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Wednesday, 27 May 2015

POLITICS AND DEVELOPMENT OF BAYELSA STATE -- THE PAST, PRESENT AND THE FUTURE By Godfrey Pondei

POLITICS AND DEVELOPMENT OF BAYELSA STATE -- THE PAST, PRESENT AND THE FUTURE By Godfrey Pondei

  

Created by the late General Sanni Abacha’s military government on Tuesday 1stOctober 1996, Bayelsa State is agreeably the capital and home of Nigeria’s fourth largest tribe – the Ijaws – also known sometimes as Izons. Due to its linguistic homogeneity, Ijaws who spread across Bayelsa, Rivers, Delta, Edo,Cross River, Akwa Ibom, and Ondo States consider the creation of Bayelsa State a dream come true as it was expected to be the fulcrum of socio-cultural activities spanning the entire Ijaw tribe. More importantly, the Ijaw people, three of whom had been chief executives of the old Rivers State – King DietteSpiff, late Chief Melford Okilo and Chief Rufus Ada George - considered the creation of Bayelsa State as an opportunity to correct infrastructural defects and deficiencies which they had witnessed in Rivers State, one in which they were previously domiciled. This makes the development of Bayelsa State of paramount importance to the people. 

True as the foregoing portends, not only the Ijaw people, but the generality of the Nigerian populace have expressed concerns about the volatility that had characterized the political climate in Bayelsa State vis-à-vis the short duration in office of chief executives of the state. While other states in the south southgeopolitical zone like Edo and Rivers have had three (3) governors each; Delta, Cross River and Akwa Ibom have had only two (2) governors respectively between 1999 and date. It is sad to note that the Bayelsa State experience is rather different and worrisome. Within the period under review, the state has had a whooping total of six (6) governors. It is consequent upon this fact that seeking solution in checking the trend becomes inevitable.

From an historical perspective, the Chief D.S.P Alamieyeseigha-led administration which began on 29 May 1999 got shortcircuited on 9 December 2005 during its second term and was succeeded same day by the then Deputy Governor – Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. This administration which spanned through 29th May 2007 was similarly truncated by Dr. Goodluck Jonathan’s nomination as running mate to the late President Umaru Shehu Ya’araduaduring the elections that led to the federal administration that began 29 May 2007. His ascension to the position of the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria created a vacuum in Bayelsa State which needed to be filled. As such, Chief Timipre Sylva who had been a member of the Rivers State House of Assembly in the 1990s, and a candidate of the People's Democratic Party, emerged winner of the Bayelsan gubernatorial election on May 29, 2007 and therefore succeeded Goodluck Jonathan. It is on record how Sylva's major opponent in the 2007 election, Ebitimi Amgbare of the Action Congress, legally challenged his victory. Although the Bayelsa State Election Petitions Tribunal upheld Sylva's election, Amgbare took the matter to the Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt which overturned the Tribunal's decision and nullified Sylva's election on April 15, 2008. Then, the Court of Appeal's five justices were unanimous in their decision and ordered that Speaker Werinipre Seibarogu be sworn in to replace Sylva as acting Governor, with a directive to hold a fresh election within three months. The new election held on May 24, 2008 as originally scheduled and Timipre Sylva, again running as the PDP candidate, won overwhelmingly. He was sworn in again on 27 May 2008. On 27 January 2012, his tenure wasterminated by an order of the Supreme Court with Nestor K. Binabo appointed as an acting governor to oversee the state until February 2012 when the winner of an election that will have held will be sworn in. As scheduled, on 14 February 2012, Honourable Henry Seriake Dickson who won over 90% of the votes as reported by the Independent National Electoral Commission, was sworn in and as such, took over the mantle of leadership from 14 February 2012 till date.

 The foregoing experiences have either premeditatedly or inadvertently characterized the political landscape of Bayelsa State thus culminating in a whooping total of six (6) different chief executives, being the highest across the South-South geopolitical zone within the period under consideration to have administered the affairs of the oil-rich state.

It is thought-provoking that this political precariousness in Bayelsa State is not unique to the sixteen year-old democratic dispensation. Similarly, during the military era, for instance, Bayelsa State had four military administrators from its creation in 1996 through 1999. This is relative to the three administrators for Edo, Delta and Akwa Ibom; and two for Rivers and Cross River States respectively within the same period.


 The political volatility in Bayelsa State, as opined by a thought school is largelydue to the fact that Bayelsans are quick to complain just about every regime, a few months into it, until there is a basis for comparison with another. Could this be a characteristic feature of Bayelsans, believed to be endemic in the people of the state? Could this be said to be partly responsible for the volatility of the state’s political system, even during the military era? Or could complaints against Bayelsan administrations be truly due to inability of the political system to provide for its members? More often than not, administrations in Bayelsa are perceived to have failed to meet the expectations and aspirations of the people, thereby creating a feeling among citizens that the government is corrupt, amongst other associated negative vises. As a consequence of such undesirableimpressions, Bayelsan regimes are often known by one clich√© or the other before it is eventually crumbled. It may amuse one to note that the name of an ex-military administrator is used as a common slang to denote the locally brewed gin also known as ogogoro, as he was rumoured to have delighted himself in taking a lot of it while he served in the state.


Indeed, the Bayelsa experience is akin to the instability of the political systems in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and others that have created numerous challenges for their people – insecurity and underdevelopment, amongst others.


 Believably, political elites and other political actors, by their actions or inactions, are capable of subjecting a system to stress which has the potentials of making it fickle. Could this be true for the Bayelsa experience? Could this be an explanation for the relative underdevelopment Bayelsa State has suffered ab initio? Proffering solutions to these hitherto rhetorical questions could put one on a good pedestal to solving the problems of the state.


