By Igoniko Oduma, Yenagoa
Bayelsa State governor, Seriake Dickson, on Monday, July 6, 2015, lamented that his predecessor, Timipre Sylva, squandered opportunities to develop the state during the five years that he presided over the affairs of the state.
The governor said Sylva ran the state aground and eventually burdened it with huge debts and bonds, which his administration has been repaying in the last three years.
Dickson spoke during an interview on “Focus Nigeria”, a news and current affairs programme of the Africa Independent Television (AIT), which was monitored in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
According to him, Bayelsa did not make any progress in terms of growth and development throughout the five years of the Sylva government.
“We inherited a very high debt profile from my predecessor.
“Bayelsa stood still for about five years. What I met were what D.S.P. (Alamieyeseigha) and (then Governor) Jonathan managed to put in place. Bayelsa stood still,” he said.
Dickson said the state was never associated with violence and political brigandage until Sylva became governor and enthroned gangs and cults in the state.
He stated that Sylva, now a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), brought cult groups from neighbouring states and pampered them with pecuniary benefits, with Bayelsa State’s money more than the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He claimed that Sylva also financed the cult groups more than he released money to contractors to execute development projects in the state and mismanaged the state on a large scale, thereby creating the conditions for his government to begin the development of the state afresh.
“I was the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice of the state. Until 2007 when we left for Abuja, we didn’t have cult issues in Bayelsa.
“But two years after or so, cult groups that were in neighbouring states were now brought to Bayelsa and those boys were given money every month.
“They (the cult boys) were better funded than our party (the PDP), they were better funded than contractors, because I came to complete all those jobs.
“I came to award all those jobs that should have been awarded; I came to complete all those projects that should have been completed. I think I was starting afresh, as if we never had a government,” he said.
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