Immediate past governor and Senator representing Bayelsa West in the National Assembly, Senator Seriake Dickson, has said that he has nothing to hide from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) or any agency of government concerning his tenure.
Dickson said this when he played host to chairmen of local government councils in Bayelsa State who paid him a solidarity visit on Thursday, August 12, following his invitation last Tuesday by the EFCC on allegations of diversion of funds and undeclared assets.
He reiterated that he has declared the assets in question which he acquired before he became Governor to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) for the fifth time.
According to him, the indisputable evidence of the declaration of the assets are before the CCB and the investigating body, the EFCC, stressing that he had nothing to hide on his eight year rule in Bayelsa which was marked by unprecedented development in the state.
Senator Dickson, who also spoke on the alleged diversion of N17.5 billion flood funds said that no such donation was received in Bayelsa during the 2012 flood.
He recalled that the state government set up the Flood Management Committee under the Deputy Governor which received logistic support from the government at the time.
Dickson, who expressed shock at the allegation stated further that the Government set up the post Flood Committee headed by distinguished and trusted men of integrity, a former National Security Adviser, the late Gen. Owoye Azazi and Hon. Iniruo Wills as chairman and secretary respectively.
The lawmaker explained that the only cash donation which was received in the state was N500 million from the Chairman of Globacom, Chief Mike Adenuga.
He added that the call of the state government for donations because of the devastating effect of the flood was ignored even by the Federal Government though some public-spirited individuals donated relief materials.
The former governor said that the petition written by the NGO had no name of donor and the name of the bank that received or transferred the N17.5 billion.
Dickson, expressed further shock that he did not contest any re-election in 2019 as alleged in the petition to the EFCC.
His words: “I am happy with the support that I continue to get and what you people are still doing, supporting the state government in building a strong party and the governor.
“I thank you for your relentless support and services to our dear state. You all know our track record and all what we did even in the management of the councils and our attitude to public finances. So there shouldn’t be any worry. We are not in doubt that the investigating institution will be fair in this issue.
“I assure our people that we have nothing to hide. The allegation about flood donation was frivolous as there was no such thing. The state government under my leadership had to support the flood committee headed by Gen Azazi with N1 billion and another N250 million.
“It is also untrue that I did not declare the assets in question to the Code of Conduct Bureau. As a matter of fact, I have declared them for the 5th time”.
Leader of the delegation, and Chairman of the Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, Hon. Nigeria Kia said that it would be unacceptable to the grassroots for anybody to take deliberate action to bring down the Senator who they described as one of the most vocal voices in the Niger Delta.
The council chairmen called on the Federal Government to ensure fairness in the ongoing probe of allegations made against Senator Dickson by the NGO.
They pledged their support to Senator Dickson for his unique leadership style which they said created the opportunity for them to be council chairmen.
They noted that Dickson has the record of a Governor who did not touch local government funds for eight years.
“Having heard and saw what happened to our father and leader yesterday, we deemed it fit to pay a solidarity visit to him as our father in politics who has made it possible for us to be where we are today,
“If we, the grassroots politicians, who have enjoyed the support of our father heard this and we don’t avail ourselves the opportunity to visit him, it will not be well with us. That is why we are here to support him and pray that all will be well with him by God’s special grace.
“And also to let the government and the authorities know that our father today is one of the voices (if not the loudest) in the Niger Delta and this idea of bringing down the voice of the Niger Delta is unacceptable to the grassroots politicians.
“It is also our humble prayer that those in authority should be very rational in taking any decision or any action they want to take in this matter.
“We are with you and will still stand firm and strong with you,” Kia concluded.