Trouble In Bayelsa As Dame Jonathan Moves To Remove Gov Dickson
A fresh bout of political crisis may soon hit Bayelsa, President Goodluck Jonathan home state, following alleged moves by his wife, Dame Patience, to unseat Hon. Seriake Dickson, the Bayelsa State governor.
Of the 36 governors, Dickson is considered one of the strongest supporters of the Jonathan administration, and is reputed to have helped build bridges of understanding between the president and his political adversaries.
Jonathan's relationship with Dickson's predecessor, Timipre Sylva was full of acrimony, and largely contributed to hounding the former governor out of office.
Governors Chibuike Amaechi and Comrade Adams Oshiomhole of Rivers and Edo states respectively who, are arguable the fiercest opponents of President Jonathan, are governors of two key south-south states. They both belong to the opposition All Progressives' Congress (APC).
Mrs. Jonathan has been at loggerheads with several governors, particularly those of her south-south zone. Politicians believe that the fire of Amaechi's quarrel with President Jonathan was sparked by a public disagreement his wife had with the governor.
The First Lady was fingered by several Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirants in Rivers, her home state, of trying to impose the controversial former Minister of State of Education, Nyesom Wike, as the party's governorship flag bearer.
An indication that all may not be well with Mrs Jonathan and Governor Dickson emerged with her recent resignation as super Permanent Secretary in the State civil service.
The 2012 appointment had generated controversy, with many questioning the rationale for appointing a serving First Lady permanent secretary.
Pointblanknews.com gathered that should the plot to remove Dickson before his term lapses in 2016 fail, she would use her leverage to stop him from seeking re-election, “the same way we stopped Sylva.”
Sources told Pointblanknews.com that the controversial political group, Transformation Ambassador of Nigeria (TAN) may have been recruited to begin a campaign against Dickson.
Interestingly, TAN has reportedly recruited Sylva's associates to prosecute the anti-Dickson campaign.
While it is not immediately clear why Mrs Jonathan launched the anti-Dickson campaign, a source claimed the disagreement may not be unrelated to the latter's refusal to give her unfettered access to state funds.
Wike, who is believed to be Mrs Jonathan's protege in Rivers State, allegedly wormed himself to the First Lady's heart by giving her associates and cronies billions of Naira worth of contracts in the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC).
The latest plot by the Dame, a native of Rivers State, Pointblanknews.com gathered, has drawn the ire of elders and stake holders of Bayelsa state.
One official of the state PDP told Pointblanknews.com that “we will resist any attempt by the First Lady to use TAN, any group or persons to create confusion in peaceful Bayelsa the way she did in her Rivers State.”
He said, “Perhaps Dame Patience needs a reminder that this is Bayelsa, home of the greats, not Rivers. She forced Talford Ongol out of TAN and appointed former Deputy Governor Werinipre Seibarugu to head the group for their sinister assignment.
“Now, everybody in Bayelsa knows how close Seibarugu is to her. She made him deputy governor to Sylva. The same man has divided our party by leading loyalists of Sylva, APC chieftain, back to pollute our great party.
“On the surface there is nothing wrong with that. Below the surface, one would see the danger in the way they have been posturing and dropping her names to intimidate party faithful,” lamented the official.
“We all know the embarrassment we suffered during the recent inauguration of TAN at which relief materials were given women in Yenagoa. We know that, very soon, these elements would enter overdrive and organize rallies seeking to distract the Dickson administration.
He continued, “We are no fools and know this is just the latest addition to the bag of strategies mapped out by the First Lady to remove Governor Dickson. Don't forget she influenced the posting of the new Commissioner of Police, Valentine Ntomchukwu to the state for this reason.
“Recall that she quit her permanent secretary appointment to provide the moral ground the launch an all out war against Dickson,” further alleged the source.
Another source told Pointblanknews.com that Mrs Jonathan had aligned with some federal lawmakers from and outside Bayelsa State to
“pull down Dickson.”
Said the source, “they are bent on doing everything to rubbish Dickson whose only offence is his refusal to share the state's meagre resources with her.
“Mrs Jonathan's chief agenda is to get him out of the way for somebody who will play ball. She is angry that all she and her cronies are not given the right of first refusal to the multi-billion Naira contracts through which Dickson is transforming Bayelsa.
“She has promised her cheerleaders handsome 'rewards' in unfettered access to the government purse the moment the devilish mission is accomplished; that they will be the major beneficiaries,” he added.
Pointblanknews.com investigations revealed that the former deputy governor has begun using TAN to distribute Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) materials “to shore up their acceptance level in the state.”
MDG is headed Dr. (Mrs) Precious Gbenol, said to be the First Lady's niece.
“The Dame has converted the MDG programme into her pet project, Women for Change Initiative. When she goes round the states, she distributes these items as if they came from her pet project. We know this is the tail wagging the dog because MDG is a federal government programme with the states as partners.”
Contacted, a spokesman for the First Lady, Mr. Ayo Adewuyi denied all the allegations against his principal.
“The allegations are absolutely false. The relationship between their Excellencies, the First Lady and Governor Dickson is very cordial.
“I think it is unfair for people to link Mrs. Jonathan to every problem they have-real and imagined.
“This is one woman who isn't elected. She definitely knows her limitations and cannot therefore be capable of all the feats being foisted on her,” said her spokesman.
“This is the same thing they said of Governor Amaechi. How can one woman be capable of doing all the things she is being accused of, from appointing party chairman to producing the governor? This definitely cannot be true,” submitted Adewuyi.
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