This is where bringing to bear Almond and Powell’s structural functional analysis becomes needful, understanding that functionalism is a framework for building theory that sees society as a complex system whose parts work together to promote solidarity and stability. In this regard, it becomesimperative, therefore, for both government and the governed to see the development of Bayelsa State as a collective responsibility of all.


 Using Empirical data, Dr. Godfrey Pondei, in his publication entitled “Development in Third World Countries – A Case Study of Tenure Longevity” hypothesized that the number of projects and programmes a regime could ever successfully midwife is directly proportional to how long the regime in question lasts. Understandably, this postulation may have to hold certain variables constant such as population growth, and economic indices, amongst others. But for a few exceptions, applying this theory to Bayelsa State has rather proven it right. Agreeably, it has become common knowledge that the longer an administration lasts, the greater potentials it has to deliver on its mandate, by way of consolidating on already initiated programmes and projects; which may be discontinued or worse still relocated in the event that there is a change of government.


 The latter scenario has played out in many instances in Bayelsa State to the detriment of the rapid development that had eluded the state. For instance, the Chief D.S.P. Alamieyeseigha-led administration began the construction of the Bayelsa Airport which was relocated from Amassoma to the Zarama axis of the East West road by another regime. After having borne enormous costs at the Zarama site, the current administration considered it cost-effective to continue the project at the original site in Amassoma, and as such further relocated it there. This provides a brief background for the much progress the said project has recorded thus far. What a waste of scarce resources that could have done so much, if well directed without a change in government as it has been in other states in the South South geopolitical zone! In addition to such actions being tantamount to waste of resources that could have been better channelled, there is also the possibility of causing disaffection amongst people. Worse still, it has tendencies of giving birth to an inequality in the development equation of the state.


 Observing from a nonpartisan standpoint, the Governor Dickson-led administration has to its credit the ongoing construction of the Bayelsa State Cargo Airport in Amassoma, construction of a deep Seaport at Age, and a consortium of roads under construction amongst which are the three senatorial roads all of which have attained appreciable levels of completion, and as such being used by a host of communities through which the said roads have passed.It is on record, how that less than midway into the current administration,stories of corruption and non-performance amongst others began to bedevil it. As part of efforts in checking such rumours, the administration appointed aSpecial Adviser on Rumour Mongering. Sadly, however, this seems not to have yielded much obvious fruits, as many more rumours have been hatched thenafter.


 It is in a bid to troubleshoot the Bayelsa challenges that, just recently, a non-governmental organization concluded a two-month referendum carried out across ten selected communities in each of the eight local government areas of the state with a view to ascertaining their acceptance or otherwise of government policies and programmes such as the monthly Transparency Briefing by the Chief Executive of the State and those of the Local GovernmentCouncils. An analysis of the data collected from the said referendum speaks eloquently of the people’s unawareness of government programmes and policies. Specifically, only fifteen percent of the state are abreast with happenings in public domain. Out of this subset, there are yet others that are politically docile and as such indifferent about politics and development.


 As part of recommendations intended to check the ugly, volatile and embarrassing political climate that has become rather characteristic of BayelsaState, the NGO proposed a Bayelsa State Conference where concrete development plans which, when marshalled out, will outlive any single dispensation. Such a conference becomes inevitable as it will avail people of the state an opportunity to draw from lessons learnt from the National Conference 2014. With participants to be drawn from all strata of the state – students, civil servants, professionals, businessmen, farmers, fishermen, women, men, youths, the organized private sector, etc - this could lead to the conceptualization, and subsequent execution of projects and programmes that have the potentials of positively turning around the fortunes of the state for posterity. The product of such a conference would be a holistic twenty to forty years development plan across all sectors that will be owned by Bayelsans both within and those in the diaspora. This will, in no little way, guide subsequent chief executives in determining projects and programmes of paramount relevance to the people.Convincingly, such a step will truly make everyone a stakeholder in the Bayelsa project.


 The proposed Bayelsa Conference, when successfully held, will then define development of the state in its entirety. At that point, it will behove on the state government to sponsor an executive bill for its passage into law. The content of the said document must then be treated sacrosanct, of course, with the possibility of proposing amendments as occasion demands in order to reflect realities of the dynamics of society. Here, members of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly has their own role to play both as a part of the proposed conference and as well to ensure the speedy passage into law of the proposed Bayelsa State Development Plan that will have been a by-product of such a conference.


 On their part, governors, and even local government chairmen, will already have a predetermined work plan to follow before assuming office. They will therefore have no reason for non-performance within the limits of available resources. Interestingly, also, the people will have a defined yardstick to monitor and evaluate performance strictly based on facts. More interestingly, these recommendations, if adhered to, will check politicians’ crave and desperation for power as there will be no likelihood of a chief executive skewing development in favour of a preferred part of the state to the detriment of others. In part, it will check election-related violence as there will be no need for that since ascension to the office of a governor will be for the purpose of service to the people.


 Believably, therefore, the latent divide existing between government and the governed will be eroded. This way, bickerings, accusations and counter-accusations, will be reduced to the barest minimum even though such may not be completely eliminated in the democracy as practised in Nigeria. As such, Bayelsa State will witness enduring administrations that will culminate in utilizing resources for the execution of projects and programmes that will be efficiently managed to bring about sustainable development for the people of the state.


 


 


Godfrey Pondei, Ph.D


08105218570

BAYELSA PDP EXPELS 9 MEMBERS, TASKS MEMBERS ON DISCIPLINE

BAYELSA PDP EXPELS 9 MEMBERS, TASKS MEMBERS ON DISCIPLINE


27/05/2015. 

