By Shola Akingboye – December 23, 2019
The war of words emanating from the Soku oil facility between the two Southern governors of Rivers and Balyesa reached its crescendo on Monday as the two states helmsman descended extreme on each other, and spoil for war over what appears a mixed battle that goes beyond the disputed Soku oil well as make-belief.
Dickson had labeled Wike as being childish. Wike on his part declares that God has departed from his Balyesa counterpart. Obviously, both the governor lives the Soku oil facility which is the subject matter to expose hidden political brawls over the recently concluded Balyesa gubernatorial poll.
The Balyesa state Governor, Seriake Dickson may have fired the first salvo accusing his counterparts in Rivers of mud-sliding and promoting native war among the Ijaw-nation living in the two states. He warns Wike to stare clear of Balyesa politics.
Wike played role in PDP loss in Bayelsa — Dickson
Dickson, during a media chat at the government house in Yenagoa yesterday, accused Wike of disrespecting Ijaw people in his domain and attempting to create confusion in Bayelsa State.
According to the governor, he said the Rivers State governor played a pivotal role in the PDP loss in Bayelsa State during the November 16, 2019 governorship election, and warned him to leave the state alone because Bayelsa is not an annexed part of Rivers State.
He further accused Governor Wike that he had threatened to dethrone the Amayanabo of Kalabari Kingdom in Rivers State, an Ijaw speaking tribe in the state for hosting Governor Dickson of Bayelsa State, who was in the state to show solidarity with Ijaw people.
Dickson said: “You will recall that the governor of our neighbouring state, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, is used to making careless and very childish remarks from time to time.
“Recently, he went on his usual habit. This is the first time I formally react to Wike’s childishness. I have ignored him with pains and redress, all his previous attempts to belittle Bayelsa State, and to intimidate our state and its leadership. “Out of respect for our people in Rivers State, I always shy away from Wike’s unguarded utterances, but this time around, no.
“So, I want to use this opportunity to condemn the way and manner he threatened and is showing disrespect to Ijaw leaders in Rivers State.
“And I want to particularly respond to what he said about my visit to our revered leader and father, the Amayanabo of Kalabari, that is a 90-year-old man, and you all know that during the National Assembly election and his own election, a lot of Ijaw sons and daughters were killed in Kalabari, Rivers State, so that was why I showed sympathy and solidarity to our Ijaw people in Rivers State.
“I tried to reach him as the Governor of Rivers State, but he has cut all the channels of communication from Bayelsa State, though the governor of Bayelsa State doesn’t need Wike’s permission to visit Ijaw people in Rivers State, Bayelsa is not an annexed part of Rivers State. So, this nonsense of Wike must stop.
“Wike should stop treating and seeing Bayelsa as annexed part of Rivers State; Wike should stop interfering in the politics of Bayelsa State. You all know what he did during the PDP primaries in our state, and the role he played in supporting the APC to win Bayelsa State,” Dickson said.
You are responsible for PDP defeat in Bayelsa, Wike blames Dickson
However, Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike in his reaction has said that governor Serieke Dickson should be held responsible for the defeat of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Bayelsa state governorship election. Governor Wike made the claim while reacting to the allegation made by Dickson that he (Wike) was responsible for PDP’s defeat in the state in a press briefing in Port Harcourt on Monday.
He said that the actions of governor Dickson preparatory to the election added to the defeat of the party. Wike accused the governor of intimidating some of the candidates that wanted to contest for Senate and House of Representatives by asking them to withdraw from the race.
He also accused the governor of sponsoring somebody from his senatorial district for the deputy governorship position in the state, saying that all added to the defeat of the party’s candidate. Wike claimed that he single handedly provided transport and logistics support to all the PDP governors that visited Bayelsa before and during the governorship election, alleging that the governor did not boarder to take care of his visitors.
“I challenge Dickson to ask the PDP governorship candidate in Bayelsa, Duoye Diri what contribution I made for the governorship election. I provided vehicles that took PDP governors to Bayelsa during the election.
“You forced two senators to withdraw from the election. You took the deputy governor candidate from your senatorial district, what do you expect the people to do. Do you think they will be happy with you. He worked for the downfall of the party,” he said.
The governor berated his Bayelsa State counterpart for his comments on the contentious Soku oil wells, which a Federal High Court recently ruled in favour of Rivers.
“It is unfortunate. As a governor, there is a level you should not descend to. I will protect the interest of Rivers State. It is unfortunate. I read all his comments. I understand the level of frustration and you should not lay your frustration on us, because God has left you. Wike said.
Wike further accused Dickson of anti-party activities, challenging him to come out clean and denied his efforts to defect to All Progressive Congress (APC) ahead of the November governorship election which their party, the PDP lost to the opposition APC in the state.
Plus and minor, all pointers indicate the brewing war between these two gladiators transcends the Soku oil facility which was declared by a Federal High Court in Abuja in favour of Rivers state. Though the government in Yenagoa has gone to appeal the judgment. But the brouhaha over who played what roles in the last governorship election in Bayelsa state was the clear battle line going by the altercations projected by the two neigbouring chief executives.
There are also indications the political dimension into the whole matters would not subside and may lead the two brother states to advanced showdown until the change of government in Balyesa state come February 2019, when the newly elected opposition APC governor would assume the seat of power in Balyesa.