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06.06.2019 Nigeria

Re: Battle For The Soul Of Bayelsa

By Ebi Evinson
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The attention of The Office of the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State has been drawn to a publication in the Thisday Newspaper of Wednesday, June 05, 2019, with the above headline, written by Segun James, a staff of the newspaper.

While this suspected sponsored write-up dealt with sundry political issues, including the forthcoming governorship race, nomination of candidates for the past legislative elections, etc, what is of great interest to us is paragraph eight, where the writer stated that “the governor even humiliated his deputy, Rear Admiral John Jonah (rtd), refusing him any opportunity to nominate even the party’s candidate for his Nembe Constituency, effectively making the admiral politically irrelevant”.

This assertion is not only false but a deliberate attempt to cause mischief and put a wedge between the governor and his deputy, with a view to straining the robust relationship existing between the duo, who have worked amicably in the last seven and a half years. Indeed, it is only unfounded and preposterous thoughts conceived by toxic and mischievous minds that could give rise to the statement that the deputy governor was denied involvement

2. In the nomination processes, in the just-concluded legislative elections. For the avoidance of doubt and for purposes of putting the records in their proper perspective, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (rtd), contributed and participated effectively towards the nomination and election of Hon. Ben Ololo of Nembe Constituency One to the Bayelsa State House of Assembly for a second term.

As a matter of fact, the deputy governor never at any time suggested that Hon. Ben Ololo’s name (whom he nominated initially for his first term) should be dropped. He rather informed governor Dickson that he had no candidate for the constituency other than Ben Ololo, stressing that it has been the tradition of the constituency to allow elected assemblymen to serve two terms.

In the same vein, the Deputy Governor was also fully involved in the nomination processes of the Bayelsa East Senatorial District candidate, Chief Blessing Izagara. It is further instructive to note that when activities for the legislative elections commenced, Governor Dickson offered the opportunity, more than once, to the deputy governor to go to the Senate for effective representation which he politely but resolutely declined. Thereafter, he played a major role in the emergence of Chief Blessing Izagara as the PDP senatorial candidate. Hence he is appealing to politicians generally to refrain from using his name to score cheap political points and to stop misleading the public with treacherous publications. In particular, those of Nembe extraction should concentrate their energies on managing the current issue of political IDPs that is yet to be resolved, to enable them return peacefully to their homes.

3. Therefore, to say or allude that the deputy governor was humiliated by the Governor as a result of nomination of candidates for elections, or for any other reason, is to dwell in the realm of imagination and speculation.

Of course, it is not a secret that Governor Dickson holds his deputy in high esteem, given the latter’s robust pedigree and exposure, whom he has always acknowledged publicly as his dependable and reliable ally.

True and objective journalism depends on facts and not hearsay or beer parlour conversations.

Ebi Evinson
Senior Special Assistant on Media
To the Deputy Governor

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