The governor of Bayelsa state, Seriake Dickson has said his alleged frosty relationship with former president Goodluck Jonathan was not a justification for the violence and irregularities that marred last Saturday’s gubernatorial election in the state.
Dickson who addressed a world press conference in Yenogoa on Tuesday said the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led federal government used the name of the former president as a front to forcefully take over the state through violence.
The governor while narrating how he met Jonathan several times in the build up to the election said insinuations that the former president worked against the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Douye Diri in the elections might have been true.
He said, “My reaction is that President Jonathan remains a leader of our country. He is at liberty to receive members of any political party but in the context of all that is going on, I know that the insinuations are not misplaced.
“APC came to Bayelsa to take the state and people by force with the comments they are making about him, Oshiomhole coming to Bayelsa to praise Jonathan. What they were doing is laying the foundation to perpetrate fraud and violence .
“No politician has stood by Jonathan more than me. They simply used his name and image to legitimise illegitimacy. I can see the strategic content. They used the Jonathan to expand the notion of disagreement and after the rigging to go to him like Pontius Pilate to wash off their hands and put it at his doorsteps to say he sanctioned it…But let’s accord him the right to meet with other dignitaries.”
Dickson said he was dismayed at the conduct of the Army during the election. He described the election as a brazen subversion of the rights of the people to choose their leaders.
“This was not the first time that we are having elections. People were killed, some ripped open and thrown into the river and up till now no arrest. We all know that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva and a notorious militant, Sam Kodjo, all plotted and carried out these heinous act, which actually was an assassination attempt because I was billed to visit Nembe that day for the PDP campaign.
“As democrats, we believe in using democratic procedures in challenging what happened in Ogbia. In Ogbia, there was no collation done. In most of the areas, at the conclusion of voting, the soldiers came and rounded up everybody and forcibly took them to Ogbia town and asked all PDP leaders to leave to enable them replace pre-written results. And so the results announced for Ogbia, like those for Southern Ijaw and Nembe were not real.
“What has happened in Bayelsa is one of the most brazen acts of distortion and rape of our democracy.
“What took place was not a democratic election. It was a military coup. It was the height of conspiracy by the federal government and security agencies to subvert the democratic rights of our people for the sole purpose of foisting the APC on the people.
“It has never been like this before. In 2015, it wasn’t as bad as this. In this case, not only was the Army directed to take over our place, but to collude with the APC thugs to unleash terror on our people” Dickson said.