The Bayelsa State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday expelled 9 of its members from the party over anti-party activities in the last general elections.

The decision for the expulsion was contained in a statement presented to media men by the state acting chairman of the party, Chief Serena Dokubo Spiff at its secretariat in Yenagoa, the state capital.

The affected members are, Senator Nimi Barigha-Amange, Mr. Nestor Binabo, Chief Werinipre Seibarugu, Mr. Waripamowei Dudafa and Mr. Chamberlain Kren Ikidi.

Others are, Mr. Osomkime Blankson, Mr. Emmanuel Okponipre, Mr. Ebikapade Dibiya and Joyce Fouyowei.

According to the statement, the decision for the expulsion of the members, followed a unanimous voice vote by members of the state executive committee, after deliberations on the report submitted by the chairman of the PDP disciplinary committee set up on the 19th of April to investigate the conduct of members of the party in the last electoral outing.

It, however, noted that some of the members, who are in the National Assembly or holding appointments at the national level would be referred to the national body of the PDP for further disciplinary measures in line with the provisions of the party’s constitution.

Such members are retired Colonel Sam Inokoba, Senator Emmanuel Paulker, while Fiebai Gbeinbo has been suspended for three months.

Chief Dokubo-Spiff in the statement announced that, Mr. Leghemo Kaiser and Mr. Denyabofa Dimaro are to render apology to the leadership of the PDP, while Dr. Godson Omubo-Dede and Mr. Dan Omubo-Dede were reprimanded.

“The State Working Committee met after receiving the report and deliberated on it and the State Executive Committee took a unanimous voice vote based on the gravity of the offences and the respective attitudes of the affected members, some were expelled, others suspended while a few others were reprimanded and exonerated.

“It is important to note that, the committee acted responsibly following the tenets of due process. The committee amply publicized the activities and invitations to the affected persons requesting them to turn and state their own side of the story. Some turned up and others were defiant and continued to treat our party with contempt, as a result certain members were expelled from the party.  

The statement, however, said, a contact and reconciliation committee has been set up to look into the grievances of members and reconcile them back to the PDP fold. 

In his remarks, Governor Seriake Dickson stressed that, if indiscipline and disloyalty were not checked among party members, it would affect the party’s survival, pointing out that, the situation whereby PDP members campaign openly for candidates of other political platforms while benefitting from the PDP will no longer be condoned.

Governor Dickson berated members, who worked against the party’s interest with impunity in the last elections and called for unity among members and lauded the acting chairman and the party for its efforts at instilling discipline and respect for constituted authority.     

His words: “You cannot have a situation where party leaders will sponsor candidates on the platform of other political parties to contest for political power and space against our party. And they do so with impunity, campaign openly while they are PDP members benefitting from the platform provided by our party. This can no longer be tolerated.

“This is a PDP state, but our party’s strength will wane if we do not maintain party discipline. We cannot tolerate a situation where a few people consider themselves above the party and do things with impunity without regard for the authority of the leadership of the party just because they are in one leadership position or the other which by the way were positions they got through the instrumentality of the PDP.

“Let me stress that party discipline does not mean that members are not free to aspire to elective offices or other positions of political leadership. What it means is that, at the end of the primary elections, party members must conform to the decisions of the party. That is the only way a political organization can call itself, a political party.” 

Friday, 22 May 2015

DON’T TRADE WITH MY NAME, I REMAIN A BONAFIDE MEMBER OF PDP….. GOV DICKSON

DON’T TRADE WITH MY NAME, I REMAIN A BONAFIDE MEMBER OF PDP….. GOV DICKSON

 

22/05/2015

Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson on Friday re-affirmed his commitment to re-positioning the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), ahead 2019, warning opposition parties in the state against peddling his name in a bid to seek political relevance. 

 Making his stand known at the monthly media transparency briefing in Yenagoa, Hon. Dickson expressed his readiness to join hands with other critical stakeholders to rebuild the party.

The governor, who took exception to the unwholesome practice whereby some individuals resort to cheap blackmail and propaganda to further their political interests in the state, said the PDP would no longer condone indiscipline and disloyalty from members.

According to him, “all the kinds of characters I have been tolerating, those days are gone. This is a new order. Most of the so-called people in Abuja from this state are major beneficiaries of our restoration government. 

 ‘If you have power, use it for the good for our state. A number of them have big contracts, which were given to them; which they have abandoned. And very soon, I am going to tell our people who most of those characters are. I hereby announce the cancellation of the contract for the construction of a model hospital in Kaiama that our government awarded to the company nominated by Hon. Waripamowei Dudafa, which he has abandoned. The Commissioner for Health will re-award it to someone who will complete it. Also the contract awarded to Hon. Bekes Etifa is hereby terminated and the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure should re-award it.  

 ‘It is only our own politicians, who when they leave here for Abuja, don’t know that they have an obligation to support the home government. They think that development is only a matter for the government to do. And even as a government, we are trying our best to change our state in a way they cannot ever imagine. What do they do? They stay afar and throw stones. They engage in blackmail and spread propaganda.

‘With this development the contracts awarded to the Special Adviser on Domestic Matters to President Goodluck Jonathan, Mr. Dudafa Waripamowei and former Commissioner on Youth and Conflict Resolution, Chief Bekes Etifa have been revoked over non-performance.

In spite of the economic depression in the country, the Governor assured the people that the government would continue to meet its financial obligation, including the payment of workers’ monthly salaries and allowances.

In compliance with his words, Hon Dickson gave the assurance that, the salaries of workers for this month would be paid next week Monday. 

This is just as he directed the leadership of the state chapter of the National Union of local Government Employees (NULGE) to liaise with local government chairmen to ensure payment of salaries to workers at the third tier.

