Dickson denies spending N2bn on movie awards,explains source of Amaa funding

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The Bayelsa State Government has condemned the story going the rounds that Governor Seriake Dickson lavished N2bn to host the 2014 African Movie Academy Awards.

The government has described the story credited to the Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress in the state and published in the media as “false, mischievous, cheap blackmail and clearly an attempt to mislead the public to score cheap political points.”

The government’s denial was contained in a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson, on Sunday.

The government said, “For the umpteenth time, the government wishes to place on record that Dickson has never and will not waver in the implementation of his administration’s restoration agenda, which is anchored on transparency, accountability, probity, truth and fairplay.

“The Governor did not mince words, when he remarked at the inception of his administration that most of the policies and programmes of government will be private sector driven, as it is with the top economies of the world and this has been the trend since 2012, when he took over the reins of power in the state.

“In keeping to this policy, Dickson has in the last two years, fully involved the private sector in the running of AMAA and this will be sustained throughout the life span of the administration.

“To put the records straight, prior to the 2013 AMAA, government organised a fundraiser at the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja and realised little over N800m, while it raised over N200m from a pre-AMAA sponsors’ dinner in Lagos for the 2014 edition.”

The government said a number of the sponsors made their contributions even after the fundraiser and with the money, AMAA 2013 and 2014 were successfully organised.

It added that in order to gain the confidence of private sector, the governor also directed that a special account be opened for AMAA funds and had been the case since 2013.

It added, “And in appreciation of the support the government got from the private sector, the Governor himself took full page advertorial in some national dailies to personally thank the major sponsors of AMAA 2014 and these things are not hidden.

“It, therefore, beats one’s imagination that, despite these programmes, which were well publicised in the media, somebody, who calls himself the imagemaker of a party like the APC could come up with a statement that Governor Dickson lavished N2bn to host AMAA and even described it as an erected conduit through which scarce public funds were drained.”

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