By Samuel Oyadongha
YENAGOAâ€” BAYELSA State Deputy Governor, Peremobowei Ebebi, yesterday, dismissed the State Governor, Timipre Sylvaâ€™s claim that they fell apart because Sylva refused to bring money to share with him.
The deputy governor who described the allegation as â€˜the mother of all lies,â€™ said there was no time that he demanded to share any state funds with the governor.
Ebebi said: â€œI am not the Commissioner for Finance. It is the governor and the commissioner that consider who to give jobs to. There is no truth in the fabrication. Sylva has not given me any money. He has not shared money with me at anytime.â€
The two-time deputy governor who spoke with newsmen on his rift with his boss in Yenagoa said though the circumstances that provoked the animosity between them had been tendered before the leadership of the Peoplesâ€™ Democratic Party, PDP, and elders of the region, his boss has adopted an omnipotent posture in his handling of affairs of the state.
Ebebi who reiterated his loyalty to the governor said he was ready to work under Sylva if the circumstances are right.
He said: â€œHe should put those things necessary for an officer of the state to work.â€
On whether they cannot resolve their differences, Ebebi said: â€œI donâ€™t see why we can not work together as a team. The situation in 2007 was such that two young men were brought together by fate and handed power by the people, but now, one wants to undo the other. The crises are not sudden but a gradual process caused by the desire of the governor to oversee everything and assume to himself the power of omnipotence.
â€œWhen an election is conducted in the state, I no longer have a say in my ward and local government council. It is a pitiable situation. Even the local council chairman was asked to beat me up. For three months, the overheads to my office were not paid. Am I to borrow money to do the stateâ€™s functions for the government? I decided that instead of going to the office to quarrel every time, I should stay in my house.
Ebebi explains why he operates from home
â€œThere has been no light in my office since June and no funding for diesel and I got fed up and said if I am to work as a deputy governor of Bayelsa State, I will remain in my house. Since the office was closed under the guise of building a new one, I have been at home.â€
On claims that he was one of the masterminds of an impeachment plot against the governor, Ebebi said: â€œI am not after his office and have never bought form from anywhere to go after my bossâ€™ office. The governor is still my friend and for us to function, we need unity. I donâ€™t have the power to impeach him and I believe that members of the House of Assembly are reputable individuals.â€
The deputy governor said some ex-militant leaders were being used to disparage his office saying they should desist from making inflammatory and uncoordinated statements capable of further heating up the system.
He noted: â€œIf the governor decided to uplift those that are talking this garbage, they should know that they are not leaders of the state and should not take sides. These ex-militants taking sides have been paid. If the governor pays them, he should also pay everybody. Those paid have now become the official spokesman of the state.â€
Ebebi said the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ogbona Onovo, should call the state Commissioner of Police to order, stressing that the commissioner was being used to cripple his wifeâ€™s hotel business.
Noting that any attempt to close down the hotel owned by his wife may lead to a serious legal battle against the Nigerian Police Force, Ebebi said: â€œThe Commissioner of Police should be called to order. He is being used to disturb my wifeâ€™s business.
â€œThey should not attempt to close down the hotel and we will not keep quiet on the illegal activities of the Police in Bayelsa. The NDLEA presence in my hotel is also embarrassing. They should be warned. The hotel has never had any case of such until the recent action of the evil ones. The Commissioner of Police can not take laws into his own hands.
We are not afraid, butÂ the Inspector General of Police should warn him.
Police boss exonerates command
Meanwhile, the Bayelsa State Commissioner of Police, Elder Onuoha Udeka, has exonerated his command of alleged complicity in the explosives allegedly discovered at Latik Hotel.
Udeka whose men swooped on the hotel a day after the car bomb exploded some 500 metres away from the hotel said he acted on information provided by an informant, which led to discovery of a Mercedes Benz 190 salon car packed with explosives at the parking lot.
The state police boss who briefed newsmen, yesterday, in Yenagoa in the wake of the accusation and counter accusations surrounding the alleged discovery of explosives in the hotel said â€œSince the last Sunday incident, we have been receiving information from people telling us to be more careful. It is on the basis of these information that we swooped into action to conduct a thorough search within and around the premises.â€