Baylesa governor, Dickson, denies rift with Patience Jonathan

The governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, has debunked claims that there is a rift between him and the First Lady, Patience Jonathan, culminating in the recent removal of a commissioner and another aide from his government.

The governor stated this in a statement by his media aide, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, on Tuesday.

The Commissioner for Local Government, Marie Ebikake, and the Special Adviser on Special Projects, Remmy Kuku, both allies of Mrs. Jonathan, were relieved of their appointment on Monday by the governor, who is reportedly having a rift with the First Lady.

Mrs. Jonathan had also resigned from the Bayelsa State government as a permanent secretary.

The statement said the reports of the rift between the governor and the first lady, was not only trivial, but a misrepresentation of facts and a deliberate propagation of falsehood by mischief makers.

“The reports even went further to insinuate that, some of the individuals, who were affected in the shake-up were dropped because they attended the President’s arrival and departure activities at Otuoke over the weekend against the Governor’s directive not to participate,” it said.

“This again, is total mischief and a figment of the imagination of the writer, because Governor Dickson, his wife Rachael, his Deputy, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John-Jonah, retd, top Government functionaries and traditional rulers, were not only at Otuoke to welcome Mr. President, his wife and members of their entourage, but also attended the traditional marriage of the President’s niece and other activities on the itinerary of the President.

“It therefore, beats our imagination that, the governor will in one breath direct people not to attend an event, when he, himself was part of the entire itinerary of the President in the State.”

The statement said though the state government would always adhere to the principles of the freedom of the press, it appealed to members of the press “to desist from the unwholesome practice of insinuating, misconstruing and misinterpreting the policies of the government to create disaffection between key stakeholders of the State.”

It said having been in government for nearly three years, the governor had found it necessary to make changes in other to bring about needed changes to impact more positively on the people of the state.

“And, this was well captured in the Government statement announcing the changes: In furtherance of his commitment to deliver more robustly on its administration’s restoration agenda, Governor Seriake Dickson has stepped up efforts geared towards re-organizing the machinery of the government,” the statement said.

“It must also be noted that, this is not the first cabinet shake-up under the Restoration Government of Hon. Seriake Dickson and this will surely not be the last, as it is a continous exercise, intended to ensure a more robust delivery of the dividends of democracy to Bayelsans.”

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