands of supporters at about 3. 13 pm.

Speaking at the occasion, Dr.Goodluck Jonathan said he was overwhelmed by the large turnout of Bayelsans to welcome him in spite of noticeable short comings of his administration in terms of attracting dividend to the state. Jonathan said he had thought he would be booed and cursed by the people for some decisions made and development not attracted to the state.

The former President, who was accompanied to the state by some of his core loyalists including the Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko, former Anambra State Governor Peter Obi among other dignitaries, said when he was about leaving Abuja for Bayelsa his home state, he had thought that because of some wrong decisions and perceived thinking by the people that they were not satisfied, and could boo him.

He said, “Because you are exposed to the decision of high office and the thought that you may not have satisfied the people, sometimes you think they will curse you or boo you. But instead, the people have decided to celebrate me.”

Jonathan who went down memory lane on how he was dragged into politics by some prominent Bayelsans, said sometimes he had thought that if he had stayed in Bayelsa, he would have done better as a Governor,”but I left to allow others grow politically.”

He promised to dedicate his life to peace building across the country and the nation.

“Nigerian have given me so much and the only thing I can do with the rest of my life is to dedicate myself to peace building. We need peace and Development. Political crisis doesn’t bring development. I believe the new administration will work with everybody. I am happy the new President said he does not belong to any clique but for Nigerians.”

Earlier in his welcome address, Governor Seriake Dickson, said though he was moved by emotion while waiting to receive the former President due to the fact that such duty would be the last to a President from Bayelsa, the people of the state were happy that the former President arrived the state safe.


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