According to him, in this month, very few states will be able to meet their salary obligations because of the terrible low allocation from the federation account. And even with our low Internally Generated Revenue base, we, (economic team) are working round the clock, making necessary sacrifices and now we are in a position to meet our salary wage obligation.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Governor Dickson hails Muazu and Anenih's resignation, urges support for Secondus as acting National Chairman

Governor Dickson hails Muazu and Anenih's resignation, urges support for Secondus as acting National Chairman

20/05/2015. 
Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, has hailed the resignation of the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Adamu Muazu and the party's Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Tony Anenih, commending both men for putting the interest of the party and that of the nation above their personal interests and aspirations.

While wishing the former governor of Bauchi State, who is on medical treatment abroad, a quick recovery, governor Dickson, said he looks forward to his return back to the country in sound health, to support in the on-going effort to rebuild the party. He thanked Chief Tony Anenih for his years of service to the party. 

A Government House statement, signed by Dickson's Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, commended members of the party National Working Committee (NWC) for ratifying the resignation of both of men.

While commending the emergence of Uche Secondus as the acting National Chairman of the PDP, the Bayelsa State Chief Executive, has urged all party leaders and members to rally round Secondus, noting that he has the experience and needed capacity to reposition the party and re-launch it back to reckoning, pending the time a substantive National Chairman will be elected at the national convention of the party.

GOV DICKSON MEETS KANU NWANKWO, RESTATES COMMITMENT TO SPORTS DEVELOPMENT, AS EX SUPER EAGLES CAPTAIN THROWS WEIGHT BEHIND GOVERNOR’S SOCCER TOURNAMENT

GOV DICKSON MEETS KANU NWANKWO, RESTATES COMMITMENT TO SPORTS DEVELOPMENT, AS EX SUPER EAGLES CAPTAIN THROWS WEIGHT BEHIND GOVERNOR’S SOCCER TOURNAMENT

  

19/05/2015

As the forth-coming Governor Seriake Dickson Football tournament gathers momentum, the Bayelsa State Governor has reiterated his commitment to the promotion and the development of football and other sporting activities in the State.

Governor Dickson, who gave the assurance while exchanging ideas with Ex – Nigerian international, Kanu Nwankwo in Abuja, noted that, even as Bayelsa State is endowed with abundant sporting talents, not much has been done to harness them and groom them to stardom, stressing that, the proposed tournament is among other things, intended to reverse the trend.

 He used the opportunity to extend an invitation to Kanu Nwankwo, other notable soccer stars and football scouts to avail themselves of the opportunity of the Governor Seriake Dickson Tournament, christened “Restoration Cup 2015” to discover talents, who could be groomed to attain greater heights in the game.

 Lamenting the near absence if Ijaw sons and daughters in the nation’s National teams, Governor Dickson, urged youths across the State to grab the opportunities presented by the tournament with both hands, as its an avenue for them to showcase their talents and spotted for future national and international glory.

On his part, the former Super Eagles captain Nwankwo Kanu, expressed gratitude to the Governor for his commitment to the development of football at the grassroots level, noting that football has since became the father of all sports and a source of livelihood to many.

The two-time African footballer of the year, further expressed his readiness to partner with the Restoration Cup project, stressing that the selected team from the tournament, would undertake a playing tour of England, which he would personally coordinate . 

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

BEWARE!!! PAID AGENTS OF ANTI-DICKSON CAMPAIGNERS ON THE PROWL ON SOCIAL MEDIASPREADING MALICIOUS RUMOUR AND PROPAGANDA

BEWARE!!! PAID AGENTS OF ANTI-DICKSON CAMPAIGNERS ON THE PROWL ON SOCIAL MEDIASPREADING MALICIOUS RUMOUR AND PROPAGANDA

 

Contrary to the wicked and malicious propaganda

some paid agents of the opposition are circulating on  whatsapand other social media platforms, regarding what they describe as the “wasteful” official trips of our countryman governor,  it will interest the public to know that Governor Dickson is one of the least traveled governors in Nigeria. A recent survey published by The Source Magazine can attest to this fact.  

 

 

It will also interest the public and the paid agents of anti-Dickson campaigners on whatsapfacebook and other social media platforms, to know that our countryman governor has not embarked on overseas trips in the last 8 to 9 months. 

It is therefore, not in doubt, that our dearly beloved countryman governor lives a very simple and frugal lifestyle. Most of his officials trips, mostly to Abuja, are strictly for official purposes, either to attend meetings called by his party, the PDP, or meetings with his fellow governors as well as his constant interface with the President. In all of this, it will interest the public to know that whenever the countryman governor is in Abuja, he stays in a rented guest house along with some of his aides,as opposed to staying at the Hilton Hotel, where the cost is prohibitive. 

 

There is need to properly educate the public on why mostgovernors and top VIPs travel with hired jets. The fact is that they operate very tight schedules and there is need to save valuable time. Even at that, our countryman governor, travel with hired jets taken from the Presidential Fleet, which cost far less when compared to hiring jets owned by private companies. Yet, there are governors in this country who owns private jets and their citizens have not made them subject of public debate on social media.

 

The paid agents of anti-Dickson campaigners on social media should know for a fact that the countryman governor stands out as one of the very few governors in Nigeria that has kept with the payment of salaries, especially at a time when most state governors are owing their workers 5 to 8 months salaries. The public should beware of these paid agents who are on a dangerous mission of spreading all manner of lies, blackmail and propaganda against a performing governor whose works have been adjudged as revolutionary!    

 

The paymasters of theses paid agents on social media should know that their time is up because very soon they will all be exposed. Their identities will be uncovered because they are past political office holders whose antecedents are well known.  Their ill-gotten wealth and the choice properties acquired corruptly by these persons will be exposed.

