Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State yesterday alleged that the federal government was shielding suspected criminals in the state, for political reasons.
However, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State has dismissed the allegation as groundless and misguided a statement by the state governor in which he sought to discredit votes garnered in the state by President Buhari and APC candidates during the last presidential and National Assembly elections.
The governor also maintained that the Muhammadu Buhari-led government was not interested in securing communities, but empowering criminals masquerading as politicians, to promote violence and instability in Bayelsa.
Dickson was speaking against the backdrop of alleged manhandling of members of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by the opposition in Bayelsa in collaboration with federal agencies during last Saturday’s elections.
He said that because of its quest to take over the state, FG had deployed the use of security forces, misguided youths and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to cause mayhem and promote terrorism.
A press statement by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media Relations, Fidelis Soriwei, noted that the governor said the federal government was sending a message that in politics, there was no playing by the rules or respecting the lives and property of citizens.
He added that as it was, the government at the centre was all about compromising the security forces, buying of arms to kill, maim and manipulate electoral results, while INEC declares the winner.
He said: “I say this particularly at this trying time, there are people who feel it is right to take over our state by force. By force of arms, military might with INEC power and promote terrorism in a state that we have worked hard to stabilise.
“They want to promote the reign of impunity and criminality and violence. So that to them the lesson the federal government is teaching, the lesson they are teaching beyond people is that even in the business of politics, you don’t need to talk to anybody, respect anybody or play by any rules.
“One has to buy guns, compromise the security forces to stay with you, take them to your community to shoot and kill people, then take anything and write and INEC announces it and you have won an election.”
The refutal by the APC also dismissed Dickson’s statement as purported attempt to equate himself with Bayelsa by claiming in the said statement that the state condemned votes polled by APC.
APC State Publicity Secretary, Mr. Doifie Buokoribo, in a statement, stressed that Dickson was equating himself with Bayelsa.
The party advised the Governor to explore the democratic option of seeking redress in the courts if he had any grievances about the poll results.