By Jackson Udeani – The Ijaw Young Professionals (IYP) in Bayelsa State has dismissed as “cheap and baseless propaganda” the claim by the Bayelsa Surveillance Group (BSG), that about N1.5 b was spent to host the recent declaration of Governor Seriake Dickson for a second term in office.
A mammoth crowd of supporters including former President Goodluck Jonathan and PDP Governors had graced the official declaration ceremony of Dickson last Tuesday at the Samson Siasia Stadium in Yenagoa, the state capital.
BSG thereafter alleged that the event cost the state N1.5 b of public funds.
But in a swift reaction Thursday, the IYP dismissed the accusation as “cheap and baseless propaganda” against the governor and his administration.
It also described BSG as faceless, saying the purported surveillance group does not exist but a decoy, accusing opposition, All Progressives Congress governorship aspirant, Timi Alaibe, of being behind the report intended to deceive the people of Bayelsa.
“It’s laughable to make such unfounded claim”, it said.
In a statement made available to the press in Yenagoa and signed by the spokesman, Barr. Seighfa Tonye-Brown, IYP said the accusation could not have been true knowing Dickson’s stand on public spending over time.
“Governor Dickson is a very principled, strict and morally upright gentleman. He will not spend a dime of government money to fund his declaration. As one of the many pro-Dickson support groups that took part in that declaration, I should inform all such rumour mongers that we spent our own resources to mobilize two thousand of our members to attend the event to express our solidarity with the governor.
“I know for a fact that similar support groups also contributed money to make their presence felt at the rally. Of course, we are aware that the APC governorship aspirant, Timi Alaibe, is behind the wild rumour because he is now jittery over the groundswell of support and popularity of the incumbent governor.
“It has nothing to do with government. Governor Dickson is not the kind of person who will spend state resources for himself. He is that strict and those who are peddling such devilish propaganda are just being wicked and mischievous”, the statement added.
The group called on Bayelsans to continue to support Dickson’s re-election, stating that “he is one man who means well for the state and cares about the prosperity of the people”.