ODAHIEKWU OGUNDE, Yenagoa
Former Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, has denied having hand in the revocation of the state-owned Atala Marginal Oil Fields (OML 46).
The Senator representing Bayelsa West in the National Assembly, described the reports as false, saying that he would never be involved in such illegality.
In a statement on Thursday, the former governor called on the people of the state not to believe the rumour.
Dickson said: “This response from me has become necessary to debunk this false propaganda with the revocation of Atala Marginal Field by the Federal Government and its subsequent reallocation.
“Although Bayelsans and discerning members of the public would know that I am not in a position to do so, I still feel the need to make this statement.
“I hereby use this medium to state without equivocation that I am not and will never be in support of the revocation of Atala Marginal Oil Field from Bayelsa State Government or any other asset of the state government for that matter.
“I am not and will never be in support of its subsequent reallocation by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to anybody.
“Long after leaving office, early this year I read the announcement of the Ministry of Petroleum and DPR canceling some non-performing licences, including Atala Marginal Oil Field.
“For the first time in a long while, I put aside political differences and called the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, to register my personal displeasure to that and that he should not let that happen to our state while he is minister.”
Dickson said in that discussion, he also encouraged Sylva to support as many of Bayelsa people interested in the bidding round that had commenced at the time.
He added: “Today, I discussed with Governor Douye Diri on the issue and he explained to me that he is also opposed to the revocation of our oil licence and has already taken administrative and legal steps to retrieve it, a position I fully support.
“I call on Bayelsans to discard any unnecessary rumor, name calling and propaganda and support the state government to resolve this issue which I believe will be done in the interest of the state.
This I will support wholeheartedly and I call on the Minister of State for Petroleum who is also a Bayelsan to support and work with the state government to resolve this for the benefit of our people, so at the end of the day, Bayelsa state does not lose out.”