ORUBEBE DENIED DEFECTING TO APC, THREATENS LEGAL ACTIONS

ORUBEBE DENIED DEFECTING TO APC, THREATENS LEGAL ACTIONS

MAY 19, 2015. 
A former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe, has denied media reports that he was leaving the Peoples Democratic Party to join “his folks” in the All Progressives Congress.

Orubebe said in a telephone conversation with our correspondent on Tuesday that he was “a proud and committed member” of the PDP, who is with the President in his bid to reorganise the party. 
He said those behind the fictitious report hacked into his twitter account.

The former Minister also threatened to drag online media houses, who published the story of his alleged defection to the APC without contacting him, before the court.

He said, “It is not true that I am leaving the PDP for APC; it is not true and it cannot be true. I am taking online media, who have published the story to court.

“I am a core PDP member. I am with my oga( Goodluck Jonathan) and we are planning to reorganise the PDP to make it a party of unification.”
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THOSE UNWARRANTED TIRADES AND VITUPERATIONS AGAINST GOVERNOR SERIAKE DICKSON BY MISGUIDED ELEMENTS MUST STOP

THOSE UNWARRANTED TIRADES AND VITUPERATIONS AGAINST GOVERNOR SERIAKE DICKSON BY MISGUIDED ELEMENTS MUST STOP



Every game on earth be it politics or statecraft has ground rules. In politics for instance, you discuss issues, policies and programmes and that is different from witch-hunting or peddling propaganda. Witch-hunting and misrepresentation of facts is the flipside of what democracy is all about. Ordinarily, one would have overlooked some false allegations levied in some quarters to bring Governor Seriake Dickson’s office and his person to disrepute, but there comes a time when it becomes compelling to lay the facts for people to see and allow them to make fair deductions, untainted by political idiosyncrasies or parochial self-interest. 


Since the Restoration Administration took the saddle, the song on the lips of everybody is transparency, accountability and prudence. It was for this reason government institutionalized the monthly Transparency Briefing Initiative to entrench public accountability in the State. The treasury was re-organized to block all financial leakages which had hitherto constituted a conduit-pipe in the past. Ghost workers were weeded out of the system and some job opportunities were created in a few sectors. These institutions have checked fraud and other sharp practices in the system. Our MoUs with foreign investors have reached an advanced stage in spite of the catastrophic plunge in the price of crude oil and its attendant spillover effect on project execution. 


Frankly, Governor Seriake Dickson has impeccable integrity in terms of good governance as translated in transparency, accountability and welfarism, including the provision of much-needed infrastructure in the State. His development strides are unprecedented and even ardent critics will attest to this fact. Against the background of his achievements, many organizations; local and international have adjudged Governor Seriake Dickson as the best in terms of peace and Security, transparency and accountability and prudence in the management of resources in Nigeria. 


To cut the cost of governance, Governor Seriake Dickson is the least traveled Governor in Nigeria. For the past eight to nine months, Governor Seriake Dickson has not traveled out of the shores of Nigeria. His trips to Abuja are predicated on the imperatives of assisting Mr. President and to shore-up the Peoples Democratic Party like other Governors who are faithful and steadfast to the ideals of the founding fathers of the PDP. 


In the same spirit of entrenching prudential ethics, during such travels, Governor Seriake Dickson and his aides stay in a rented apartment in Abuja. Those who know the Contriman Governor will attest to the fact that he even denies himself his legitimate entitlements in order to cut the cost of governance. It is for this reason that Bayelsa State is perhaps the only State where salaries are paid as and when due, while so many States in Nigeria are in salary arrears of several months. Some are even applying for a bailout as a panacea for covering up their extravagance. 


It is therefore absurd, unfounded and against commonsense for politicians seeking to score cheap political points to accuse Governor Seriake Dickson of frivolities- which is far from the pragmatic life style of the leader. Those who betrayed their conscience and stooped so low as to undermine their political party may be black sheep behind this wanton nugget of vile and unfounded criticism, which is out of touch with reality.  


Bayelsa peole should be rest assured that Governor Seriake Dickson will remain focused, determined and as resolute as ever to deliver the dividends of democracy even as the nation faces the harsh economic realities. He has already consummated his electoral promises to Bayelsa People. 


As a pragmatic and loyal Party man, Governor Seriake Dickson believes in Party discipline at all levels, as a precondition for entrenching internal democracy in PDP. He believes in the ideals of good governance and will continue to pursue them vigorously within the limits of available resources and the structures established to sustain democratic governance. At God’s appointed time, the elders and leaders of the Party and the people of Bayelsa State will determine the political future of the high performing Governor. 


Our advice is that politicians should discuss issues, policies and programmes as against playing politics of mudslinging and falsehood. Politics is guided by some ethical underpinnings and we should play our part to adhere to those ethical standards. “Let Bayelsans honour this prophet at home because he has given a good account of himself”. We should be realistic in our pursuit of power, because the ultimate use of power is to further the interest of the people but the unwarranted tirade and unfounded allegations against Governor Seriake Dickson most stop. 



May God bless Bayelsa State!

Barr. Osaro Ehis Osagie
19th May, 2015

Sunday, 17 May 2015

NGF: IN-COMING GOVERNORS SHOULD PARTAKE IN ELECTION PROCESS, TO AVERT CRISES – GOV DICKSON

NGF: IN-COMING GOVERNORS SHOULD PARTAKE IN ELECTION PROCESS, TO AVERT CRISES – GOV DICKSON

It has come to my knowledge that my distinguished and respected senior colleagues, the out-going governors, whose tenures will be ending May 29, 2015, have summoned a meeting of the purported Nigeria Governors’ Forum for Monday, May 18, 2015. Among other things on the card for discussion, I understand, may be the selection of a new leadership of the forum.

