Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri, has accused governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa state of arming militants to unleash terror on innocent citizens and political opponents.
In a statement by his Media aide, George Obi, the Minister lamented that the Governor instead of living up to the oath of his office to protect citizens of the state, rather turn around to blame APC leaders for the insecurity in the state.
The Minister further alleged that after receiving over N1.2 trillion from the Federation Account, the governor has borrowed more than N800 billion as well as other internally generated revenue from the state without nothing serious to show for it.
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The statement reads, “The attention of the Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has been drawn to a statement credited to the Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson blaming President Muhammad Buhari for allowing the Minister and the former Bayelsa State Governor, Chief Timipre Sylva to undermine security in the state.
“The governor also alleged that President Buhari’s silence and inaction had emboldened Sylva and Lokpobiri to continually cause insecurity and instability in Bayelsa.
“Dickson was also quoted as expressing shock that the President has failed to take any action against the All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders and their cohorts who allegedly cause mayhem in the state despite making several reports and complaints to him and the security agencies.
“It is important to remind the governor that the honorable minister expends his valuable time supporting the President to deliver on the dividends of the electoral covenants the present administration has with the Nigerian people, and therefore, does not have the luxury of time to meddle with the politics of Bayelsa State.
“As a result of this, the immediate reaction of the honorable minister is as usual, to dismiss such allegations as one of those baseless and unfounded rantings by a drowning governor who has no explanations to justify his continued lack of performance in office.
“However, because what is at stake here is the life of innocent Bayelsa citizens and in order not to allow the governor create the wrong impressions in the minds of the impoverished and suffering people of the state, the minister is compelled to dignify His Excellency with a response.
“The minister is shocked that a governor who was elected, primarily to ensure the protection of the lives and properties of the people is not ashamed that under his very watch, and with his active connivance, political thugs and state-bred miscreants are having field days, snuffing out the lives of innocent Bayelsans while the governor is busy playing blame game and politics with such a serious and heinous acts.
“The minister is sad that never in the history of the state has there been such a wide spread disaffection, frustration, anger and poverty among the people. In the opinion of the minister, the reason why Bayelsa State ranks very high as one of the most insecure states in the country is because of the pervading corruption and wastes that has become the hallmark of the Dickson administration.
“This is a state, which has received over N1.2 trillion from the Federation Account and has borrowed more than N800 billion as well as other internally generated revenue from the state under the present administration without nothing serious to show for it.
“Unfortunately, the governor has cashed in on this pervading poverty and frustration to recruit willing army of youths as thugs to terrorise, maim and kill members of the opposition All Progressive Congress (APC) who challenge his style of dysfunctional governance.
“We are aware of the recent meeting that was held in the governor’s country home, Toru-Orua, Sagbama Local Government Area of the State, with this same group of militants who were used by him to unleash terror in the state during the December, 2015 elections.
“Regrettably, it is this same army of killers and loyal security state operatives that the governor recently deployed in the Amassoma community of the state, to decimate the lives of eleven innocent citizens of the community whose only sin was protesting the arbitrary sack of thousands of Bayelsa State workers by Dickson without any justifiable reasons.
“It is on record that under the watch of the governor, and indeed, under his directives and right in front of the Government House, Yenegoa, these same thugs and state sponsored security agents unleashed assault and terror on some elderly and senior citizens of the state, again, whose only sin was protesting their unpaid five months pensions. How low can a governor sink?
“Indeed, under the administration of governor Dickson, there is an unwritten state policy to deliberately silence the opposition and those who raise their voices against the high-handed and mis-governance of the regime.
“Pitiably, this is a governor who claims to have built a world class health facility in the state, yet, the people are daily dying from the most common forms of ailments and preventable diseases, while himself and his cronies continually wastes huge state resources jetting out abroad to seek healthcare support.
“It is also regrettable that the governor has failed to live up to the dictates of his exalted office as father to all, but rather has, through his warped policies and deliberate actions, continued to fan the embers of disunity among the people. While unemployment pervades in the state, all that he does is to go about hunting his political opponents and sacking people from the state civil service.
“Unfortunately, while the people of Bayelsa continue to wallow in poverty and want, the governor continues to gallivant across the federation, supposedly on a national assignment, to reconcile members of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and wasting the needed and scarce resources of the state to fan his ego.
“It is the advice of the honourable minister that instead of busying himself on irrelevant acts of shadow-chasing of perceived political opponents, the governor should put on his thinking cap and embark on laudable programmes that would help create wealth and lift the largely impoverished people of Bayelsa State from the pangs of poverty and want.
“Whether he likes it or not, there will be no hiding place for governor Dickson to account for the multiplicity of the lives of innocent Bayelsans he has cruelly destroyed, including the huge resources of the State he has wasted without records,” the statement read.