Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, and Governor Seriake Dickson have expressed divergent views on insecurity in Bayelsa.
Dickson had on Friday accused Lokpobiri and leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) of being the masterminds of election violence in the state.
Leader of APC in Bayelsa, Ex-Governor Timipre Sylva, and Lokpobiri had led members of APC on a protest to the Bayelsa State Police Headquarters over the killing of APC members during rallies.
A statement signed by Mr George Orgi, Special Adviser to Lokpobiri on Media, noted that Dickson in his characteristic manner has resorted to blame-game against the main opposition political party.
Lokobiri stated that accusing APC in the state of “plotting to use the security agencies to rig, manipulate and unleash violence on voters in the state” was false and malicious.
According to him, “In the warped imagination of the governor, the leadership of the main opposition political party in the state ‘is arming thugs with all sorts of ammunition and weapons to attack the electorates’.
“This allegation comes as no surprise to those who are familiar with the political antics and deceit of the governor.
“It is on record that every time the governor contemplates or indeed perpetrates any political violence and sinister acts, he is always the first to come out to cry blue murder.
“APC is not surprised at this recent allegation by Dickson.
“Suddenly, it has dawned on His Excellency that the game is up for him following last week’s protest rally led by the leadership of APC where the plot by the Governor to use the police to kill, maim, cause violence and eventually rig the forthcoming elections in the state was exposed to the whole world.
“It is on record that Dickson is the one stockpiling arms and using the instrumentality of some security agencies to harass, intimidate and bully the people.
“It is also an indisputable fact the governor has gone ahead to appoint militants as Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen of Local Government Councils and to use them to continue to perpetrate violence across the state.
“Luckily, the security agents are now on red alert to deal with anybody caught fomenting trouble or instigating violence in the state.
“Only last week, some hoodlums, who were later found to be card-carrying members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) were apprehended with guns molesting and harassing innocent citizens in Yenegoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
“These miscreants upon interrogation revealed the source and funders of the arms found in their possession.”
Lokpobiri boasted that APC was like a moving train in Bayelsa and not even Dickson can stop the movement.
He said: “The APC is moving in full force to reclaim the state, starting with a landslide victory at the Presidential and National Assembly polls, which will take place on Saturday, February 16.
“The door-to-door political campaign of APC has since commenced throughout the nooks and crannies of the state and Dickson is obviously frightened at the wave and massive support APC is receiving in its fold in the state.
“The Minister of State of Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri is of the firm position that there is no reason for APC, a party cruising to electoral victory to be involved in any form of political violence or amassment of weapons, or the recruitment of any political thugs for that matter.
“Lokpobiri believes that Dickson is only trying to run away from his negative shadows haunting him, by stoking non-existent allegations to cover up his failure in office.
“The governor should face the obvious challenge of explaining his stewardship in office to the people of Bayelsa. He must explain what he did with the over N1.3 trillion he has so far received from the Federal Government.”
Lokpobiri said that the governor is conscious that his tenure in office would soon come to an end and it would be time to account for his stewardship, adding that it was the reason Dickson is panicky.
Source News Express