Bayelsa State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday gave sordid details of some of the loans allegedly obtained by Governor Seriake Dickson.
The party said he should account for the 88 billion naira loans.
The Sylva/Igiri Campaign Organisation (SICO), the campaign outfit of the APC governorship candidate, Chief Timipre Sylva and his running mate, Chief Wilberforce Igiri, said although Dickson claimed to be frugal, he incurred huge debts.
Speaking at a news conference at the SICO campaign office in Yenagoa, the organisation’s Director of Media and Publicity, Chief Nathan Egba, listed some of the loans allegedly obtained by the Dickson administration as N45 billion for airport project, N25 billion to complete projects and N16 billion (60 million Euros) from Poland for the Maritime Academy at Okpoama.
He said the governor obtained N2.1 billion to pay outstanding salaries of local government workers, alleging that Dickson was planning to obtain more loans at the twilight of his administration.
On the N45 billion loan for the airport project, Egba alleged that Gov. Dickson tampered with the original terms of contract for the facility to enable him draw down on the loan to begin his campaign.
“Dickson, who claims to be a frugal man that believes in financial discipline, committed Bayelsa State to N45 billion for the airport project on the condition that the contractor will draw down on the presentation of milestone certificate.
“However, as everybody in Bayelsa knows, not only has the project come to a halt, the site has been overwhelmed by flood. Consequently, there cannot be a millstone certificate to be presented for the contractor to draw from the loan, to enable outgoing Governor Dickson and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), fund their election expenses”, he said.
The SICO’s director of Media and Publicity alleged that the governor and his team arranged with the contractor to alter the terms of the contract, removing the milestone certificate clause to give them access to the loans.
He added: “This is with the claims that they want to pay the contractors, but such money will now be used to start their campaign, which has been moribund, following lack of funds, caused by the inability of the governor to manage the state’s finances.
“The APC in Bayelsa is aware of what they are doing and is tracking the fraud step by step. We shall furnish the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other anti-graft agencies with information at our disposal if they continued this transaction”.
Egba said the people were eager to know what the governor did with the other loans.
He alleged that despite the 60 million Euros the governor obtained from Poland for the Okpoama Maritime Academy project, the Dickson administration has only managed to erect a signpost in front of the project site.
“So much for a government that claims it has come to restore the state to some imaginary glory, whereas, indeed, it is a huge scam”, Egba said.
The SICO further alleged that the governor had instructed his foot soldiers to produce 50 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) in each ward and urged the people to be vigilant.
Advising the people to protect their PVCs, Egba alleged that it was not clear whether the PDP was planning to clone PVCs to rig the election.
Said he: “Our principal, Chief Timipre Sylva, is on a rescue mission to wipe the tears of the people, following the poverty inflicted on them by the Restoration Government. Dickson claimed no commissioner in his executive council can boast to be a millionaire. What a wicked statement from a leader.
“This is why more people are leaving his ship and joining us. We enjoin others, who have been reaching out to APC leaders concerning their desire to defect, to take the bold step by joining the change train in Bayelsa”.
In a swift response to the damning allegations, the Chairman, Bayelsa State Media Team, Mr. Esueme Kikile, said APC was founded on propaganda.
He described the allegations “as very wild and unfounded”.