Timipre Sylva, minister of state for petroleum; led some leaders of the All progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa to the residence of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan in Yenagoa, the state capital, on Monday.
Sylva’s delegation visited Jonathan less than 24 hours after the ex-president played host to some leaders of the ruling party, including two governors.
While supporters of the party were celebrating the victory of David Lyon, the party’s candidate in the governorship election, pictures of Jonathan and some APC leaders flooded the internet.
Abubakar Badaru, governor of Jigawa state; Atiku Bagudu, governor of Kebbi; Ita Enang, a former presidential aide, were among the ruling party leaders who visited Jonathan.
Commenting on Monday’s visit, Sylva said the leadership of the APC in Bayelsa decided to visit Jonathan’s residence to to seek support for the governor-elect.
He said this was in recognition of Jonathan as a father and leader of the state, adding that he deserves to be respected by all the people of Bayelsa.
“Being a former president of the country and a past governor of the state, Jonathan remains an asset to the state and his input will always be needed to advance the course of governance in the Bayelsa,” he said.
“As such it was important for them to introduce the governor elect to him and seek his support and guidance in building a better Bayelsa.”
Responding, Jonathan asked Lyon to put the welfare and interest of Bayelsans above every other issue.
He said: “As a former President of Nigeria, I am a father to all Bayelsans, hence my doors are open to all citizens irrespective of their political affiliations. I urge you to make the welfare of Bayelsans a top priority and carry all Bayelsans along irrespective of the party they voted for.
“Elections are over now, so I want you to see yourself as the Governor of all Bayelsans and not only to the sections that voted for you. This is the way to move Bayelsa forward.”
Jonathan also condemned the violence that happened in some parts of the state, describing it as unfortunate and regrettable.
The ex-president is a strong member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Duoye Diri, PDP candidate in the election, came second.