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Gov. Defends Approval Of $1bn To Fight Insurgency



Gov. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa on Tuesday explained that the Governors’ Forum’s decision to grant Federal Government permission to utilize one billion dollars from the Excess Crude Account for security was taken in good fate.

The governor was reacting to the controversy surrounding the approval given during the last National Economic Council (NEC) meeting when he addressed state House correspondents.

The Bayelsa governor noted that the decision was not a political one but meant to strengthen the country’s security apparatus.

“It was a decision taken in good fate to support our security services, to strengthen our national security and enhance operations in the interest of everybody else.

“This is not a political issue and I thought that I should say that, but the details of what we would do and say and the clarifications will come at the end of the meeting of the governors.’’

Dickson said that the governors would meet later in the day to fine tune how to move the matter further, noting that there was a lot of unnecessary controversy on the approval in the media.

“There is a lot of unnecessary controversy out there in the media.

“After the meeting this afternoon, our chairman and some of us may have to talk to the media, may have the need to interact with the president and the vice president on it.

“These are issues of national security and I think that we leaders must be circumspect in terms of creating controversies on issues of national security.

“Our duty is to collaborate among ourselves, collaborate with the Federal Government on two critical issues of national security and issues of the economy, and that is what the NEC does.’’

Dickson stated that he came to consult the vice president, adding that the governors were also consulting to deal with the issue

He said he would not prejudge the outcome of the meeting but was sure it would throw some further light in what was out there in the public domain.

On the recent assassinations and rise in crime in Bayelsa, the governor stated that increase in crime was a national phenomenon during the period of festivities

“It is a national phenomenon, especially at this time of the year; Bayelsa has been known for stability and peace in the last six years.

“That’s one area we have expended a lot of energy and resources and so we are concerned if there is any incident of criminal conduct not to talk of two, three, four or five.

“It is still within control but we are bothered about it.

“And we are working together and supporting the security forces, mobilising the citizens of the state and activating our structures and systems to ensure that we regain control of the security situation.

“So I assure all of you, I assure the country that Bayelsa is safe and stable.

“Security forces and community leaders are working together and there is a government that understands the role and the place of security which I lead.

“So, no cause for alarm, things are okay.’’

The governor acknowledged that he came to have discussion with the Vice President on issues of national interest and concern but which he was not in a position to divulge the details.

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