Having participated in the activities of the NGF at the period during its crisis with my respected colleagues, most of whom are now ending their respective governorship tenures, and having also known the roles played by most of the key actors of the forum in the orchestration and mismanagement of a needless crisis at such a critical phase in our nation’s political journey, I owe it as a duty to our country and its fledgling democracy to alert the nation and caution my respected colleagues, especially the in-coming governors of the dangers in allowing themselves to be railroaded by the out-going governors, most of whom created the NGF crisis, to foist on our country and political system another NGF contraption (in their own image and likeness) that will in due course threaten the stability of our democracy and be a distraction to citizens and the leadership of our country, as the NGF tussle has done between 2012 till date. 

They failed to show leadership by example, when it mattered most. They played politics with everything and put their personal ambitions and egos above national interest. As a democrat, I believe in robust dialogue, disagreement and the need to accommodate a variety of opinions and consensus building where the national interest so dictates. Therefore, as true democrats and nationalists, whether we agree or disagree, it must be in the national interest. These they did not show throughout the crisis, even after the tireless and fatherly intervention of former President Olusegun Obasanjo who held series of late night meetings with us. Most colleagues took the view that both Governors Jonah Jang and Rotimi Amaechi should step down for a neutral candidate to emerge. Again, they disagreed.

The NGF is neither a political party nor a trade union but a voluntary association of governors who are the heads of federating units in our country. I believe that the duties are to provide a mechanism for peer review, a platform to collaborate with the federal government and amongst ourselves on issues of national security, law and order, management of the economy of the federation and strengthening our democratic values and practices. But contrary to these lofty ideals, the forum was used as a trade union and an alternative ‘federal government’ or an opposition platform.

The leaders of the NGF from the majority party have always tried to use it as a stepping stone to seeking higher office, and an instruments of the enforcement of their will on their political parties and the nation. From experience, the seeds of instability in NGF are always sown by out-going governors, foisting their favourite candidates on the in-coming ones. I disagree with this practice. The leadership of NGF has to be consensual, not by a divisive election and I agree that its chairman should come from the majority party with a vice chairman from the minority party and it should respect the principle of rotation between the north and the south for a period that the members may determine, not more than two years and not subject to re-appointment. The process of consultation by the existing PDP Governors’ Forum and the APC Progressive Governors’ Forum should commence regarding the desirability and procedures for bringing about its leadership after May 29, when the new governors would have taken office and therefore become active members.

From inception of the NGF till date, the leadership has always been surreptitiously put in place without the input of all members, especially the in-coming governors as new members, thus short-changing them. This is what the out-going members who have destroyed the forum plan to do. I disagree with this. I believe that the out-going members, most of whom allow themselves to tear the NGF apart, should just let things be.

One may ask, what is the hurry in summoning a moribund and divided NGF under its multiple leaderships, especially in the dying days of its actors whose clash of egos and ambitions brought about the crisis in the NGF in the first place?

Our nation and democracy cannot afford another NGF whose leaders will develop ambitions and use same to undermine the federal government or be a threat to the stability and peace of our country and their political parties. I have shared these views with Governors Amaechi, Jang, Akpabio and others. I have also shared it with some of the in-coming governors. Let all the issues of the NGF be handled by the governors who will be left after May 29. The secretariat should be told to receive the handing over notes from the two leaders and be prepared to give account when the need arises.

I appreciate the contributions and sacrifices made by our out-going governors and indeed, the sacrifices every one of us has made and will continue to make in the building of a prosperous, stable and democratic Nigeria. Happily, a number of the out-going governors will still be around in one form or the other. With their guidance and that of others, let the governors who are left after May 29 rise to the occasion.


The Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson
Governor of Bayelsa State
17/05/2015

JONATHAN ALLOWED HIS WIFE TO DENY BAYELSA OF MASSIVE DEVELOPMENT

JONATHAN ALLOWED HIS WIFE TO DENY BAYELSA OF MASSIVE DEVELOPMENT. 


May 17, 2015

Dame Patience Jonathan’s unsuccessful effort to undermine Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State backfired with the April 11 House of Assembly elections. This was the view of Chief Peretimi Akari, chairman of Bayelsa Grassroots Initiatives who addressed the media in Lagos yesterday adding that President Goodluck Jonathan allowed his wife, Patience, to deny Bayelsa state of development.

Chief Akari said his position stems from the resounding victory recorded at the just concluded polls, just as he said that his group has vowed to continue to expose all enemies of progress in Bayelsa State.

Chief Peretimi who literally relocated to Lagos in the heat of struggle to wrest Bayelsa from Patience Jonathan’s grip, said, “Bayesla State has spoken with the April 11 polls despite the show of shame by Mrs Jonathan and her political thugs. President Jonathan kept mum while his wife stifles the state of needed federal presence, just because she is not getting her ways, instead of the people, remains very disappointing. That beats us hollow.”

He stressed that, “Though Jonathan speaks on the need for Bayelsans to continue working with Dickson for a continued developmental stride since assumption of office three years ago, his actions are contrary as there has not been deliberate effort to support the state on infrastructural development from the presidency. Take a visit there and you will discover that all the projects in Bayelsa are state funded.”

He further explained that, “The truth is that the governor’s offence is bringing sanity to governance as he started by cutting costs from government house; put a stop to the inflation of salaries and getting the civil servants to sit up. That definitely did not go down well with the beneficiaries; especially, when he stopped the N250million that his predecessor was dolling out monthly to some cult groups.”

