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First Lady Recruits 1,000 Thugs To Destabilize Bayelsa, Group Alleges

Nigeria's First Lady Patience Jonathan

A fresh crisis is looming in Bayelsa State between loyalists of the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan and supporters of Governor Seriake Dickson over who should control the political soul of the state.

Already, a socio-cultural organization, Niger Delta Solidarity Forum, has accused the First Lady and her godson/presidential aide, Waripomowei Dudufa, of planning to destabilize the peace and the prevailing stable political atmosphere existing in Bayelsa State using about 1,000 political thugs.

But the NDSF said it will “mobilize its members across the entire region and resist any planned street protest in Bayelsa State.”

The group dedicated to the peace, progress and development of the Niger Delta region, in a statement issued on Thursday in Port Harcourt by its General Secretary, Nelson Ebebi, alleged that the First Lady along with Dudufa and two incumbent senators in the state who are known political enemies of the Governor Seriake Dickson’s administration intends to cause chaos and confusion by sponsoring street protest in Yenagoa, the state capital.

The group said the First Lady has mobilized 1000 thugs who have been told to disguise as unemployed youths to foment trouble in the state capital in the name of street protest, by urging the youth to demand for economic empowerment from the Dickson-led government.

The group alleged that the First Lady has “recruited the thugs who were ready to storm the streets of Yenagoa anytime soon”, even as it has finalized plans to move against the impeachment of the incumbent governor.

According to the statement, the thugs would create crisis within the state capital and they have been instructed to resist any attempt by the security agencies to try to dislodge them, as was done in the recent protest organized by some ex-militants. To show how serious and calculated their devilish plot is, they have branded the theme of the street protest as #WeAreHungryBringBackOurJobs street walk campaign. This is to give the impression that the Dickson-led government has failed in its duty to provide employment opportunities to the teeming youths in Bayelsa State.

The group is therefore calling on the government and the security chiefs in the state to “keep watch over the activities and evil plans being formulated by those it described as enemies of the State”, urging the authorities to take proactive steps to investigate and go after those behind this evil plot and to bring to book whoever that is caught in the web of this devious and devilish act.

The group says as one of the foremost Niger Delta organization with a mandate to effectively promote and enhance the peace, unity, progress and development of the region, it has a duty to draw the world’s attention to the activities of those who seek to destroy and disrupt the peace of the region, all in a bid to advance their own selfish political ambition.

The group further warned youths in the region, particularly youths in Bayelsa State not to allow themselves to be used and later dumped by “power drunk, self seeking and desperate politicians” who instead of deploying their new found wealth to set up industries back home that will provide the needed jobs for them, but would rather use such money to create needles political tension and crisis in the state. It went on further to advise the youth to think of creative ways to empower themselves, noting that the harsh economic environment and issues of unemployment is not peculiar to Bayelsa State.

According to Ebibi, there is no state in the country today that is not confronted with the harsh economic situation. The situation is so bad that most states cannot afford to pay staff salaries to their workers running into several months. Even the federal government is not immune to this harsh economic reality. Hence, the so-called #WeAreHungryBringBackOurJobs street walk campaign in Bayelsa is nothing but a politically motivated, devious and malicious propaganda that is intended to serve the sole selfish political interest of its paymasters.

He said the Dickson-led administration should be commended as one of the very few states in the federation that has kept faith with the payment of salaries to its workers.



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