Election: Dickson raises fresh security concern

By Abdallah el-Kurebe, Editor

#TrackNigeria: Bayelsa state governor, Henry Seriake Dickson has again expressed concern that some persons were playing politics with the security of the country ahead of the elections.

A statement by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Affairs, Daniel Alabrah Monday said the governor observed that was a general concern about the state of law, order and security during the elections and that the signs were worrisome.

“Dickson spoke on Sunday night at the Eko Hotels and Suites in Lagos after receiving the Silverbird Group’s Extraordinary Achievement Award, on a day former Vice President and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, poured encomiums on him for his developmental strides in Bayelsa,” it read.

The statement quoted the governor as saying that there were expectations and concerns about the elections but that the signs were not too good.

He said people expect that there should be fair play and fair exercise of public power and authority and that the agencies and institutions of state are able to do their job. 

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He added that there is also the expectation that people would not be intimidated and harassed by security agents during the election. 

“On the elections, we have expectations and we also have concerns. Expectation that there should be fair play and fair exercise of public power and authority and that the agencies and institutions of state are able to do their job. That the people are not intimidated and harassed during the elections. 

“Let me however alert that the signs are not too good. There are people playing politics with security – what I call the politics of insecurity and the insecurity of politics. It is unfortunate that sometimes people don’t have the courage to do what is right. We have political leaders who don’t give the right directives. 

“We are concerned about the state of law, order and security during the elections. There is also the general concern about the impartiality of the electoral umpires and their agents.”

Dickson noted that his administration has been able to ensure and maintain peace in Bayelsa and created an environment for development of the state.

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He commended the Silverbird Group, which he described as a wonderful Bayelsa brand, for recognising his administration’s sacrifice and modest efforts.

“Silverbird is another wonderful Bayelsa brand. We are very proud of what our brothers in the Murray-Bruce family have done for our state, our country, Africa and the world.

“The way the awards have been coming, I feel great that our sacrifice and modest efforts are being appreciated. Political office is all about service and making impactful changes in the lives of the people. So when one is appreciated, you draw encouragement from it. 

“We will continue to invest in the stability and security of our state. I assure Bayelsans that we will not stop working until the last minutes of our tenure. There is still a lot of work ahead.

“We have built roads, hospitals, bridges, our children are on scholarship and no fewer than 120,000 Bayelsans have been captured under our health insurance scheme. No state in Nigeria has such a robust scheme. Indeed, there is a revolution going on in Bayelsa,” he said.

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Receiving the award plaque presented by Atiku, who was the special guest of honour, Governor Dickson described the former Vice President as the president-in-waiting, saying he was the most prepared and visionary presidential candidate to lead the country at this time.

On his part, the PDP presidential flag bearer lauded the Bayelsa helmsman for building quality infrastructure in his state and for rendering wonderful service to his people and the country.

“I have been to Bayelsa where I saw world class university, world class roads and infrastructure. Therefore, this award is a befitting one. For those of you who have not been to Bayelsa, seeing is believing. Governor Dickson has rendered wonderful service to people of his state and Nigeria in general,” Atiku said.

The Silverbird award is the fourth bestowed on Governor Dickson in the last one month. In January, he was decorated by the Daily Asset Newspapers (Governor of the Year), Daily Independent Newspapers (Man of Year) and The Sun Newspapers (Outstanding Politician of the Year).

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