Dickson: You are blackmailing me
Alaibe: I am too focussed to do that
The battle for who wins the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the November gubernatorial polls is getting messier by the day. Governor Serials Dickson and one of the aspirants, Timi Alaibe have resorted to verbal brickbats over a leaked tape where Dickson made it clear he didn’t want Alaibe succeeding him.
First to fire the salvo was Dickson, who pointed accusing fingers in the direction of the former Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) boss, Alaibe over the leaked tapes, and expressed reservations over what he termed “blackmail out of desperation to win the gubernatorial primaries of the PDP at all cost.”
Dickson, called on well meaning Nigerians to disregard the “sinister blackmail” of “circulating (to respected Nigerians) a cynically manipulated version of addresses he delivered during political meetings”
But the Adminisrative Secretary of the Alaibe Campaign Oorganisation, Professor Seiyefa Brisibe, has said that though his principal and others with him are not desperate, they are determined to win the race, and will not 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,” he added.
Dickson noted that Alaibe was at liberty to play the same game that he had played against all the former governors of the state, alerting that Nigerians and leaders of the PDP should expect more of such blackmail as the state moved closer to the September 3, 2019 party primaries.
Gov Dickson said acceptability and popularity rather political desperation and manipulative action would make one of the 21 gubernatorial aspirants under the PDP to emerge winner at the forthcoming primaries, adding that it was own right to decide who to support and vote for.
He said, “It is curious that Alaibe would rather dissipate energy to the propagation of mischief rather than focusing attention on his gubernatorial campaigns.
“We wish 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. “
Alaibe’s camp, through Prof. Brisibe, in its statement, said: “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”.