Ahead of the governorship election in Bayelsa State, the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party is experiencing crisis following an alleged controversial audiotape record of the state Governor, Seriake Dickson‘s position on the forthcoming primaries of the party.
The state Governor, attacked the former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Chief Timi Alaibe over the alleged controversial audiotape, describing him as a blackmailer.
In the audio, the Governor was heard saying that former President, Olusegun Obasanjo and former National Security Adviser, Col. Aliyu Gusau had begged him on behalf of Timi Alaibe but he rejected the plea and promise not to betray those that worked for him.
Governor Dickson in a statement through his Special Adviser, Media Relations, Fidelis Soriwei, accused Timi Alaibe of releasing a “cynically manipulated version of addresses he delivered during political meetings and other fora with the intent to blackmail him for assumed political benefits.”
The statement read, “the former NDDC boss was resorting to blackmail out of desperation to win the gubernatorial primaries of the PDP at all costs. It was absurd that Alaibe would go to the extent of manipulating audio recordings of his speeches for distribution to respected Nigerians with the intent to blackmail him”.
He stated that he respects all governorship aspirants including Alaibe as his brothers and friends and would not do anything to destroy any one of them.
He said, “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 campaigns.”
“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 the campaigns to actualize his aspiration rather than the spreading of a campaign of calumny against a man whose name is not on the ballot. Nigerians and leaders of the PDP should expect more of this blackmail as we move closer to the primaries.”
Reacting to the development, the Timi Alaibe Campaign Organisation , in a statement titled ‘we are too focussed to be distracted’ and signed by its administrative Secretary, Prof. Seiyefa Birisibe, stated that the allegation levelled against the Chief Timi Alaibe is a clear attempt to incite the public against him.
According to the statement, “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. If any of us has access to the recorded discussion mentioned in the public statement, such access can only be traced to the originators of the statement.”
“Our focus is to conduct our campaign on issues that will lead to the development of Bayelsa State through a shred economic prosperity and not waste energy and time on commonplace matters”
“Since the beginning of the search for a successor to Dickson, and in spite of provocative and insulting statements by certain individuals and groups, including serving commissioners in the state, this is the first time we have decided to say enough is enough. Our silence should not be misconstrued to mean timidity, fear or any such thing. It was basically and still a measure of the respect we and our Principal have for the person and office of the Governor. Unfortunately, that respect has not been reciprocated”
“At the point of expressing interest in this race, we were enjoined by the party leadership to run a clean campaign. We have been faithful to that directive and will continue to be. This is an internal contest in which the eventual choice of the party would need the support of other contestants to win the governorship election. It would therefore be unhelpful to take up issues with anyone as though winning the party ticket is a matter of life and death; certainly not with the governor who is neither a contestant in the race nor expected to sponsor any of the aspirants.”
“Let it be known that we are not desperate but determined to win this race, by the grace of God. We will not allow ourselves to be distracted neither shall we engage in any indecent act or sinister strategies for the sake of this race. We are too focused to be distracted.”