The verbal war between the former Governor of Bayelsa State, Mr. Timipre Sylva and his successor, Mr. Seriake Dickson, continued on Tuesday with the later describing the former as a ?drowning man?.

The duo resumed hostilities recently over issues bordering on non-payment of pensions to retirees in the state for five years.

While Dickson at a transparency briefing said he would set up a judicial commission of enquiry to probe the N5 billion backlog of pensions he inherited from the past administration, Sylva reacted by calling on him to resign.

But the incumbent governor in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Iworiso-Markson, said he would not join issues with Sylva, who he described as a drowning man.

The statement said Dickson?s competence was not in doubt as ?it is very much evident for all to see.?

The statement further explained that the decision of the government to establish the judicial panel was informed by the need to address the deep-seated rot and systematic failures of some civil servants and political leaders.

The statement said: ?These persons working as syndicates have over the years siphoned N5 billion meant for the payment of pensioners in the state.

?Concerned about the plight of these pensioners, Governor Henry Seriake Dickson since coming into office has paid N1billion to the pensioners in his efforts to clear the backlog.

?While, we are working hard to clear the backlog, the same syndicates,
instead of hiding their faces in shame, have chosen to embark on a
campaign of calumny and propaganda against the government by inciting
some of the pensioners to embark on streets? protests.

?To this end, government decided to set up the Judicial Commission of
Inquiry to ascertain why pensioners were owed pension and gratuities for the past five years and the public servants that have subjected our senior citizens to untold hardship.

?It is equally laughable that some people who may have perpetrated the scam are questioning why Governor Dickson limited the period of the investigation to five years.?


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