Dickson vs. Patience Jonathan: Group calls for governor’s sack

Seriake Dickson

A political pressure group, Network for Bayelsa People’s Agenda, NBPA, has called for the removal of Governor Seriake Dickson.

The group also commended some Bayelsa residents, who, during the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presidential rally in Yenagoa, booed the governor.

The group said the booing of the Governor at the Samson Siasia Sports Complex is a clear evidence that the people have lost confidence in the leadership style of the governor who has been having a running battle with Nigeria’s First Lady, Patience Jonathan.

In a statement made available to journalists in Yenagoa and signed by its chairman, Ibipa Oweiza, the group noted that all attempts to prevent the people from ventilating their views by government officials failed.

The group accused Mr. Dickson of handling state matters as if it were a private estate, saying the action of the people has reinforced they were not satisfied with the governor’s style of leadership.

Mr. Dickson was also alleged to have empowered only his kinsmen and in-laws in the award of contracts while telling other residents that there was no money in the state due to drop in federal allocation.

The group thus called on President Goodluck Jonathan to look into their demands. It alleged that the high handedness and lack of human feeling of the governor could no longer be tolerated.

“We are the people who are feeling the pains of Dickson’s leadership are the in a better position to say so, and we urge President Jonathan to listen to the voice of the people,” the group stated.

In a reaction to the protest, the governor’s spokesperson, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, maintained that Mr. Dickson’s supporters were in the majority and accused members of the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria, TAN, and Women for Change Initiative as those behind the booing.

The allegation by Mr. Dickson against Women for Change Initiative, a non-governmental organisation promoted by Mrs. Jonathan, and TAN which is controlled in Bayelsa by Mrs. Jonathan’s loyalists, may yet be a signal that the First Lady may have stood her grounds on replacing Mr. Dickson.

“Attempts by members of TAN and Women for Change and Development Initiative to boo and stone the Governor were drowned by the singing and drumming of pro-Dickson supporters, who were at the venue of the rally in their numbers,” Mr. Dickson’s Chief Press Secretary said.

Mr. Dickson, sworn in as governor of President Goodluck Jonathan’s home state on February 12, 2012, is expected to remain in office until 2016, unless he resigns, dies, or is impeached. His predecessor, Timipre Sylva, also had a running battle with Mr. Jonathan which led to his exit from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. Mr. Sylva, who is being prosecuted for corruption, is now a leader of the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC.

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