The Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria, TAN, in Bayelsa State has expressed shock and disbelief at a statement credited to Governor Seriake Dickson, directing TAN and support groups to leave the state.
In a statement issued in Yenagoa on Saturday, and signed by Nathan Egba, the Director of Publicity for Bayelsa, TAN noted that the directive was regrettable.
“We are shocked because we find it hard to understand how an elected governor of a state would make such a statement in a democratic setting, as we have in Nigeria.
“There is nowhere in the Nigerian Constitution that gives any governor such powers.
“TAN in Bayelsa is however, aware of plots by some over-zealous government officials to portray groups such as TAN, Women For Change Initiative and others in very bad light.
“These officials make it appear as if these groups are against the state government.
“We wish to re-assure Governor Henry Seriake Dickson that TAN is ready to co-operate with his government in carrying the message of Mr. President’s achievements and need for re-election to every nook and cranny of the state,” TAN said.
TAN urged its members and supporters to remain resolute and focused at success in the polls since the Presidential election is less than a month from now.
Mr. Dickson had on Friday ordered TAN, to leave the state and cease campaigning for President Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election, in what appeared a battle between Mr. Dickson and loyalists of the president’s wife who are in charge of the organization in Bayelsa State.
The decision seemed a fallout of deteriorating relations between the governor and Mrs. Jonathan.
Mrs. Jonathan had earlier resigned from her position as permanent secretary in the Bayelsa State civil service.
Last week, the governor fired three loyalists of the first lady from his cabinet, accusing them of disloyalty.
Mr. Dickson however denies any rift between him and the First Lady.
TAN had for several months staged massive rallies in support of Mr. Jonathan long before the formal kick-off of electioneering in the country. At the time, the group claimed it was campaigning to convince Mr. Jonathan to seek re-election.
In a press statement Friday signed by his spokesperson, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, Mr. Dickson said the activities of TAN have outlived their usefulness.
The governor also alleged that TAN and some members of its top hierarchy have become tools of subversion, creating needless rancour, acrimony and divisions, stressing that the government and the PDP in the State will no longer tolerate their actions.
He noted that the activities of TAN and the other groups, if not checked, could be counterproductive, especially with the presidential and other elections, only a few weeks away.