Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, on Wednesday berated a former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Timi Alaibe, over an alleged controversial audio tape containing recorded speeches.
This is coming ahead of the September 3, 2019 governorship primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state.
In the said tape, it was claimed that Governor Dickson was heard boasting that he won’t support Alaibe despite the pleas of former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, and ex-National Security Adviser, Aliyu Gusau, for him to back the former NDDC boss.
In a statement by the Special Adviser, Media Relations to the governor, Fidelis Soriwei, Dickson accused Alaibe of trying to blackmail him for assumed political benefits.'
The statement read, “It has come to the attention of the government that the former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Chief Timi Alaibe, has been spreading manipulated audio recordings of Governor Dickson’s public utterance during meetings.
“It is curious that Alaibe would rather dissipate energy to the propagation of mischief rather than focusing attention on his gubernatorial campaign.
“We wish to reiterate for the umpteenth time that the governor as a major stakeholder in the issue of the governorship primaries, is entitled to his own political views and decisions.
“That does not preclude any politician with genuine interest from testing his popularity with the delegates.
“It is important to stress also that the governor’s decision not to reward disloyalty with the candidacy of the party is an informed decision of conviction.
“Alaibe would do well to focus on his campaign to actualise his aspiration rather than embarking on a campaign of calumny against a man whose name is not on the ballot.”
Reacting to the development, the Timi Alaibe Campaign Organisation in a statement titled, ‘We are too focused to be distracted' and signed by its Administrative Secretary, Prof Seiyefa Birisibe, said that the allegation against Alaibe was a clear attempt to incite the public against him.
The statement read, “For the records, let it be stated that we, as a campaign organisation, take serious exception to the wrong use of tar-brush loaded words and gutter language to describe the person of our principal with the intent to incite the public against him; particularly over an issue he knows absolutely nothing about. This is unacceptable.
“Neither Alaibe nor any member of his campaign organisation was at the meetings referred to in the public statement issued on Wednesday.
“Our focus is to conduct our campaign on issues that will lead to the development of Bayelsa State through economic prosperity and not waste energy and time on commonplace matters.”