Posted by Mike Odiegwu, Yenagoa | 24 March 2019 | 831 times
Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri on Sunday said he would not appear before the Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, to investigate electoral violence in the state.
The minister described the commission as a mere smokescreen to divert the attention of the people of the state from alleged Dickson’s bad governance in the past seven years.
Lokpobiri condemned what he described as the governor’s incessant setting up of commissions against the letters and the spirit of the Nigerian Constitution.
The Justice Inikade Eradiri-led commission invited Lokpobiri and other leaders and chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to appear before it and clear themselves of alleged involvement in violent conducts during the general elections.
But Lokpobiri in a statement signed by his Special Adviser, Media, Mr. George Oji, said the invitation was Dickson’s usual antics to cow opposition in the state.
The minister said the concern of the impoverished people of Bayelsa was alleged misappropriation of the state’s resources of the state by Dickson and not the diversionary issue of the commission of inquiry.
Lokpobiri urged Dickson to forget the commission and face the task of explaining to Bayelsans how he expended the huge financial accruals to the state, which he said had risen to a whooping N1.4trn.
He said: “As we speak, the money that has accrued to the state has increased to N1.4trn and there is nothing to show for it. Let Dickson give proper account of this. Let Dickson forget about the so-called commission of inquiry and give proper account of how this money has been spent.
“This is also a wakeup call to Bayelsans that this is an attempt by Dickson to divert attention from the real issues of corruption and deliberate impoverishment of our people.
“Bayelsans should begin to interrogate Dickson concerning the volume of money that has come to the state, including the bailout funds, the loans, as well as the domestic and foreign loans. The people should try to match it with the projects and what is on the ground. That is what Bayelsans want to know.”
Lokpobiri insisted that governance was a more serious business than talking about frivolous issues and making false claims that had little or nothing to do with accountability.
He challenged Dickson to public debate to explain his stewardship in office saying the commission was unnecessary since according to him there was no single political violence involving the APC in Bayelsa during the last elections in the state.
He claimed that the only incidence of violence he could remember was the killing of an APC member, at Tungboabiri, Sagbama, which was perpetrated by PDP thugs before the elections and the recovery of of arms, including AK47 from PDP thugs.
Lokpobiri accused Dickson of using the Nigerian Army Engineering Regiment in Toro-Orua, the governor’s home town, and the state security outfit, Door-Akpor set up to divert election materials and prevent APC agents from accessing the collation center in Sagbama, where the rigging of the elections were perpetrated.
•Sourced from The Nation report
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