Why I am staying off govt. events in Bayelsa –
A former Governor of Bayelsa, Seriake Dickson, says he has no rift with his successor, Douye Diri, who took over from him on February 14, 2020.
Mr Dickson said his noticeable absence from government functions was deliberate and in consonance with his values and principles of non interference.
In a statement issued on Thursday, Mr Dickson, who is now a senator representing Bayelsa West Senatorial District of the state, said he remained supportive of Mr Diri’s administration.
He said he had no hand in the media attacks against Mr Diri’s administration by some of his former aides.
Mr Dickson’s explanation came on the heels of claims by John Idumange, a former general manager of the Bayelsa Broadcasting Corporation, alleging diversion of N3 billion agricultural loan obtained by Mr Dickson’s administration.
Mr Idumange, who was an aide on research and documentation to Mr Dickson, governor from 2012 to 2020, claimed the present administration was diminishing the efforts of the Dickson government.
He claimed that he had so far, recorded 17 cases of diversion of the N3 billion loan obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Mr Idumange said he would report the alleged fraud to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) when the count reaches 25.
Mr Dickson, who washed his hands off the allegations, urged his supporters to close ranks and work for the success of the Diri administration.
“I want to advise that no one who is supportive of me, a member of our party or who claims to be, should be publicly critical of our government. This is unacceptable.
“I am aware that some of our party stalwarts and members that I led in these unprecedented battles and victories, have one complaint of non-inclusion or the other which is normal.
“The governor and the party are available to address these issues and as such, do not call for a public attack on our government because an attack on the governor and his government is an attack on our party and I do not approve of such.
”My role and my duty as former governor and the first governor to have done eight years, who midwifed the process of reelection, is to advise, support and pray for the success of this administration.
“My take is that every person in the current administration at all levels, beginning with the governor is part of our team,” he said.
The senator however, urged the governor, members of his team and the party leadership to take steps to unify and create an atmosphere of inclusiveness and togetherness.
Mr Dickson maintained that as a political family, the governor remained the leader of the party.
“The governor is head of both the party and the government and he has my support and I urge all stakeholders to stop the divisive politics and give him their support,” he said.
He said whenever the governor consider it necessary, he could consult stakeholders for their inputs and advice.
Mr Diri was sworn in on February. 14, 2020 following a Supreme Court Judgment of February. 13 which sacked the erstwhile governor-elect, David Lyon.
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