Gov. Dickson

Clement Ovokeroye Paul

The Kalabari People, And Ijaw Nation Should Not Play Into The Hand Of Gov. Wike Who Is Promoting Ethnic Supremacist Political Agenda in Rivers State

Bight News – The Governor of Bayelsa State, Henry Seriake Dickson has said his Rivers State counterpart, Gov. Wike, is orchestrating disunity in Ijaw land to promote  “Ethnic Supremacy Political Agenda” in Rivers state.

The Governor of Bayelsa State was reacting to Gov. Wike’s recent outburst.

Wike had described Gov. Dickson’s visit to Rivers State without informing him as illegal. He was furious that the Amanyanabo of Kalabariri granted audience to Gov. Dickson without his permission. He threatened that he would act as a Governor if the traditional ruler is not called to order.

Reacting to Gov. Wike’s vituperations, Gov. Dickson during a live media chat with Journalists in Yenagoa on Saturday described his remark as an act of disrespect for Ijaw people. Dickson said no Governor of Bayelsa State needs the permission of Gov. Wike to visit any Ijaw elder and leader in Rivers state.

He described Wike’s remarks as careless and childish. Adding that he has a supremacist political agenda in Rivers state. He condemned his attack on the ancient traditional stool of Kalabari people in Rivers state.

“With my involvement in the affairs of Niger Delta and my commitment to the well-being of my people, I have always shied away from having open confrontation with a brother Governor. Particularly of a state that is so closely tied to our state.

“I have been very reluctant to respond to Gov. Wike since he started his Governorship and his unreasonable hostility towards us, publicly. Out of respect for our historical tie, respect for the good people of Rivers State, who he is misrepresenting.

“Wike can attack Bayelsans because he doesn’t have indigenous Ikwere people in Bayelsa State, but the Governor of Bayelsa have indigenous Ijaw people in Rivers state who are major stakeholders in Rivers state. As a result of this, for the past four to five years since he started his childish and unguarded drunken behavior I have been very reluctant in responding. But I am now to formally do so.

“I want to use this opportunity to condemn the way and manner he treats, shows disrespect to leaders in that state.

“I want to formally respond to want he said about my visit to our reverend leader and father; the Amanyanabo of Kalabari.

“You all know that during the national election and Wike’s own election, a lot of Ijaw sons and daughters were killed by the Federal forces in Kalabari land. And while burying our dead here, I came under pressure to show solidarity and our sympathy to the good people of Kalabari land. And to draw attention to the Federal massacre that took place in his (Wike) own election.

“That day, I made some calls but I couldn’t get him because he has destroyed all channels of communication. I want to make it clear that as a governor of this state, either me or any other person who will be Governor, whether it’s Douye or David Lyon are sons of Ijaw nation. They don’t need governor Wike’s permission to visit our traditional leaders, elders in Port Harcourt or any part of Rivers State. If he doesn’t understand courtesy, then that courtesy won’t be extended to him.”

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He enjoined leaders and people of Bayelsa state not to enter into an unholy relationship with Gov. Wike of Rivers State at the detriment of Bayelsa State. He cautioned that Bayelsa State is not an annex of Rivers state whose people can be intimidated or threatened by the governor and government of Rivers State.

“Bayelsa is not an annex part of Rivers State that he can intimidate. If we are quiet, it’s because it is strategic. Especially with me as the oldest governor, even in the South South.

“But this nonsense from Wike must stop. Wike should stop acting as if Bayelsa is an annex part of Rivers State. We are not. Wike should stop interfering even in the politics of Bayelsa state. He should stop. You all know what he did in the PDP primaries, and the roles he played supporting APC in their federal take over of our state. There are so many things he has been doing over the years that I keep quiet about.

“And I want to caution leaders of Bayelsa, men as well as women, they should be careful with the way they sell out this state to Wike for a pot of porridge.

“We don’t have as much money as Gov. Wike, Rivers State has. He should leave Bayelsa alone. Wike should leave Bayelsa alone with his Rivers’ excess allocation and IGR that he has.

“We are a state created out of the most underdeveloped area of old Rivers State. Every road, we have to build ourselves. Every facility, we have to build ourselves. He should leave us alone with our woes. We didn’t inherit a government that has an airport or a seaport. We are building.

“Wike should learn to respect his colleagues for whom he has shown scant regard. Not just me, not just Bayelsa. He started war with every state around him. With Bayelsa, with Imo, with Cross Rivers, Akwa Ibom states. What a hell is wrong with him?

“If anything is wrong with the Governor of Rivers state, the people of Rivers State should examine him, to know what to do with their Governor.

“My people of Ijaw nation, oil wells that have been in dispute are in Ijaw territory. Because of Nigeria’s act of federalism and the way they bastardize our people they way they like, that we are talking of whether the place is in Rivers state or Bayelsa. That is Ijaw territory. That is my concern. And I assure the government of Rivers State and the people of Kalabari, that Bayelsa has no agenda Agenda to annex any part of their land.

