Bayelsa State Governor, Henry Seriake Dickson has accused advisers around President Mohammadu Buhari of not helping the President in formulating policies that would help checkmate the dwindling economy.
Dickson, while addressing Journalist at the Bayelsa Governor’s lodge said rather than help the President, build bridges and political consensus to fix the country, Advisers are busy building political egos.
The governor reiterated his earlier position that after any presidential elections, governors should work with and support the President and Federal Government on national security, law and order and the economy.
He said, “We have seen a steady decline in our revenue. I have been saying this. There is an insufficient attention from the team around the president. Instead of focusing on the economy and national security, they are interested in political conquest and intrigues, even in their party.
“I’m of the view that the President’s Advisers are not sincere, I’m seeing them showing unnecessary concern about political ego. This is when we should be forming national consensus. I don’t think deploying national assets and resources for political ego are necessary.
“I am surprised and shocked that despite all these changes, people are interested in battles. We are not building consensus. That should always happen after election. We should draw a line to criminality and bad conducts. The APC leadership knows all these yet, they don’t care. State and national security have been compromised. I’m calling for understanding from the Federal Government for Bayelsa state to be safe again.” Governor Dickson attributed his victory over the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate, Timipre Sylva in the recently-conclude election to the divine intervention.
According to him, while he was with God and campaigned with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for six weeks, Sylva was waiting for the judiciary to make him governor.
Dickson who spoke in an interview with Senior Editors and Abuja Bureau Chiefs on Monday, said experience had taught him that he would always win any election even if conducted 100 times in Bayelsa State.
He said the Bayelsa State governorship election was unique because “we were up against a full display of the totality of powers deployed by the centre to the fullest to take over Bayelsa State by force.”
“My opponent’s campaign was appropriate and it was nicknamed ‘Operation take over Bayelsa’; we now know what they meant. We thank all Nigerians, from all walks of life. who showed their anger that the right thing should be done”, Dickson stated.
He said, “The election is a major significant development for our democracy. This is the first time a governor in the core Niger Delta would be winning election different from the government at the centre. It is a triumph of peoples will over might. Women used their bare bellies to stop Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs).
“I expected that my opponent should have called to congratulate me with a view to joining me to build the ruins he perpetrated. The honourable thing for my opponent is to stop this war against our people and stop boasting that he will manipulate the judiciary against the will of the people. I don’t know what he wants to get out of the judiciary, this is desperation on his part. I’ve extended my hand of fellowship to Sylva. They don’t have God on their side and they were completely routed.
“The big lesson is that anybody seeking election should draw closer to his people. Power comes from God, but don’t underrate people. The governance politics of Bayelsa State cannot be the same again. We visited community after community and campaigned for six weeks. It is very penetrating and engaging and I am connected to my people. We toured the state for election, while the other side (Sylva and APC) were preparing for violence.
“If I election is conducted 100 times in Bayelsa State, I will win. The lesson for from that is that after God, comes the people in an election. The story would have been worse if we had not laid the foundation for non-violence in an election, but insisted that people should resist malpractice and defend their votes.”
The governor regretted that instead of grieving for those who shattered need injuries and died during the election, Sylva believes that the judiciary would make hi a governor.
“INEC officials were at gun point to write fake results for him. It seems that he is not tired of supplementary election. He doesn’t care if Bayelsa goes to blazes. I think it is too much desperation on his part. If we are in decent climes, some people will be answering questions over the violence that took place in the election.
He knows that he has no case, yet he is hoping on more supplementary elections. This has to stop, someone should tell this gentleman that this has to stop”, the governor stated.
Dickson also ruled out one party state in Nigeria saying that cannot happen in Nigeria, going by the Bayelsa State experience.
“Nigerian democracy is on trial, it shows that our country cannot be a one party state. From my experience in Bayelsa a state, Anybody thinking of totalitarian rule in Nigeria should have a rethink. This country shouldn’t be allowed to slip into a one party state. Many people who defected to the other party just because they were interested in political appointments lost their polling booths and units. It shows that our people would be against one party state”, he stated.
While condemning the violence and bloodletting that trailed the governorship election, Dickson said the victims were all from PDP, while those who who perpetrated the violence were all from APC. He however promised to work with the families to bury the dead.
The governor also expressed optimism concerning the fate of the traditional ruler of Peremabiri community, Chief Progress Never Die, who was shot at close range by a suspected militant group led by Eris Paul a.k.a Ogunboss during the rescheduled Bayelsa State governorship election in Southern Ijaw LGA.
According to him, the monarch has a bullet wound lodged on his brain, adding “the people who shot him are walking freely, enjoying state protection.”
He advised that the statement by a repented militant from the Niger-Delta, Mr. Government Ekpemupolo (aka Tompolo)that those who blew up pipelines are sponsored to incriminate others should not be dismissed.
While expressing optimism that his sister, Nancy Dickson and the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Local Government would be released, the governor assured that the security agencies were on top of the situation.
Dickson said, “I’ve alway treated kidnapping as crimes in their own rights. The security agencies should be allowed to do their jobs. My sister has spent one month in captivity, we are very concerned. But I don’t believe in paying money or ransom to kidnappers. Our prayers is that very soon they would be released.”
The governor said after his election, President Muhammadu Buhari should have congratulated him in line with the trend of peace.
He said, “The President is the custodian of the country. President Olusegun Obasanjo and others never compromised that standard. In the interest of the nation, the President should congratulate me. He should be advised to project himself more and that is the opportunity my reelection has provided. I know it is not yet late, I don’t know the briefing he got.
If you look at the manner he was elected, President Goodluck Jonathan congratulated him, he would have gone to court and that is a major milestone.”