Another factor he pointed out was that before now, civil servants in the state hardly ever go to work except few days to month end when they come to collect their salaries. But the situation is changing.

He asked rhetorically, “Why would Mrs Jonathan be fighting a performing governor who has touched almost all the communities with his state-wide infrastructural development stride? What they are failing to understand is that Bayelsans were not for Jonathan, but mainly for the governor who has remained a grassroots person. And the embarrassing situation of the Bayelsa politics is why Dame Jonathan overstretched her luck instead of working with the governor to save the situation from damaging the party’s fortune.

“President Jonathan said recently to Bayelsans that, ‘I have noticed that you have been instigated by people who don’t like us… Don’t allow anybody to deceive you. I am telling you as your brother. I am telling you as your uncle. You must work with the government to make sure that we develop this state. You have to work with us.’

“In all this, an accusing finger points at Mrs Jonathan and the senior special assistant to the president on domestic and social events, Hon Waripamo-Owei Dudafa. We have it on record that Hon Dudafa, a former member of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, and a commissioner for local government and chieftaincy affairs under former governor, Timipre Sylva, has largely been used by Mrs Jonathan to undermine the governor.

Akari said it all started when Dame Jonathan tried hoisting Dudafa as deputy governor to Dickson, but the governor, rather offered him a commissionership slot, which he turned down.

“And instead of the president’s wife who was championing his case to see reasons with Dickson, Dudafa was taken to Abuja and elevated as a senior special assistant to the president on domestic and social events. Your guess of that position is as mine.”


SOURCE: Leadership Newspaper. 

Thursday, 14 May 2015

DEFECTIONS: BAYELSA GOVT BLASTS IKSIKPO; SAYS HE IS FRUSTRATED

DEFECTIONS: BAYELSA GOVT BLASTS IKSIKPO; SAYS HE IS FRUSTRATED

14/05/2015. 
The Bayelsa State Government has described as most uncharitable, the comments credited to out-going Senator representing Bayelsa-East Senatorial District, Clever Ikisikpo, during his defection to the All Progressive Congress (APC).

The lawmaker had while officially announcing his defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), alongside other lawmakers with their supporters at the APC national secretariat, said the Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, will soon defect to the APC. 


But a statement issued on Thursday in Yenagoa by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson, berated Senator Ikisikpo over his comments, noting that, the comments were made out of frustration "to dignify his perfidy and robe Governor Dickson into his dubious defection scheme."

He said, "A man who rose from relative obscurity through the platform of the PDP from 1999 as House of Assembly member and later to the National Assembly, serving as a two term member of the green chambers and from there rose through the shoulders of President Goodluck Jonathan to the Senate, could not even as a mark of honour and respect, wait for the President, his benefactor, kinsman and leader of a political party that gave him so much, to leave office before defecting to the APC. 

"It shows the height of desperation, treachery, mischief and blackmail perpetrated by some of the so-called PDP leaders, who worked to deny the party victory at the polls even against one of their own.

"As a government, we are not surprised at Ikisikpo's action and others like him. In fact, the public should expect many more defections in the days to come from those, who worked against candidates of the party in the recently-concluded House of Assembly elections. It is pertinent to state that, their leaving the party is of no consequence to the fortunes. We want to assure them that posterity will be the judge."

SUSPENSION OF BAYELSA PDP CHAIRMAN: WE HAVE BEEN VINDICATED.... PDP STATE SECRETARY

SUSPENSION OF BAYELSA PDP CHAIRMAN: WE HAVE BEEN VINDICATED.... PDP STATE SECRETARY

13-05-2015. 

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Bayelsa State says, it has been vindicated by the decision of an Abuja High Court ordering Retired Col. Sam Inokoba from parading himself as the State Chairman of the party.

In a statement in Yenagoa, the Secretary of the State Working Committee, SWC, of the PDP, Mr. Keku Godspower, noted that, the decision of the court has justified the action of the SWC to suspend Retired Col. Inokoba, over allegations of incompetence and ineptitude, including acts of financial impropriety in the alleged diversion of N70million donated to the party by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke for the Bayelsa Presidential rally. 

He was alleged to have pocketed N40 million and presented only N30 million to the PDP State Working Committee, which later discovered that, he actually received the sum of N70 million from the Petroleum Resources Minister.

It was further alleged that, angered by his suspension, he worked against his own Assembly candidate, Hon. Tonye Isenah of the PDP in the State Assembly polls, which is a clear case of an anti party activity.

While major stakeholders of the PDP in the Bayelsa State, are calling for the outright sacking of the suspended Chairman from his position and the party, Mr. Godspower Keku advised him to go and defend himself before the disciplinary committee over his alleged anti party activities, stressing that, erring members are going be disciplined to serve as a deterrent to others.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

PRESIDENT JONATHAN, CHIEF EDWIN CLARK, COMRADE JOSEPH EVAH, T.K OKOROTIE, ALAMIEYESEIGHA AND STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY ENDORSES GOV. DICKSON'S FOR SECOND TERM IN OFFICE: WHO'S NEXT ON THE LINE

PRESIDENT JONATHAN, CHIEF EDWIN CLARK, COMRADE JOSEPH EVAH, T.K OKOROTIE, ALAMIEYESEIGHA AND  STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY ENDORSES GOV. DICKSON'S FOR SECOND TERM IN OFFICE: WHO'S NEXT ON THE LINE


FEBRUARY, 06, 2014. 
ELDER STATESMAN AND FOREMOST IJAW LEADER CHIEF EDWIN CLARK ENDORSES GOV DICKSON FOR ANOTHER TERM IN OFFICE…SAYS ACHIEVEMENTS UNPRECEDENTED. 

