Bayelsa traditional ruler accuses Governor Dickson of threatening his life

Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson speaking
Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson speaking

A traditional ruler in Bayelsa state, Amalate Turner, has accused the state governor, Seriake Dickson, of threatening his life.

Mr Turner, through a petition written by his lawyers to the Inspector General of Police, said Mr Dickson called his son, Erefagha Turner, on July 15 and allegedly sent a threat message through the son to him (the traditional ruler).

The same petition was also sent to Nigeria’s secret police, the State Security Service (SSS).

Mr Turner alleged that the governor in the telephone conversation said he has “declared war” against him and was ready to take the “war” to “any level”.

The petition contains a phone number, said to belong to Mr Dickson’s security aide, which the traditional ruler claimed the governor used in making the call.

“We find Governor Seriake Dickson’s call to our client’s son which he ordered should be transmitted to our client, a direct threat to the very existence and life of our client as Governor Seriake Henry Dickson who enjoys full official immunity has all the resources of a State Governor to eliminate our client and unleash terror on his immediate family,” Mr Turner’s lawyers, Greg Anumenechi & Co., wrote in the petition.

The petition did not mention the source of the conflict between the two, apart from stating that the Bayelsa government under Mr Dickson owes Mr Turners’ company N1.8 billion for some contract jobs.

A media aide to Mr Turner in an interview with PREMIUM TIMES, Saturday, claimed the governor was going after the traditional ruler because of his (Turner’s) endorsement of the governorship ambition of Ndutimi Alaibe, a former managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The traditional ruler has been to the SSS office in Yenagoa to give his statement on the alleged threat, the aide said.

The police in Yenagoa, however, told PREMIUM TIMES, Saturday evening, they were not aware of the petition against Governor Dickson.

Bayelsa, alongside Kogi state, will be voting for a new governor on November 16, as Mr Dickson’s tenure comes to an end.

The former NDDC chief, Mr Alaibe, is among the aspirants contesting for the governorship primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) scheduled for September 3.

Mr Alaibe told PREMIUM TIMES, Saturday, he was happy to learn about the traditional ruler’s support for his ambition, but that the allegation against the governor was left for the police to handle.

Governor Dickson is yet to issue a public response to the allegation against him.

The governor’s spokesperson, Fidelis Soriwei, requested for a text message from PREMIUM TIMES when the paper contacted him, Saturday. He did not, however, respond to the message as at the time of filing this report.

The PDP governorship aspirants in Bayelsa include Ayawei Nimbofa, chairman of Bayelsa Board of Internal Revenue; a former cabinet member in the state, Reuben Okoya; and an ex-militant leader, Great MacIver.

The other PDP aspirants are Talford Ongolo, the chief of staff to Governor Dickson; Kemela Okara, the secretary to the Bayelsa state government, and Gboribiogha Jonah, the current deputy governor.

Governor Dickson has vowed not to impose a candidate on his party, the PDP.

“I intend to work with the party at the national and state levels to ensure that there is a free and fair election.

“Those using my name should be disregarded, it is not true, I have not endorsed anybody yet,” the governor said recently.

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