Pro-Jonathan group defends booing of Gov. Dickson

Governor Dickson of Bayelsa state.

A pro-Jonathan group, the Niger Delta United for Jonathan, has issued an apology to President Goodluck Jonathan and the Peoples Democratic Party over the booing of the Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, by a crowd of party supporters during the presidential campaign rally in the state.

The group said the booing of Mr. Dickson by the people of the state was not meant to embarrass Mr. Jonathan, his wife Patience, and the party’s national executives.

They described the development as a clear show of pent up frustration by the people of the state with the Dickson administration.

The Niger Delta United for Jonathan, in the letter by its National Secretary, Azibaayam Iborisi, and the Public Relations Officer, Ebimiziewe Angalapele, said in the two-page letter that the present administration in the state was the worst in terms of policy of inclusion, youth mobilization and empowerment, and was lacking in respect for human rights.

“The open and loud booing of the Bayelsa state Governor, Hon.Seriake Dickson was not a plot sponsored by anyone as alleged by Gov. Dickson, but a spontaneous show of frustration by the angry people from all the Local government areas of the state,” the group said. “In spite of the scorching sun and later the rain, the oppressed people of your state patiently waited to show you how they feel about the Seriake Dickson led administration.

“The people of the state feel bad about what happened, yet it could have been worse than that if it had not been your campaign outing, since we are seriously committed to working for your re-election. We believe that based on your own sense of fairness, you will look into the raging complaints that Bayelsa is now been run like Seriake’s family estate.

“While the Presidential rally was on, ‘Dickson’s thugs were busy invading stores close by the venue, destroying pure water sachets that were on sale, just to avoid possible stoning of the Governor.

“We cannot deny him credit for some developmental strides, but the attitude and conduct of the Governor is inimical to the unity and progress of the people of the state and the entire Ijaw race.

“Is it not irony of fate that the sponsored insults against our mother, Dame Patience Jonathan and the plans to publicly embarrass her at the event turned out to be emphatic public rejection of his administration as he was roundly booed even by those he had paid for the hatchet job?”

Mr. Dickson, in reaction to the crowd’s revolt issued a statement via his spokesperson, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, maintaining that the governor’s supporters were in the majority. He accused members of the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria, TAN, and Women for Change Initiative as those behind the jeering.

The allegation by Mr. Dickson against Women for Change Initiative, an NGO promoted by Mrs. Jonathan and TAN in Bayelsa in the control of Mrs Jonathan’s loyalists after the visit, may yet be a signal that the First Lady may have stood her ground 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. Iworiso-Markson.

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