Gov. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa has commended President Muhammadu Buhari “for his non-interference in the political processes that played out in Bayelsa during and after last general elections’’.
Dickson gave the commendation while answering questions from State House correspondents after a closed door meeting with Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday.
The governor said that his position was contrary to the propaganda and the name-calling that some politicians in Bayelsa and Abuja embarked upon in the course of the political process in his state.
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“I also want to use this opportunity to appreciate Mr. President for his non-interference in the political processes that played out in Bayelsa in the last general elections.
“And as you are also aware, yesterday the Elections Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja delivered judgment upholding my election and affirming my emergence as a true product of the democratic exercise of rights of our people in the December 5, 2015 and January 9.
“Again, I want to use this opportunity to appreciate Mr President for his non-interference contrary to the propaganda and the name dropping that some politicians back home and even in Abuja embarked upon.
“There was no name they didn’t call, there is no claim that they didn’t make but I’m telling Nigerians, I’m telling Bayelsans to disregard all that propaganda.
“The President never had anything to do by way of negatively influencing of the last general elections in Bayelsa and also the outcome of the Tribunal proceedings.
“That is important because if our nation must move forward, if our democracy must be strengthened, if our nation must move forward, if our democracy must be strengthened, if our nation must be stable, then institutions must be allowed to grow.’’
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On the destructive activities of the Niger Delta militants, Dickson expressed the hope that the ongoing dialogue with the belligerent groups would ensure the desired peace in the region.
He advised community, political leaders and other stakeholders in the Niger Delta to work together and support security agencies in fostering better understanding of aggrieved individuals and groups in the region.
According to him, military option alone cannot address the unrest in the Niger Delta.
The governor, therefore, stressed the need for the country’s leadership at all levels to put aside their differences and unite to address the challenges facing the country.
“Of course, as you know Bayelsa is central to the maintenance of law and order and stability in our country, particularly, in the Niger Delta region.
“Bayelsa is the epic centre of the issues that have to do with the Niger Delta.
“And we had fruitful discussions on the need for political leaders, governmental and political leaders to work together to support the work of the security agencies and foster better understanding of even people, who have grievances.