‘Wike is fighting with almost every state around him, he is fighting with Imo state, Akwa Ibom State and Bayelsa State, what the hell is wrong with him?, if anything is wrong with the governor of Rivers State, the people of Rivers State should examine him and know what is wrong with him.’,
The strained relationship between Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State and his counterpart in Rivers State, Nyesom Wike over the February visit to the revered Amayanabo of kalabari, King Theophilus Princewill and the Ijaw people in Rivers State got messier over the weekend with the latter describing Governor Wike’s outburst as being childish, unguarded and an attempt to belittle the ijaw nation.
According to Gov. Dickson, though he had over the years observed the provocative tendencies of Governor Wike to show disrespect and disdain to Bayelsa State and his people over issues of joint ownership of properties supposedly shared after the Supreme Court judgment
, the threats against the revered Ijaw King because of his visit to Rivers to commiserate with the Ijaws in the state is irresponsible, unguarded and unbecoming of a Governor of a State.
Governor Seriake Dickson, who spoke for the first time on the issue during a media chat at the government house in Yenagoa on Sunday, accused Wike of disrespect to Ijaw people in his domain and attempt to instigate communal and inter-tribal war along the bothers of Rivers and Bayelsa State.
Dickson said: “You will recalled that the governor of our neighboring state, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, is used to making careless and very childish remarks from time to time, recently, he went on his usual habit, this is the first time i formally react to Wike childishness, I have ignored him with pains and redress, all his previous attempt to belittle Bayelsa State, and to intimidate our state and its leadership.
“His unfriendliness towards Bayelsa State is glaring, it’s not just me, it’s about our state and our people, he has done that a couple of time, but I decided to stomach it for several reasons, number one; I’m older than him even as governor, two; you all know the historical tie between Rivers and Bayelsa States, all of us here, people of my generation, most of our certificates, schools we attended, everything bears Rivers State, until 1996, we were part of Rivers State, proud Rivers State, until today, some of us school there, live there, and with my involvement in the course of Niger Delta and Ijaw nation, I always shy away from open confrontation with a brother governor, particularly of the state that is so closely tie with our state”.
“As we speak now, the level of social interaction, inter-marriage, most of our leaders even live in Port Harcourt even now, so I’ve been very reluctant to respond to him since he started his governorship and unreasonable hostility towards our state, this is because of the respect for our historical ties and respect for the good people of Rivers State”.
“Yes, Wike can attack Bayelsa State because he doesn’t have indigenous Ikwerre people in Bayelsa State, but the governor of Bayelsa has indigenous Ijaw people in Rivers State, who are major stakeholders in Rivers State, so, as a result of this, in the past four or five years, since he started his childish and unguarded drunken behaviors, I’ve be very careful in responding, but I have to formally do so now, and Governor Wike knows I’m not shying away, but I have to hold myself, because the governor of Bayelsa represents much more than governorship of a state”.
“Out of respect for our people in Rivers State, I always shy away from Wike’s unguarded utterances, but this time around, no, so I want to use this opportunity to condemn the way and manner he threatened and showing disrespect to Ijaw leaders in Rivers State, and I want to particularly respond to what he said about my visit to our revert leader and father, the Amayanabo of Kalabari, that is a 90 years old man, and you all know that during the national assembly election and his own election, a lot of Ijaw sons and daughters were killed in Kalabari, Rivers State, so that was why I showed sympathy and solidarity to our Ijaw people in Rivers State”.
“I tried to reach him as the Governor of Rivers State, but he has cut all the channels of communication from Bayelsa State, though the governor of Bayelsa State don’t need Wike’s permission to visit Ijaw people in Rivers State, Bayelsa is not an annexed part of Rivers State, so this nonsense of Wike must stop, Wike should stop treating and seeing Bayelsa as annexed part of Rivers State, Wike should stop interfering in the politics of Bayelsa State, you all know what he did during the PDP primaries in our state, and the role he played in supporting the APC to win Bayelsa State”.
“And I want to caution leaders of Bayelsa State, they should be careful with the way they sell out this state to characters like Wike, we don’t have enough money as Wike and Rivers State have, he should leave Bayelsa alone, this is a state created out of the most under-developed part of Rivers State, every road here, we build it ourselves, we didn’t inherit a government that has an airport or seaport from the center. We did it on our own. Wike should leave Bayelsa State alone”.
“Wike is fighting with almost every state around him, he is fighting with Imo state, Akwa Ibom State and Bayelsa State, what a hell is wrong with him, if anything is wrong with the governor of Rivers State, the people of Rivers State should examine him and know what is wrong with him, let me assure the people of Kalabari in Rivers State that Bayelsa has no hidden agenda to annex any part of their land.” Dickson said.
He warned Gov. Wike not to tamper with the unity of the Ijaw People that he has built over the years as Governor of Bayelsa State,”Wike is too small to tamper with Ijaw Unity. We will not allow it.And am going to call on the people of Rivers State and assure the people of Rivers State that we don’t a problem with them. Rather we have shown tolerance, accommodation and respect. But it should be noted that respect is reciprocal”.
On the disputed Soku Oil well, Governor Dickson noted that despite the age-long dispute over oil wells, which did not start during his administration and that of Gov. Wike, the issue had, over the years been handled amicably, ”there were skirmishes between the Kalabari people and the Nembe people over these disputes, and our duty as responsible and normal Governors, is to ensure that we manage these fragile issues to resolve it.”
“When Bayelsa was created, the misunderstanding escalated. The issue now is where is the Eastern-most boundary on Bayelsa state? Is Saint Bartolommeo or Saint Barbara River? That is the issue. And let me make it clear to the Kalabari so that they will not fall to the divisive antics of Gov. Wike. Bayelsa state has no claim over the communities and areas known as Soku. Soku is a Kalabari Community in Rivers State. Our interest is about the oil wells and facilities in Oluasiri community in Nembe Local Government area.”
“So, when Wike and officials of Government in Rivers State talks about Bayelsa wanting to claim Soku. That is a lie and they are trying to incite hatred and promote Native war instead of working with me to solve the problems. Bayelsa has no interest over Soku which is a Kalabari community in Rivers State. But the oil facilities and wells in Oluasiri are Bayelsa territory. During past administrations in Rivers and Bayelsa States, all these disputes have been going on without any Governor inflaming public passion the way and manner these drunken Wike had done.”
“These are long standing issues. Rivers State went to court and we have done countless boundary adjustments until Rivers went to Court. And the Supreme Court decided that the Rivers State action lacks merit. That the boundary commission should come and delineate the boundary. So, we hosted meetings as Governor of Bayelsa with my Deputy, Admiral John Jonah leading our team. And Engr. Tele Nkiru. They held meeting until Rivers State pulled out of the meeting. That is where we were. And most of the oil proceeds in these disputed areas are shared 50-50 Rivers State because of amicable resolution.”
“Wike now went behind Bayelsa State and filed an action without joining the State. And had that kind of arrangement in a judgment that cannot stand. We and many others will know what to do. We assure that it will be resolve and the people around that area should be calm as it will be resolved amicably. Wike is deliberately inciting disunity in Ijaw land because of his ethnic supremacist political agenda. And he knows as a Governor, I will not support it.”