By Sylvanus Okpe
Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has called on well-meaning Nigerians to disregard alleged sinister blackmail orchestrated by former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Chief Timi Alaibe.
The Governor accused Alaibe, a governorship aspirant under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) of circulating a cynically manipulated version of addresses he delivered during political meetings and other gatherings in order to blackmail him for assumed political benefits.
A statement by the Special Adviser, Media Relations, Mr Fidelis Soriwei quoted the governor as saying that the former NDDC boss, out of desperation to become the PDP Guber flagbearer in the forthcoming November 16 Guber polls in the state at all, cost resorted to blackmail.
The Governor maintained that it was disappointing that Alaibe would go to the extent of manipulating audio recordings of his speeches for distribution to respected Nigerians with the intent to blackmail him into handing over the PDP Guber ticket to him even as he has no powers to do so.
The former federal lawmaker stressed that he regards all the aspirants including Alaibe as his brothers and friends and would not do anything to destroy any one of them.
However, Gov Dickson noted that Alaibe was at liberty to play the same game that he has been playing against all the governors of the state.
He also said that more of such blackmail is to be expected by Nigerians and leaders of the PDP as the state gets closer to the September 3, 2019 party primaries.
He further urged Alaibe to focus his attention on the Bayelsa people especially the delegates who are empowered by law to decide who should be the gubernatorial candidate of the PDP as his ploy to employ blackmail in order to cow PDP leaders in the state into submission will not fly.
Gov Dickson stressed that acceptability and popularity rather political desperation and manipulative action would make one of the 21 gubernatorial aspirants under the PDP to emerge winner at the forthcoming primaries.
The Governor maintained even as a major stakeholder in the forthcoming PDP primaries in the state as the leader of the Party, he has is at liberty to decide who to support and vote for.
He said, “It has come to the attention of the government that the former Managing Director òf the Niger Delta Development Commission, Chief Timi Alaibe, has been spreading manipulated audio recordings of Governor Dickson’s public utterance during meetings.
“It is curious that Alaibe would rather dissipate energy to the propagation of mischief rather than focusing attention on his gubernatorial campaigns.
“We wish to reiterate for the umpteenth time that the Governor as a major stakeholder in the issue of the governorship primaries is entitled to his own political views and decisions. That does not preclude any politician with genuine interest from testing his popularity with the delegates.
“It is important to stress also that the Governor’s decision not to reward disloyalty with the candidacy of the party is an informed decision of conviction.
“Alaibe would do well to focus on the campaigns to actualize his aspiration rather than the spreading of a campaign of calumny against a man whose name is not on the ballot. “
“Nigerians and leaders of the PDP should expect more of this blackmail as we move closer to the primaries.”