“Bayelsa has no agenda, especially under me to annex the so called oil wells that are in dispute. Bayelsa agenda is to further harmonious existence and promote unity among our people. That is why if you look at my cabinet in the last eight (8), no governor of Bayelsa has made appointment across Ijaw nation like I have done. Because, I am deliberate about promoting the unity of our people. There are Kalabari sons and daughters in this government; there are Okrika sons and daughters in this government; there are Andoni sons and daughters in this government; there are sons and daughters from Arogbo in this government; from the Egbema in this government. From Ondo state down to Akwa Ibom, there are Ijaw people in this government. So this is one government for Ijaw nation.

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“That has been my cover. And that will he one of the major legacy I will leave behind for whoever takes over from me. So Governor Wike should not temper with the unity of Ijaw nation that I am building. He’s too small to temper with Ijaw unity. We are not mate. And I want to call on the people of Rivers State. I assure them that Bayelsa have no problem with Rivers State and we will never have. We have rather shown tolerance, accommodation, respect, but it should be noted that respect must be reciprocal.”

On the Soku oil field/ wells issues, Gov Dickson said the government of Bayelsa State is not interested in communities in Soku axis of Rivers State. He said the interest of Bayelsa State Government is the oil facilities and wells in Oluasiri axis of Nembe local government Area. Stressing that oil wells and facilities in Oluasiri are in Bayelsa territory.

He said the history of dispute between the Nembe people and the Kalabari people over the Soku/ Oluasiri oil wells date back to when Bayelsa was in old Rivers state. That the duties of a normal responsible governor is not to incite crisis.

“You all know the brotherly dispute between the Nembe people in Bayelsa State and the Kalabari people in Rivers state. It did not start with Governor Dickson. It did not start with Governor Wike in Rivers state. Even while we were in old Rivers state, the people should know that we were in old Rivers state, commission of inquiry was set up. There were Squeamishes between the Nembe people and the Kalabari people over these issues.

“Our duties, if Governor Wike is responsible and normal; he should know that our duties is to manage these fragile issues, to resolve with an amicable decision. The Kalabari and Nembe people have this misunderstanding. Bayelsa was created, the misunderstanding escalated.

“The issue now is where is the easternmost boundary of Bayelsa State. Is it the San Bathelomeo River or Santa Barbara River. That is the issue!

“Let me make it clear to the Kalabari people so that they don’t fall victim and prey, and I know that they will not, to the divisive antics that Wike is promoting. Bayelsa state has no claim over the communities in the area known as Soku. Soku is community in Rivers state – a Kalabari community. Our concern, our interest is that the oil wells and facilities in Oluasiri – in Nembe Local Government area. So when Wike and the government of Rivers State talk about Soku, that Bayelsa wants to claim Soku, that is lie.

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“They are trying to incite and promote native war again. Instead of working with me to solve this problem. Soku for emphasis is a Kalabari community in Rivers state. Bayelsa has no complain/ interest over it. But the oil facilities and wells in Oluasiri are Bayelsa territory.

“Rivers State, when we have governors far long ago, from Alamieyeseigha and Odili time; Jonathan and Odili time; Timipre Sylva and Ameachi, all these issues have been going on amicably without any governor fighting oil war, the way and manner this drunken Wike has done. These are long standing disputes.

“Rivers State went to Court; as Attorney General of this state I was part of the boundary team. And there were countless boundary adjustment until Rivers State went to the Supreme Court. And the Supreme Court decided that the Rivers action lacked merit. That the National Boundary Commission (NBC) should come and delineate the boundary. The deputy governor of Bayelsa State and Rivers State, attorney general of both states and some federal representatives they held several meetings until Rivers State pulled out of the peaceful delineation of the boundary.

“This is where we are.

“My dear people of Rivers State, most of the oil proceeds in this disputed area up till now, because of the amicable resolution, are shared 50:50 with Rivers State, even of oil wells that are in Bayelsa clearly.

“And yet Governor Wike whose state is running away from a delineation exercise now went behind Bayelsa State, filed an action at the Federal High Court without joining Bayelsa and all kind of arrangement in a judgment that can not stand. So, we and other interested parties will take this matter on. But I want it to be clear for my brothers and sisters and leaders in Kalabari to know that all of this will be resolved in an amicable brotherly manner. They should not play into the hands of Wike who wants to promote disunity and hatred in Ijaw land. Because, he’s Promoting an Ethnic Supremacist Political Agenda in the state. And I want that recorded that Governor Wike is inciting disunity in Ijaw land because of his ethnic supremacist political agenda which he knows that Bayelsa, particularly Governor Dickson will not support. That is what he is doing.

“We will not directly interfere in the politics of Rivers State as Gov. Wike interfering is trying to interfere in politics of Bayelsa state. But the good people of Rivers State, particularly the Ijaw nation know what to do at the right time.”

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