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APC Accuses Bayelsa Governor of Sponsoring Insecurity, Fake News

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State has accused the state governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson, of wasting the resources of the state to procure violence and compromise elections.

APC State Publicity Secretary Dofie Buokoribo made the allegation at a media interaction on Thursday in Yenagoa.

Buokoribo said Dickson was in the habit of playing victim and sponsoring fake news as a cover for his nefarious acts.

He advised residents of the state to be watchful and alert to guard against the governor’s dangerous antics as the state goes to the polls on Saturday to elect House of Assembly members. 

APC said Dickson had used state resources to buy votes in past elections and was determined to do same on Saturday, at a time when the state was having difficulty with payment of workers’ salaries. 

“He is also using state funds to arm political thugs and other lawless elements across the state, especially in areas where he is unpopular and has no social base. These thugs and lawless elements are working with his terror squad, Operation Doo Akpo. The irony of it is that as he is busy engaging in this ungodly act, he will be the one shouting that our party has perfected plans to cause mayhem in the state,” Buokoribo said of Dickson. 

 He called Dickson a “lawless governor”, saying, “Not only does he suffer from a persecution complex, he plays the victim card when he is actually the aggressor.

“As our people go out to vote this Saturday, we urge them to know that voting out the PDP and Governor Dickson’s anointed candidates is a task that must be done. The only way Dickson and his party can win this election is by playing outside the rules.”

  The APC spokesman lashed out at the governor for setting up a “strange Judicial Commission” on electoral violence with APC members as clearly marked out targets. He advised members of the party not to have anything to do with the panel. 

Ahead of Saturday’s House of Assembly elections in the state, Buokoribo urged the new Commissioner of Police, Mr. Olushola David, who was posted as Command CP to supervise the polls, to be neutral in the discharge of his duties.

Full text of the media interactive session:

“GOVERNOR DICKSON WASTING BAYELSA’S RESOURCES ON SPONSORSHIP OF VIOLENCE

Press Briefing by the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bayelsa State Chapter

 As you are all aware, the State Assembly elections are scheduled for this Saturday, 09 March, in our state. By all indications, the stakes are higher in this election than the national elections that held about two weeks ago. This is hardly surprising. All politics is local. Besides, in our peculiar circumstance, control of the State House of Assembly would be a major indicator of how our governorship elections holding later this year may turn out.

 APC Bayelsa, A Formidable Party That Has Come To Stay 

Until the emergence of our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), there were no serious electoral contests along party lines in Bayelsa State. At that time, once you had the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), you were almost certain of victory in the main elections. It was in that sense that our state used to be referred to as a one-party state. That is now history.

In 2015, we had only one member in the state House of Assembly. This was not because our suffering people did not vote APC. They desired change, and voted massively for us but we were robbed of our victory. Even in the last governorship election, the people of Bayelsa State were with us. What happened was that Governor Henry Seriake Dickson used our money, Bayelsa State’s money, to buy his way to victory. Today, nobody can accuse the APC of not actually existing in Bayelsa State.

In the last Presidential Elections, we gave President Muhammadu Buhari 37.5 percent of the vote. We also secured one seat in the Senate and two in the Federal House of Representatives. We are convinced that without the rough and tumble that characterised that election, we could have done better.

Part of the problem our party faces is that we have a lawless governor. Not only does he suffer from a persecution complex, he plays the victim card when he is actually the aggressor.

As our people go out to vote this Saturday, we urge them to know that voting out the PDP and Governor Dickson’s anointed candidates is a task that must be done. The only way Dickson and his party can win this election is by playing outside the rules.

Insecurity and Fake News

 We would, therefore, like to alert the world to the fact that Dickson is using Bayelsa State resources to compromise the elections. He used state resources to buy votes in the past. He is determined to do so again. Dickson is doing this at a time when the state is finding it difficult to pay salaries of its employees. He is also using state funds to arm political thugs and other lawless elements across the state, especially in areas where he is unpopular and has no social base. These thugs and lawless elements are working with his terror squad, Operation Doo Akpo. The irony of it is that as he is busy engaging in this ungodly act, he will be the one shouting that our party has perfected plans to cause mayhem in the state.

The people of Bayelsa State have a duty not to allow Governor Dickson succeed with his evil plans to subvert their will. In this election, as in previous ones, we have seen the governor and the PDP engage the media for smear campaigns, fake news and psychological warfare. Only a few days ago, they claimed thugs loyal to the leadership of our party sacked mobile policemen and operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps in Bassambiri-Nembe. They added that the community had become a ghost town as residents had fled to Yenagoa and Ogbolomabiri-Nembe as refugees. Sadly, they did not tell us the location of any Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp. Here, we must thank a section of the media who visited the community and did independent reports that challenged the picture painted by Governor Dickson and his party.

Let us make it very clear here that this election will not be decided on the basis of a campaign of calumny, fake news and schizoid propaganda.

We commend the people of Bassambiri-Nembe for standing up to Governor Dickson. Come Saturday, he will be decisively defeated.

Kangaroo Commission 

Following the Presidential and National Assembly elections, Governor Dickson established what he called a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to investigate the violence that marked the exercise. Now, Dickson is a major player and beneficiary of the general elections. Yet, he is inaugurating a Commission of Inquiry. This is clearly against the rules of natural justice. A man cannot be a judge in his own case.  More than that, the general elections were federal elections governed by the Electoral Act. As a matter on the Exclusive Legislative list, the state government has no role to play. On these grounds, we reject Governor Dickson’s Judicial Commission of Inquiry.  Accordingly, the APC in Bayelsa State would like to advise its members not to have anything to do with the commission. The Electoral Act has already prescribed the relevant punishment for any offence that has to do with the elections. This strange Judicial Commission of Governor Dickson is a witch-hunt with our members as the target. Under Dickson, our members have always been victims of his needless aggression.

Finally, we welcome the decision of the Federal Government of Nigeria to increase the presence of the armed and security forces in a number of states, including Bayelsa. In particular, we welcome the new Commissioner of Police, Mr. Olushola David, posted as Command CP to supervise the elections. We urge him to be neutral. On no account should Dickson’s terror outfit, Operation Doo Akpo, be allowed to operate on Election Day. The outfit has no electoral function. Dickson had used the outfit in the past to compromise our elections.

We now say enough is enough.

Thank you for your kind attention.

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