The crisis rocking the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State worsened on Friday as Gov. Seriake Dickson warned the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN) to leave the state and steer clear of President Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election campaign.
Dickson, in a press statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, ordered the leadership of TAN to relocate, claiming the group is campaigning for the re-election of Jonathan, for which it has no responsibility.
The governor accused TAN of promoting subversive activities and inciting crisis and division within the PDP in the state.
Dickson was said to have given the warning during a meeting at the party’s secretariat in Yenagoa with PDP flagbearers for next month’s general elections, saying TAN claimed monopoly of campaigning for Jonathan.
The governor described the PDP in the state as the only recognized political platform and structure saddled with the responsibility of leading the President’s campaign, with the governor as the leader.
Dickson went further in the attack by saying that the activities of TAN have outlived their usefulness.
The governor also alleged that TAN and some members of its top hierarchy have become tools of subversion, creating needless rancor, acrimony and division, stressing that the Government and the PDP in the state will no longer tolerate their actions.
He noted that the activities of TAN and the other groups, if not checked, could be counter-productive, especially with the Presidential and other elections only a few weeks away. He added that he has the mandate of the Bayelsa people to protect the stability, peace and security of the state.
The Governor, who announced the planned visit of the President to the state, remarked that he would use that opportunity on the 5th of February to express the appreciation to Nigerians for their unwavering support and solidarity to the transformation government.
He also noted that the state is set and the people fully mobilized to accord the President a rousing reception for the mega rally that would be organized in his honour as the leader of the PDP at the national level.
The Governor emphasized that Bayelsa is a stronghold of the PDP and a strong support base for President Jonathan, and that he does not need to campaign in his home state.
An official of TAN who was contacted by telephone for a reaction dismissed the allegations of the state government as 'laughable', and said that the leadership of TAN will react in due course.
"We have consistently ignored these unprovoked attacks,” the official said on condition of anonymity. “This is the third one and we shall meet and take a stand on this and inform our numerous supporters accordingly.”