by Solomon Osadolo
The current Bayelsa governor, Seriake Dickson, has admitted that indeed, he took over as governor from the former speaker of the Bayelsa assembly, Nestor Binabo, and not from Timipreye Sylva, as he seemed to imply in a press conference last week.
So of course, his accusation that Sylva left only N4,451 in the state purse is at best, inaccurate.
But the governor’s seeming retraction has done little to appease former Governor Timipre Sylva who once again accused Dickson and his government of peddling half-truths and lamentable lies.
Sylva, who spoke in a statement released by his media adviser, Doifie Ola, said “The Dickson system suffers from a credibility deficit. But even a government of doubtful legitimacy can be consistent. Dickson and his lieutenants are confused.They have no idea about how to run a government. They think that running Bayelsa State is about cheap propaganda.”
He gave details of the alleged debt Dickson accused Sylva of incurring for the state following the N50 billion bond he took as governor, “The Government of Bayelsa State under Chief Timipre Sylva took a N50 billion bond in 2010 following approvals by the Bayelsa State House of Assembly and the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
“The idea of the bond was to fast-track infrastructural development in the state. In particular, it was to stabilise power, improve healthcare and education, construct roads and provide water. Funds from the bond were not paid to the government but directly to the contractors. At the time Sylva left office, specific projects linked to the bond were about 90 per cent complete. Since the bond was on a determined interest rate, it is absurd for the Dickson administration to suggest that Sylva left a N50 billion bond debt as if it has not been serviced since 2010. This is simple arithmetic.
“More importantly, the Sylva administration inherited debts from the previous government, and some of these debts were absorbed into the bond. Thus, Sylva could not have been responsible for a N60 billion bank debt as Dickson sought to suggest.
“It is irresponsible for the Dickson administration to blame Sylva continually for its incompetence . Now that he is governor, even if through an ungodly process, the Bayelsa people expect Dickson to lead in developing the state, not to make excuses. This is not too much to expect ”, he said