By Desmond Ogudu
The cold war between Bayelsa Governor, Seriake Dickson, and a former Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) over the governorship ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the November 16 election has deepened.
Dickson, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media Relations, Fidelis Soriwei, accused the former NDDC boss of circulating video and audio messages to blackmail him.
The Governor called on well-meaning Nigerians to disregard what he described as a sinister blackmail orchestrated by Alaibe.
The statement insisted that Alaibe was circulating a cynically manipulated version of addresses he delivered during political meetings and other fora with the intent of blackmailing him for some political benefits.
He said that Alaibe resorted to blackmail out of desperation to win the gubernatorial primaries of the PDP at all costs.
Dickson said that it was absurd that Alaibe would go to the extent of manipulating audio recordings of his speeches for distribution to respected Nigerians with the intent to curry their favour.
He maintained that all the aspirants including Alaibe were his brothers and friends, and that he would not do anything to destroy any one of them.
Dickson, however, noted that Alaibe was at liberty to play the same game that he was notorious for, playing against all the Governors of the State.
He said that Nigerians and leaders of the PDP should expect more of such blackmails as the State moved closer to the September 3, 2019 party primaries.
He enjoined Alaibe to focus his energy on the Bayelsa people, especially the delegates, who were empowered by law to decide who should be the gubernatorial candidate of the PDP.
Dickson said that only acceptability and popularity, and not political desperation and manipulative action, would make one of the 21 gubernatorial aspirants under the PDP to emerge winner at the forthcoming primaries.
The Governor said that the surreptitious bid to mudsling was unnecessary as only one of the 21 aspirants, most of who are qualified to govern the State, would fly the party’s flag.
He maintained that while he remained a major stakeholder in the gubernatorial contest in Bayelsa as the leader of the party, it was his right to decide who to support and vote for.
He said: “It has come to the attention of the government that the former Managing Director òf the Niger Delta Development Commission, Chief Timi Alaibe, has been spreading manipulated audio recordings of Governor Dickson’s public utterance during meetings”.
“It is curious that Alaibe would rather dissipate energy to the propagation of mischief rather than focusing attention on his gubernatorial campaigns”.
“We wish to reiterate for the umpteenth time that the Governor as a major stakeholder in the issue of the governorship primaries, is entitled to his own political views and decisions”.
“That does not preclude any politician with genuine interest from testing his popularity with the delegates”.
“It is important to stress also that the Governor’s decision not to reward disloyalty with the candidacy of the party is an informed decision of conviction”.
“Alaibe would do well to focus on the campaigns to actualize his aspiration rather than the spreading of a campaign of calumny against a man whose name is not on the ballot”.
“Nigerians and leaders of the PDP should expect more of this blackmail as we move closer to the primaries”.