Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State on Wednesday raised the alarm that a former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission and a governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr. Timi Alaibe, was blackmailing him to gain political advantage for the party’s ticket.
Dickson accused Alaibe of circulating manipulated version of addresses he (the governor) delivered during political meetings and at other fora with the intent to smear him for assumed political benefits.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Media Relations, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei had in a statement accused Alaibe of resorting to blackmail out of desperation to win the governorship primaries of the PDP at all cost.
Dickson, who advised Nigerians to discountenance the blackmail, said it was absurd that Alaibe “would go to the extent of manipulating audio recordings of his (the governor’s) speeches for distribution to respected Nigerians with the intent to blackmail him.”
In response, the Timi Alaibe campaign organisation said that it takes serious exception to allegations by Dickson that Alaibe is blackmailing him (Dickson) by circulating manipulated speeches of the governor.
The Alaibe campaign team said this in a statement issued by its Administrative Secretary, Prof. Seiyefa Brisibe in Yenagoa.
In the statement titled, ‘We are too focused to be distracted’, Alaibe said that neither him nor any member of his campaign team was at the meetings referred to in the public statement issued by Soriwei, adding that “such access can only be traced to the originators of the statement.”
The statement reads in part: “For the records, let it be stated that we as a campaign organisation takes 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.
“Our focus is to conduct our campaign on issues that will lead to the development of Bayelsa State through shared 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 respect we and our Principal have for the person and office of the Governor. Unfortunately, that respect has not been reciprocated.”