Tuesday, August 18, 2015 10:28 pm
Governor Seriake Dickson, today in Lagos, reacted to the criticism against his prudence with government resources. He told journalists that when he became governor, the state used to run with N6 billion, but because of his transparency and ability to block wastages and profligacy, it has reduced to N4 billion; N2 billion previously went into wrong hands. “If I have stopped all that, people are bound to fight back”.
He cited a statement by a former Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, boss, Nuhu Ribadu that if you fight corruption, “corruption will fight you back”. He said he does not care if he is a labeled a stingy governor because, “We are fighting a culture of over-dependence on government…”
When a journalist put it to him as an aside that perhaps it was because of the Ijebu blood in him that brought about the culture of prudence which critics termed “araldite palm”, Dickson replied that he actually has Ijebu blood “because my great grandmother was an Ijebu princess from Fidipote Ruling House”. On a lighter mood, he quipped that perhaps his refusal to dole out money like a drunken sailor could be because of “Ijebu prudence in me!”
In the past, Dickson said people of Bayelsa were not paying tax but with his enforcement of that, the Internally Generated Revenue which was between N50 and N60 million per month when he became governor, is now N800 million.
He spoke also on those who decamped to All Progressives Congress from the Peoples Democratic Party, waving them off as a bunch of former governorship aspirants who, because PDP lost at the centre, now need a platform to seek federal appointments. “They have no membership. Now compare them with a governor that has a direct link within the people,” he argued.