Election: Dickson, Minister Trade Accusations over Alleged Plan to Cause Violence in Bayelsa

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Seriake Dickson

By Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa

Minister of State, Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri and Governor Seriake Dickson, have again disagreed over an alleged plan to unleash violence on the state during next Saturday’s election.

Aside Lokpobiri, Dickson had alleged that former governor Timipre Sylva, another leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State were “known violent persons who deploy political thugs to create panic and rig elections in the state.”

“I am not known for supporting criminals and militants like them. I am not known to use security agencies to intimidate people.

“It is my duty to protect the state from the violence and brigandage that is their brand of politics.

“So, there is no moral equivalence between their brand of politics and my own politics. We are poles apart. The whole world knows,” he had said.

But in a statement signed by George Oji, the Minister’s Media Adviser, Lokpobiri noted that if anything, the governor should be blamed for any outbreak of violence during the election.

“As the chief patron of militants and the militia groups in the State, Dickson recently appointed militants as Chairmen and vice chairmen of local government councils in Bayelsa State….

“Unfortunately, these are the same set of miscreants that the governor is planning to use to perpetrate thuggery and political violence during this election” Lokpobiri said.

He reiterated his call on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to undertake a full scale investigation of accruals to the state in the past 7 years from the Federal Government, exclusive of the local government allocations and loans.

“The people of Bayelsa deserve to be given the opportunity to exercise their franchise at the polls under a violence-free atmosphere. The free reign of terror must be put to a complete stop,” he said.