Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC) Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, has expressed concern over the alarming state of insecurity in the state, lamenting that the governor, Seriake Dickson, is turning Bayelsa into a war zone.
The APC spokesperson also joined Bayelsa State traditional rulers in condemning the alleged stockpiling of arms and building of new militant camps in the state ahead of the November 16 governorship election.
Urging the heads of the security agencies to monitor their personnel, Nabena told newsmen in Abuja during his regular media interaction that no amount of rigging will bring PDP back to the state.
“Bayelsa State is being transformed into a war zone ahead of the election. Governor Dickson has seen clearly that defeat is imminent for his candidate and has now resorted to deploying violence to force his will on the people.
“Recently, traditional rulers in Bayelsa State reported to INEC about the arms stockpile in the state which is happening under the watch of the current state government. As the INEC chairman stated, traditional rulers don’t belong to any political party, and they don’t support any candidate.
“So our security agencies cannot afford to fold their hands on this; we must take their reports very seriously. We have a duty to protect INEC and the voters to ensure free and safe elections,” he said.
The Bayelsa-born APC chieftain further called on heads of security agencies to closely monitor the operations of their personnel in the state before and during the governorship election.
“Coupled with the state security outfit, Operation Doo Akpo which Governor Dickson is using to harass political opponents in his party PDP and APC members, supporters and leaders in the state ahead of the governorship election, the governor has also boasted openly that he has the money to pay the police and army, including their retirement benefits if they work for him in the elections. He has gone ahead to set up an army and police base in his village (Toru-Oras). The Inspector-General of Police and Chief of Army Staff must not allow this to happen.
“Which money is Governor Dickson relying on to rig the election? It is the federal allocation meant for Bayelsans. I call on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and particularly the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit to monitor the deployment of Bayelsa funds,” he said.
Nabena said the people of Bayelsa were ready to defend their votes and reject the PDP’s candidate and Governor Dickson’s stooge.
“The popular APC candidacy of David Lyon has thrown the camp of governor Dickson into disarray. The recent wave of high-profile defections from the PDP to the APC is a clear proof that the wind of change is blowing across the state. Governor Dickson’s rigging and intimidation plans will fail because Bayelsans are ready to defend their votes,” he said.
Asked about the chances of APC in the poll, considering that the ruling PDP in the state has been in power since 1999, the APC deputy spokesperson said Bayelsans are currently rooting for change.
“This coming governorship election in Bayelsa State is not about being in power for years, it is about people saying they are tired of inefficient and lack of development that has dragged the state backward.
“The people want change and they are ready to embrace APC fully in this November 16 governorship election,” the APC chieftain stated.