Alleged diversion of N3bn: Ex- Gov. Dickson denies rift with Gov. Diri

Alleged diversion of N3bn: Ex- Gov. Dickson denies rift with Gov. Diri

Thursday, March 4, 2021 10:44 pm

Dickson and Diri during campaign for Bayelsa governorship election in 2019

By Nathan Nwakamma

Former governor Seriake Dickson has said his noticeable absence from recent functions organized by Bayelsa State Government was not an indication that he is fighting his successor, Douye Diri.

Rather, the former Governor said his absence from activities organized by Bayelsa State Government was deliberate and in consonance with his values and principles of non- interference in the administration of Diri, who took over from him on Feb. 14, 2020.

Dickson, who is now a senator representing Bayelsa West Senatorial District of the state, said this in a statement he issued on Thursday.

He also reiterate his support for Diri’s administration while disowning attacks against the Governor by some of his former aides.

The former Governor spoke against the background of claims by Dr John Idumange, a former General Manager of Bayelsa Broadcasting Corporation, alleging diversion of N3 billion agricultural loan obtained by Dickson’s administration.

Idumange, who was an aide on Research and Documentation to  Dickson, who was governor from 2012 to 2020, claimed the present administration was diminishing the efforts of Dickson’s 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).

Idumange also claimed that he would report the alleged fraud to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)  when the count reached 25.

Dickson, who washed his hands off the allegations, urged his supporters to close ranks and work for the success of Diri’s 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 complain 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.

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 where the present governor deemed fit, he could consult stakeholders for their inputs and advice.

Diri was sworn in on Feb. 14, 2020 following a Supreme Court Judgment of Feb. 13 which sacked the erstwhile governor-elect, Chief David Lyon.

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