The Government of Bayelsa State says disgruntled politicians from Bayelsa State are behind all the negative reports on the state published by Sahara reporters, including the recent gutter-speak on the Paris Club refunds. The Governor therefore calls on Bayelsans and the general public to ignore the recent publication in which Sahara reporters alleged that Governor Seriake Dickson, widely acknowledged for his financial accountability and transparency ‘‘swindled’’ the state on the Paris Club refunds to Bayelsa State.
A press statement signed on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 by the Governor’s Special Adviser on Media Relations, Francis Agbo, noted that contrary to the lies dished out by Sahara reporters in the said publication, the refund to the state as at December, 2016 was N14.5 billion which was exactly what the Government declared publicly. And in line with the Transparency and Accountability Law of the state, the Commissioner for Finance, promptly announced the same figure to the world before other states followed suit.
It is also worthy to note that the Paris Club refunds was used prudently to pay salary and Bayelsans commended Government for it. Even the House of Representatives Committee on Local Government officially commended Governor Dickson for judiciously utilizing the Paris Club refunds to pay salary.
The ‘‘swindling’’ of money story published by Sahara reporters was therefore the figment of the imagination of the disgruntled politicians who don’t mean well for Bayelsa State.
The statement therefore advises Bayelsans and the general public to be weary of Sahara reporters and their sponsors whom it added, have made a career out of blackmail and character assassination.
The statement read in parts: ‘‘The sponsors of bad press against the government are disgruntled Bayelsa politicians with shady past. These people had bungled their opportunity to impact on the state and are now jealous of Governor Dickson for effectively placing Bayelsa State on the path of peace and development!’’
The statement also stressed that no amount of blackmail by Saharareporters, and its sponsors will distract the Governor from delivering on his mandate to the people, or dent the hard-earned reputation of Governor Dickson.