Former Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Mr. Timi Alaibe, has cautioned Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson to desist from his campaign of calumny against his (Alaibe) person.
Alaibe in a statement by the Administrative Secretary, Timi Alaibe Campaign Organisation, Prof. Seiyefa Brisibe, accused the governor of making “provocative and insulting” remarks about its principal, warning that “our silence should not be misconstrued to mean timidity, fear or any such thing.”
Alaibe’s Campaign organisation was reacting to a statement on Wednesday credited to Dickson’s Special Adviser, Media Relations, Fidelis Soriwei, accusing Alaibe of “sinister blackmail” against Dickson.
The organisation noted that winning the governorship ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for the upcoming election in the state was not a matter of life and death.
The statement read in full: “The attention of Timi Alaibe Campaign Organisation has been drawn to a statement by Fidelis Soriwei, the Special Adviser, Media Relations to Governor Henry Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, accusing our Principal of what he calls “sinister blackmail” against the person of the governor by circulating “a cynically manipulated” speech by the governor with the intent to blackmail him (the governor).
“For the records, let it be stated that we as a campaign organisation, take 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.
“Neither Alaibe nor any member of his Campaign Organisation was at the meetings referred to in the public statement issued on Wednesday. If any of us has access to the recorded discussion mentioned in the public statement, such access can only be traced to the originators of the statement. Our focus is to conduct our campaign on issues that will lead to the development of Bayelsa State through 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 the respect we and our Principal have for the person and office of the Governor. Unfortunately, that respect has not been reciprocated.
“At the point of expressing interest in this race, we were enjoined by the party leadership to run a clean campaign. We have been faithful to that directive and will continue to be. This is an internal contest in which the eventual choice of the party would need the support of other contestants to win the governorship election.
“It would therefore be unhelpful to take up issues with anyone as though winning the party ticket is a matter of life and death; certainly not with the governor who is neither a contestant in the race nor expected to sponsor any of the aspirants.
” Let it be known that we are not desperate but determined to win this race, by the grace of God. We will not allow ourselves to be distracted neither shall we engage in any indecent act or sinister strategies for the sake of this race. We are too focused to be distracted.”
Timi Alaibe is among those hoping to pick the PDP ticket for the governorship election coming up in Bayelsa in November.