Elder statesman Edwin Clark says recent media reports of a rift between former President Goodluck Jonathan and Bayelsa Gov. Seriake Dickson are mischievous.
Clark, who is the National Leader of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), made this known in a statement in Abuja.
He said that reports making the rounds on the rift were meant to cause disaffection between the two and to create tension in Bayelsa.
“In the past few days, the media have been inundated with stories about a so-called rift between a former President of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Jonathan and the Governor of Bayelsa.
“As a father to both of these important Nigerians, I categorically want to state that these reports are the handiwork of fifth columnists.
“It is the handiwork of persons who are deliberately out for mischief by creating disaffection between these two sons of mine.
“As we all know, Jonathan has continued to maintain a fair level of dignified silence as expected of a statesman and he is working assiduously towards ensuring peaceful development of this country.
“Lately, he became an acclaimed global citizen and international statesman with presence in almost all the continents.
“This is obviously a source of envy and discomfort to some who are now the purveyors of these stories of supposed rift.’’
The elder statesman further noted that Dickson on his part was working assiduously to see to the development of the state and had no time for such frivolities.
“As can be attested by Retired Gen. Yakubu Gowon, Prof. Wole Soyinka, acclaimed writer, and Prof. J. P. Clark, following our recent journey to Bayelsa, Dickson is doing a great job.
“He is investing heavily in the education sector. He had declared a State of Emergency in Education since 2012.
“So, the revolution taking place today with free education at both primary and secondary levels with free boarding and free uniforms are unprecedented.
“With such footprints and other developmental strides, these stories of rift are deliberately intended at distracting him.
“They are also meant to create tension in a state that is today adjudged as one of the most peaceful in the country.
“All through our stay of about one week, no incident of security threat or violence was recorded.
“Also during the period, PANDEF held its General Assembly, which was attended by over 150 delegates from across the Niger Delta Region.’’
Clark also said that the alleged threat of impeachment of Dickson was only a rumour, adding that the relationship between the legislature and the executive in the state was cordial.
He urged the general public to disregard the reports, describing them as “non-existent tales’’. (NAN)