Bayelsa governor, Seriake Dickson, says the state spends about N6 billion annually to service 1,500 political service holders, the exact amount of its health budget.
Dickson said the huge “political capital” investment is responsible for the high number of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirants in the state.
He also explained that the opposition party had invested the money to sustain its loyalists appointed to serve in his administration.
He added that 21 aspirants had collected and returned the party’s expression of interest and nomination forms at N21 million each.
“The party leadership decided to make the contest open and all-embracing and as a consensus builder, I believe that every aspiration is legitimate, it is a right that they have to test their popularity at the primaries,” Dickson said.
“The large number of aspirants is an indication that the party is a platform of choice for any politician to actualize his governorship ambition and looking at the rival party, they don’t have up to two aspirants.
“Nothing is happening there, the PDP is taking the shine and it is all happening because of the political capital we invested in building the party, if I lost my re-election in 2015, the party would have been dead by now in Bayelsa”, he stated.