Says “Dickson concluded plans to join the APC, Timipre Silva and Heineken Lokpobiri blocked him.
…Challenges Bayelsa Counterpart To Public Debate
…Says he’s not at war with Bayelsa, Imo, Akwa Ibom over oil wells
By Egufe Yafugborhi
GOVERNOR Nyesom Wike Monday said he has driven more development into Ijaw land in less than five years than his Bayelsa counterpart, Seriake Dickson has done for Ijaws as he approaches the end of his eight years reign as Governor.
Wike during a media parley in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, called out Dickson to the public debate on who between the two of them has done more to move Ijaw forward, following Dickson’s accusations against his Rivers counterpart as the cold war deepens between the two over Soku oil wells.
Dickson had a couple of days back, taunted Wike of deliberately instigating disunity in Ijaw land and under developing Ijaws in Rivers after an Abuja court transferred ownership of the Soku oil wells from Bayelsa to Rivers.
He also said he was not in oil wells wars with neighbouring Imo and Akwa Ibom states as Dickson has had alleged, saying all he wants was to do only that which is right and lawful for the interest of Rivers people.
He said, “What Dickson said was uncalled for. What disharmony am I causing in Ijaw land? I am protecting what belongs to the people. It is the governor of Bayelsa that is causing crisis among Ijaw people by taking what belongs to Rivers.
“He (Dickson) should go to Andoni, Asari-Toru, Akuku-Toru, Opobo and other Ijaw areas in Rivers and see what I have done. APC told Dickson to go to Rivers and see what is happening. Go to Yenagoa, what you see are heaps of refuse, only one road leading to Yenagoa
“Oshiomhole said he (Dickson) used N100b to construct an airport, but he said it is N70b. He is leaving office in the next one and half months and the airport is not working. Dickson cannot in all ramification compare with me in terms of development.
“I am doing three flyovers. But in Bayelsa, he has no taste; he has no class. Today, you enter the Golden Tulip hotel through Government House. Let him come out and challenge me in a public debate”
On Rivers justification for reclaiming the Soku oil wells, Wike said, “In 2002, the boundary commission altered the boundary in the 11th Edition of the Administrative Map of Nigeria, made a mistake by shifting the boundary from River Santa Barbara to River St Batholomew.
At the Supreme Court, NBC wrote a letter admitting their error. Supreme Court made an order for the NBC to correct the error of the 11th Edition in the 12th Edition”
“We had to sue the NBC to enforce the order of the Supreme Court, where they were directed to ensure that the Boundary Between Rivers and Bayelsa State is River Santa Barbara.
“Judgment has been given. The best the Bayelsa Governor can do is to go on appeal. You can not heap your frustration on us. We have nobody to carry guns, so the best place to go is the court.”
On Dickson’s allegation that Wike was causing disharmony in Ijaw Land, Wike said, “Contrarily, there is no local Government Area (LGA) in Rivers where we don’t have projects. Let him mention the projects he has in the eight LGAs of Bayelsa. Dickson cannot in all ramifications compare himself to me in terms of development.”
He said for a small state like Bayelsa, it was wrong for the outgoing Governor to expend N70billion on an uncompleted airport when Bayelsa lacks good roads and Basic Infrastructure.
He regretted that the outgoing Bayelsa State Governor refused to respect the rules of protocol when he visited the Amanyanabo of Kalabari without informing the Rivers State Government.
“The person talking about invading Rivers in January 2020 lacks respect for Protocol. If he was well-schooled, would he use that phrase that he wants to invade Rivers State?
“You have no respect. A Traditional Ruler who is a First Class ruler, recognised by Government and you say you are coming to a state as a Governor to see Rivers Ijaw people without observing Basic Protocol.
“Protocol demands you call your colleague that you are coming to the State. Even then, the Traditional Ruler failed to communicate with the State Government.
“And I said, if you do this next time, I will withdraw the Recognition. I didn’t say I will dethrone him. I don’t make Chiefs. But I have the power to recognise or take back recognition If you run afoul of the law. I have no regrets about it.
“Anyone who runs afoul of the law, I will withdraw the Recognition and heaven will not fall. I never said that I will dethrone the Amanyanabo of Kalabari.
“I said that I will withdraw the Recognition by the Rivers State Government if he continues to disrespect the office of the Governor and not play according to the rules. How can Dickson invade Rivers State when he cannot defend Bayelsa State ?”
Wike said Rivers he was in no oil wars with Imo or Akwa Ibom states as claimed by the outgoing Bayelsa State Governor, adding that he went to Court against Imo State to challenge attempt to take what belongs to Rivers.
He added that he went to court against Akwa Ibom State because of illegal deductions of funds from Rivers State by the agencies of the Federal Government. He said he still enjoys a good working relationship with the Governors of Imo and the Akwa Ibom States.
He said that through the poor leadership of the Bayelsa State Governor, the PDP Governors Forum and the PDP South-South Governors Forum failed.
On Dickson’s allegation that he was interfering in Bayelsa politics, Wike said before Dickson became Governor, it was Secondus and King Turner that brought him (Dickson) to receive his (Governor Wike’s ) Support.
Alleging that Bayelsa Governor was never committed to the PDP all through the elections, Wike said, “We are the only State in the South-South that President Muhammadu Buhari never got 25percent. Buhari got 45 per cent in Bayelsa State. So who colluded with who? It is now that Dickson has realised that they played him?
“All those nocturnal promises were not kept. I challenge Dickson to ask his Candidate, Senator Douye Diri the contributions I made. Is it because I didn’t pass it through him?
“Dickson planned for PDP to fail elections and he is now crying, Federal Might. He assumed the role of God. Nobody could tell him anything. During his second term election, people resisted the Army. But this time, they left him alone.
“You cannot accord Former President Goodluck Jonathan respect. Simply because Rivers State honoured Jonathan, Dickson became angry.”
He further. said, “Dickson concluded plans to join the APC. Timipre Silva and Heineken Lokpobiri blocked him. He knew I have strength, he would have consulted me.
“Dickson colluded with these people so that EFCC will not arrest him when he leaves Government. If you like, carry any level of propaganda, I will protect the interest of Rivers State. ”
Governor Wike said he is a good representative of Rivers State as he uses their mandate effectively to develop the State. He said in four and half years, he has achieved more for Rivers State than Dickson did for Bayelsa State in about 8 years.
“I have represented the Rivers, people, very well. I have made Rivers people proud. Rivers State is multi-ethnic and I have ensured all ethnic groups get the dividends of democracy.
“Part of the Representation of Rivers State is to protect what belongs to Rivers State. Rivers people know that I have represented them very well”, he said.