The Bayelsa State governor, Seriake Dickson, and his immediate predecessor, Chief Timipre Sylvia, were yesterday locked in exchanged words over the arrest of a militant leader, Oyawerikumor Peregbabofa, popularly known as General Kareowei, for allegedly killing five personnel of the Joint Military Task Force code-named Operation Delta Safe.
Dickson, had during the monthly state-wide transparency briefing in Yenagoa, alleged that the recent killings of security personnel and violence in the state were sponsored by some Chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC), led by the minister of state for Agriculture, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri and Sylvia.
Dickson said that security report available to him showed that the arrested killer of military men was allegedly sighted in company of Lokpobiri at his country home in Ekeremor Council area.
The governor said, “On the 2nd and 3rd of January, the militant boys were with Lokpobiri celebrating the New Year. The minister of state, Senator Lokpobiri is the one that armed and equipped the Kareowei that has now killed soldiers and killed military people and subjected innocent communities into this problems.
“All the guns, AK47, all the boats and others he uses to kill and all other ammunition were supplied by senator Lokpobri. I have evidence that on the 2nd of January, this month, this Kareowei and his killers were in Ekeremor, celebrating with Lokpobiri, and that is the person appointed as minster of state.
“And Timipre Sylva, the president should call these two to order. Political leaders work for stability, you play your politics when election comes, you don’t need to arm those boys with weapons and you use the president’s name and the name of your party to intimidate law enforcement agencies.
“Meanwhile, when I look around I have not even seen what the minister had brought to his own community. The same thing with Timipre Sylva; he was governor here for five years and all he left was criminality and cultism and blood flowing on the streets of this state.
“We have worked hard to stabilize this state but he should stop sponsoring cult leaders he should stop arming criminals in Basambiri and Twon Brass”.
But Lokpobiri fired back saying he had nothing to do with the arrested militant leader and challenged Dickson to prove his claims.
“I don’t know this militant leader. I have never met him before and it is irresponsible for anybody to accuse someone like me, who has been preaching peace, and against buying arms for criminals. It is unimaginable.
“When I went home during the Yuletide, this same suspect even came to my town and started shooting guns from the river. Whatever the governor had said came from his imagination.
“This is part of his campaign of calumny, which he had sustained and sponsored over time against me. He should be bold enough to provide proofs to his claims. I will still study everything he said and respond accordingly.
On his part, Sylva’s media aide, Mr. Doifie Buokoribo, lambasted the governor over the allegation, adding that he had returned to his notorious game of accusing Sylva of sponsoring criminality in Bayelsa.
“This time he has joined the minister of state for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, to his list of culprits.
“As always, Dickson has provided zero facts to support his irresponsibly frivolous claims that Sylva and Lokpobiri are providing cover for alleged cultists and other criminals. Dickson lied at his Thursday’s “Transparency” Briefing in Yenagoa”, he said.
He added, “No amount of falsehood against Sylva will pay workers’ salaries in Bayelsa State. No amount of falsehood against Sylva will cover Dickson’s incompetence and cluelessness.
“No amount of falsehood against Sylva will protect lives and property in Bayelsa State, where Governor Dickson has elevated the ignoble act of arming and using lawless elements to intimidate the people to win elections to state policy, as the whole world saw in the last governorship polls in the state.
“And no amount of falsehood against Sylva will cleanse the blood of innocent Bayelsans on Dickson’s hands before God, or erase the history of political violence institutionalised by Dickson before men”.
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