Dickson: How I Led Political Battles for Jonathan

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Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa

In an emotion-laden voice yesterday, Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, accused those he said were escalating a purported rift between him and former president Goodluck Jonathan, alleging that they were unkind to him.

He said having led “many battles” for the former president since he (Jonathan) was deputy governor of Bayelsa State, it was unfair for people to continue to create division between them, adding that those who were making spurious allegations today were absent when he fought gallantly, reaching out to every politician in the country to ensure that Jonathan succeeded as president.

The governor spoke during a media chat at the Government House in Yenagoa to throw light on some issues thrown up in preparation for the coming election in Bayelsa State.

Describing Jonathan as his leader, Dickson wondered why former president would be drawn into every election, including councillorship polls in the state, disclosing that in the course of the 2015 poll, he declined a N750 million campaign fund from ‘the national’ just because he felt that the battle to support the former president was an Ijaw fight in which sacrifices had to be made.

He added that it would have been unthinkable for him to cede the task of supporting his preferred successor to anyone entirely, insisting that he had fought enough battles for the PDP to be accorded some level of respect regarding who would succeed him.

“I call on people to desist from using and creating friction and exaggerating situations. Every day the APC propaganda is talking about a purported problem between Governor Dickson and former president Jonathan.

“For those of you who have been in this state, you know that no politician has stood by and supported former president Jonathan like Dickson. He continues to be my elder brother and leader.

“So, for those of you who are dragging the former president into Bayelsa local politics, councillorship politics, you are not helping the man. We supported him and I, more than any other politician in this state fought battles led battles for the former president.

“In case you don’t know, I have been political coordinator, leading political battles and strategies right from when he was a deputy governor. I stood by him in all fights at the national level. There’s no PDP leader in this country that I did not engage to fight our interest that he symbolised,” Dickson said.

The governor promised to reveal the many challenges he had to surmount to ensure that the former president succeeded, noting that he was hurt by the recent narratives between him and the former Nigerian leader.

“I am very pained and I don’t want to say more, but when I have left and my memoirs come out, then you will know the evil and wickedness that I have been managing in this state. Of all PDP governors in this country, I am the only PDP governor in 2015 that did not receive the N750 million sent from the national. Because I told president Jonathan that this election is our fight and I mobilised the state and the Ijaw nation to support and stand by him all through.

“These people are very unfair to me, very unkind to me. That in a governorship election that’s about my successor, that people will sit and bring a successor over my head? They will decide who will be candidate and who will be Deputy Governor? In a party I have led so many battles?

“And if that doesn’t happen and I say ‘no,’ people sponsor propaganda against me. For clarity sake, let me say this again, people should stop playing politics with the only president we supported to build. When we were fighting those battles, most of those using his name now were not there. They were trying to undermine him and we went to war,” the governor alleged.

According to him, the recent slant of events would neither help the former president nor the PDP, urging Bayelsa to do the right thing and vote the PDP during the election.

“I want to be very clear that this is not helpful to him, to our party and to our state. People will know when my memoirs are out, how unfair they are to us and our party. But for Bayelsans the whole country is watching. People supported us and some even died standing behind PDP because of us. And those who love Bayelsa know what to do in this election,” he noted.