The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri has dismissed as “cheap blackmail” and “character assassination” the claim leveled against him by the Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson that he is allegedly involved in cases of sponsored killings and unholy romance with militants.
According to Senator Lokpobiri, though the accusation by Governor Seriake Dickson that he purchase arms and equipment for the militants is a figment of his imagination and do not have anything to do with militants, the theatrics of Governor Seriake Dickson is a dance of the absurd on the misfortunes of the people of the Ndoro Community in particular and Bayelsa State at large.
The Minister of State for Agriculture, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, in a statement issued yesterday via email and in response to the allegation of sponsored violence and criminality against him and the Former Governor, Chief Timipre Sylva, said the open attack launched by Governor Dickson is a display of the penchant at abusing eminent leaders of the Ijaw Nation and his trademark of politics of blackmail and character assassination.
According to Lokpobiri, “ As a matter of fact, the people of Bayelsa State and indeed the Ijaw Nation know me and my pedigree so well and do not need any response from me to discern the truth in this regard. That I was with my kith and kin at Ekeremor from 31st of 2017 ro 2nd of January,2018 to celebrate the new year with a football match, wrestling contest and fun fare made Governor Dickson claimed that he had evidence that the Militant, Kareowei and his killers were in Ekeremor, celebrating with me, is not only false but wicked and most ungodly.”
“The same militant even came to threaten me on the eve of the New Year and fired some rounds at the River before zooming off. Interestingly, I shared my thoughts on the incident with one of our most respected security officer on my way to Abuja for a meeting with President, Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at the Presidential Villa on the 3rd of January, 2018.”
“The accusation of the purchase of arms amd equipment for the militant is also a figment of the imagination of Gov. Dickson. I do not have anything to do with the militants and had never met him. “
Senator Lokpobiri described the claim of alleged under performance against him as a Federal Minister as petty and preposterous,” on my contribution to nation building as Honorable Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, my constituency is the entire country and there is no denying the fact that my colleague and I have worked so hard to reposition the sector to the administration of all Nigerians. Agriculture has been reported by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBC) as the highest contributor to the GDP in 2017.The claim by Governor Dickson that he has not seen anything I have done in my village is therefore petty and preposterous.”
“The theatrics of Governor Dickson is a dance of the absurd on the misfortunes of the people of the Ndoro community in particular and Bayelsa State at large. Common sense in good governance dictates that the proper thing to do is to attend to the needs of the displaced persons and do the needful to help them return to their community and rebuild their lives. This what all people of goodwill and I expect him to do as Governor of Bayelsa State.”
“Let it be known that the shameful campaign of calumny against me is not an account of stewardship that should be the focus of a transparency briefing. Governor Dickson should use his briefs to explain to the good people of the State why there is starvation and misery when he has spent over trillions of naira on non-existent projects leaving the Bayelsa people with no functional roads, hospitals, schools, water, a huge backlog of unpaid salaries and a tattered economy.”
Senator Lokpobiri however commended the officers and men of the Joint Military Task Force code named Operation Delta Safe over the arrest of the notorious militant, describing the capture of the militant as gallantry,” I commend them for their gallantry in taking out this notorious criminal and enjoin them to take out all such criminals in their theatre of operations.”