It has been more than six weeks since the governorship election in Bayelsa State was won and lost, but its ripple effects are yet to cease. Besides pitting Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State against his Rivers State counterpart, Nyesom Wike, the election has also created bad blood between Dickson and former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Observers believe that the reaction of Dickson to the recent attack on Jonathan’s Otuoke house and his security details was an indication that the governor is yet to forgive Jonathan in his belief that the former President helped the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state to ease him and his candidate, Senator Douye Diri, out of political relevance.
Following gunmen’s had attacked a military gunboat deployed to guard Jonathan’s house, killing a soldier and leaving another one seriously injured, President Muhammadu Buhari had called Jonathan on the phone to sympathise with him over the incident and to order full investigation of the incident. Ijaw leaders, including the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide, also condemned the attack in strong terms.
But observers were astonished that Dickson’s reaction to the incident was delayed and there was no mention of Jonathan’s name when the governor’s Chief Press Secretary eventually issued a statement on the issue.
The statement, titled “Dickson Condemns Attack on Military Gunboat in Bayelsa,” reads:
“”The Governor of Bayelsa State, the Honourable Henry Seriake Dickson, has condemned in strong terms the attack on a military post in Ogbia Local Government Area of the state.
“The Governor described the act as reprehensible and condemnable. He said media reports that three soldiers were killed in the attack was quite shocking and troubling.
“The Governor called on all Bayelsans and indeed Nigerians of good conscience to rise against the killing of innocent security operatives on a mission to maintain peace and security in the state.
“Governor Dickson called on the police and the other security agencies to ensure that those behind the dastardly act are arrested and brought to justice.
“He also urged the police and the security agencies to increase security presence in the state, especially during the festive period to prevent the hoodlums from wreaking havoc on the state.
“The Governor commiserated with family members of the security personnel who reportedly died in the attack.”
The statement is said to be generating concerns among many Ijaw leaders, who saw Dickson’s action as an indication that he was yet to forgive Jonathan.