Since 2005 when Bayelsa State Governor, Henry Seriake Dickson, emerged as the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice under then Governor Goodluck Jonathan, till date, he has remained with the former president in all major political battles.
This was the view of the Concerned Bayelsa Elders, (CBE), leader, Elder John Ebeletimi Wilson, who spoke with journalists recently at Victoria Island, Lagos.
Elder Wislon said such clarification has become imperative as he enjoined Jonatthan to reciprocate Governor Dickson’s gesture, by prevailing on his loyalists and wife’s team to support the governor to continue with his transformation of their dear state.
According to Wilson, “Dickson has remained a shining example of loyalty and dedication. This has been proven since 2005 when he emerged as Bayelsa State Attorney-General under Jonathan’s administration. Since then, this young man has never pretended about where his loyalty lies as he remained by Jonathan in all major political battles. Even as Chief (Dame), Patience Faka Jonathan continues fighting him, he remained calm, mobilizing his contacts across the country. Dickson has consistently said and demonstrated that his mission in Bayelsa is for building strong institutions, not just strong men.
“Dickson style of leadership is that of a man who wants to leave a legacy of a state where all indigenes, irrespective of political affiliation, should see the governor as God’s answer to their needs. For most elders in Bayelsa, Jonathan doesn’t deserve the kind of reception that he is getting in Beyalsa. That is exactly why Jonathan was surprised to see a reception instead of being booed.”
He further said that the governor has since the return of the former president, continued to provide warm embrace for his former boss.
Wilson said, “In spite of all hostilities towards the governor by Jonathan’s wife, the governor has for three days brought Ijaw leaders from across the 78 clans. In all these there is still no form of gratitude from Jonathan’s loyalists. In our opinion, Jonathan cannot have a better friend than Dickson.”
He stressed that, “What Bayelsans are asking is, what exactly does Chief (Dame), Patience Faka Jonathan wants? Because Dickson has proved to be a performing governor, as he has within three years transformed the state in areas of infrastructure development and security that has placed the state as investors’ haven. The sight of good roads, fly-overs and numerous other infrastructures in Yenagoa bears testimony to an administration that remains committed to a rapid development of our dear state.”
For him, “Jonathan should be able to call his people to order, because we know that his inability to call his people to order laid the foundation and eventual result of what led to the former Governors Timi Sylvia and Rotimi Amaechi’s face off. Our appeal is that, as the leader of the state, Jonathan should encourage Dickson for succeeding in keeping PDP in the state more formidable despite all odds. That was underscored by his outstanding performances during the recent elections. It was also a clear testimony of his relationship with the grassroots.”
He also recalled how Mrs. Jonathan’s small clique and selfish gubernatorial hopefuls have since three years been spreading political crisis instead of helping the state.
His words, “Not a single federal project in the state, no form of assistance for the people and we get are subversive activities encouraged by Mrs. Jonathan while Jonathan looks on. So for us, our stand is that Dickson should be rewarded for his loyalty, commitment to development and peace in the state, instead of allowing the former President’s wife to continue with her campaign of calumny, with her TAN gang that she has been encouraging to decamp to the opposition APC in the state. It is based on this that the party, after a thorough investigation expelled some of them, to stabilize the party, Jonathan as the father of the party.
“Why should President Jonathan keep mum while his wife fuel crisis in the state of needed federal presence, just because she is not getting her ways, instead of the people? It was very disappointing. That beats us hollow as her aim is to turn Bayelsa into crisis-ridden state like what she encouraged in Rivers State, but thank God to Dickson as his tact prevails. It is ironical, that she has since three years been the main opposition in Bayelsa: intimidating the people and even security operatives, just as she tells whoever cares to listen that she and her husband are bent on making Hon Waripamo-Owei Dudafa the next governor of the state.
“Unfortunately for her, Dickson’s strength of character has seen Bayelsans enjoying the level of security in the state, The truth is that the governor offence is bringing sanity to governance as he started by cutting costs from government house; put a stop to the inflation of salaries and getting the civil servants to sit up. That definitely did not go down well with the beneficiaries; especially, when he stopped the N250million that his predecessor was dolling out monthly to some cult groups.”
Another factor he pointed out was that before now civil servants in the state hardly ever go to work except few days to month end when they come to collect their salaries. But the situation is changing.
He said, “We want to restate this once and for all, without fear of contradiction, that what they are failing to understand is that Bayelsans were not for Jonathan, but mainly for the governor who has remained a grassroots person. And the embarrassing situation of the Bayelsa politics is why Dame Jonathan overstretched her luck instead of working with the governor to save the situation from damaging the party’s fortune in the state.
“In all this, an accusing finger remains at Mrs. Jonathan and her cronies. We have it on record that, Dudafa, a former member of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, and a Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs under former governor, Timipre Sylva, has largely been used by Mrs. Jonathan to undermine the governor. Elders of Ijaw are very angry with Dudafa’s statements, prior to his decamping from the party, as he sponsored APGA candidates against PDP at the last elections, while Mrs. Jonathan was calling INEC and security personnel to intimidate them.”