Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa has refuted allegations that its candidate for the November 16 governorship election was being sponsored by an oil company to terrorise the people and forcibly take over the state.
A leader of the party in the state and member, House of Representatives, Mr. Israel Sunny-Goli, who spoke in reaction to Governor Seriake Dickson’s comment that the APC candidate, David Lyon, was an alleged gangster being sponsored by the said multinational, said there was no truth in the insinuation.
Dickson had been quoted as saying that the oil company was giving surveillance contracts to young boys he described as outlaws, including the candidate of the party, Lyon.
“I have said it several times that they are working towards having a mafia-like hold in our communities. These boys are like a parallel government. Somebody has close to a billion naira every month and the only thing he does is to look for criminally-minded people to engage and just pay them money and use them to maim and kill anybody he disagrees with,” he had alleged.
But Sunny-Goli, while defending the party’s candidate said that if APC loyalists who are working with the company were described as terrorists, then it was unfair for the governor to exclude members of his own party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that are also contractors to the oil company.
“The company does not have a hand in our growing popularity in Bayelsa. It does not have anything to do with our general acceptability. How can a governor come out to say our governorship candidate is a terrorist because he was a contractor or because he was given a contract by the company.
“That company has no business with politics, everyone knows that. Their job is to extract crude oil and get their percentage from the federal government. They have been doing business for over three decades and the laws are clear, the regulators are there.
Anybody can be a service provider.
“Is the oil company responsible for the various failures of this government? If he’s saying that because our candidate was and is still a contractor, because his company might still be working after he resigns, maybe the PDP members are also terrorists because many chieftains of the PDP are also contractors and service providers to the company.
“Is he saying that they are also terrorists and if they are also terrorists why did he exclude their names from the terrorist list. It is a vague and baseless allegation,” he stressed.
He added: “Our candidate remains the demand of the people. He is received with open arms everywhere. Our victory is a sure bet. All indicators concerning the PDP candidate are red because they didn’t have a proper primary. The process was manipulated to favour his candidate.
“In that statement, he said he will release pictures of those killed by our candidate. Where was he before now. Has he become the spokesperson of the dead.
“ Don’t they have families? Where are the police reports? It’s meant to tarnish the image of our candidate. There are some lies that shouldn’t be told. It’s just an excuse to cover up” the APC leader said.