Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State has condemned what it called a “nascent campaign” raised by Bayelsa State governor, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, against international oil companies (IOCs) operating in the state.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has however dismissed APC’s claims declaring that the governor is on the right course to salvage the state.
In a press briefing addressed in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital, the APC State Publicity Secretary, Mr. Doifie Buokoribo, described the move by Dickson as a dishonest political campaign targeted at APC members, with the environmental conditions in the area as only a peg.
“He has tried to dupe unsuspecting members of the public with a new, dishonest campaign invented to conceal a clear political project,” Buokoribo stated.
The party which punctured Dickson’s attempts to draw a correlation between oil pollution/environmental degradation and award of surveillance oil contracts, said the campaign was targeted at members of the party in oil business.
According to Buokoribo, PDP members were also given oil surveillance contracts and Dickson, by his latest campaign “is using his office to exert undue pressure on the oil companies to take the surveillance jobs away from our members.”
While declaring “this is a political project, and it will not stand,” the party added that it wanted to draw attention of the world to Dickson’s mission to impoverish Bayelsans.
“This is a political strategy to ensure that no one can challenge him politically.
Crime in Bayelsa State has reached phenomenal heights. The hunger in the land is so bad now that people even steal pots of soup on fire! Governor Dickson is disturbed that a few Bayelsa people have risen above the pain and penury to thrive through the oil companies as contractors. Hence his new “war” with the oil companies.
Members of our party who are oil pipeline surveillance contractors passed through due process to secure the jobs, just like their PDP counterparts.
Therefore, Dickson’s call on the oil companies to revoke the jobs of APC members under the excuse that our members are breaching security, is political, petty and improper. As a political party, we are saying that any oil company that listens to Governor Dickson, and decides to revoke the jobs of any of our members not in breach their contractual obligation, has entered the political arena. We will also respond to that oil company politically.”
The Secretary of PDP, Mr Godspower Keku, in a swift reaction said the APC was blackmailing the oil companies so as to continue to have funds to sponsor political violence in the state.
“Surveillance contracts give them the funds and recourses to run a parallel government and destabilise the state” he said.