His words: “You are now an Obama in Ijaw nation. Today, you have done what many people have not been able to do. You went to the place where the body of Boro was buried, exhumed it and today his remains are being re-buried. 
Today, you have changed the face of Bayelsa, particularly Yenagoa, the state capital. The structures are new… you have new infrastructure everywhere. What is not new? It is in this regard that, we have decided to present this to you to show to you that you have to serve a second term to change the face of Bayelsa State.”


JUNE, 04, 2014.
JONATHAN WON'T STOP DICKSON'S SECOND TERM ------COMRADE JOSEPH EVAH ENDORSE DICKSON.  

Bayelsa State is the homeland of the Ijaws. How do you rate the state governor?

Governor Dickson is much focused. You know that I don’t manage words about politicians. Governor Dickson, by every standard, symbolizes the Ijaw character and boldness. You know I criticized him when some youths were arrested for demonstrating over employment and, as a listening leader, he allowed the court to set them free. We have states in this country that force the court in their states to keep those opposed to their policies away in prison custody for years. You see, Dickson is desperate to develop Bayelsa and he is a selfless servant who will never compromise hard work to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people.

Is the governor’s relationship with the Presidency still cordial? Is there any plan to replace him?

There is nobody in the Presidency planning that. President Jonathan will never plan such a thing. The President is lucky that somebody who is prepared to work is there for him to have rest of mind in Abuja. The President and his wife are still pleased with Governor Dickson. Let me tell you the truth, no normal Ijaw person will talk about replacing Governor Dickson now.   Anybody thinking about that needs to re-examine his head. This is a governor that the speed with which the government took off has not yet abated. We know the kind of political class we produce in our region; 90 per cent of them are political gamblers. They don’t have conscience. So if we identify few that can work for the people we have to encourage them. There are few people proving to the world that we are in government. Hon. Kingsley Kuku and Mr. Patrick Akpobolokemi of NIMASA and few others are symbols. The secret of Governor Dickson’s leadership qualities and that of the likes of Ambassador Godknows Igali, Kingsley Kuku, Akpobolokemi and a few others is that they entered government to work for the people. So, the spirit of the struggle for mankind will push them to do their best for society. When my set of executives in Ijaw National Congress, INC, left the scene after the military era, the Exco that Governor Dickson belonged took over. I was the spokesman of INC when Abacha killed Ken Saro-Wiwa during the military era. Dickson cannot be a governor and do something else. It is God who saw the plight of Ijaw people and sent him to be governor. So anybody who tries to be funny with his mandate will face the power of the people and I believe he will never derail because the spirit of Ijawness is burning inside him. We pray he does not fail till the end of his Second tenure.  Jonathan won’t stop Dickson’s second term – comrade joseph Evah


SEPTEMBER 10, 2014
BAYELSA STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY BACKS GOV. DICKSON FOR SECOND TERM 

The Bayelsa State House of Assembly on the 10th of September 2014 during one of their seatings   backed the second term ambition of Governor Seriake Dickson.
The Assembly passed a vote of confidence in the governor in a move suggesting the “breaking of the second term jinx”.
The endorsement came a day after Dickson praised many groups for supporting his re-election bid.
Dickson also promised to consider endorsements of various groups and to respond to them.
The lawmakers acknowledged the governor’s efforts in transforming the state, especially in human capacity building.
They recalled their experiences when they toured many projects, including the re-modelled Assembly complex.
The lawmakers said they were impressed with the developmental initiatives of the administration.The Deputy Speaker, Sam Ateki, moved the motion endorsing the governor, which was supported by Jonathan Obuebite( Nembe 1).
The motion was unanimously adopted by other members.
Ateki said: “In the light of dwindling financial resources, Governor Dickson has performed beyond expectation in all the sectors of the economy and deserves a vote of confidence.”
The Speaker, Konbowei Benson, assured that the lawmakers would continue to work with the governor to build a united, peaceful and prosperous state.
He said the number of people-oriented motions and bills passed by the Assemnly would not have been possible without the lawmakers’ loyalty and dedication.


February 5, 2015. 
PRESIDENT JONATHAN PUBLIC ENDORSEMENT FOR GOV. DICKSON'S SECOND TERM

Public endorsement for the re-election of Governor Seriake Dickson in 2016 by President Goodluck Jonathan,
But the President said: “Those who don’t like the governor (Dickson) don’t like me because I am working with the governor. I have read stories. Some people are coming to spoil your minds.
“If you don’t like the leadership that we put in place then you don’t like me. So, don’t allow people to spoil your minds. I have noticed that you young people 0.4 per cent of you who are here have been instigated by people who don’t like us.
“But I am telling you that you must work with the governor of this state for you to benefit from us. We are together, we work together to bring dividends of democracy to this state. Don’t allow anybody to deceive you. I am telling you as your brother.
I am telling you as your uncle. You must work with the government to make sure that we develop this state. You have to work with us.”



MAY, 11, 2015.
BAYELSA GOV RACE: LET’S UNITE, JOIN FORCES WITH DICKSON — T K OKOROTIE …….. ENDORSES DICKSON’S RE-ELECTION. 

“Having lost power at the centre, we have to come together and be unified for a common purpose that can realistically help us to reposition Bayelsa State and the Niger delta for greater political relevance. It is imperative for all Bayesians and the entire Niger Delta region to remain committed in our support for Dickson’s Restoration Government. We have seen what he has done and his resolve towards the key interest of the Ijaw nation, which no one can wish away”, Okorotie stated.
He, therefore, cautioned the people against politics of greed and self-centeredness which, he said, were the bane of underdevelopment, adding that, true development can only be made possible when public spirited leaders were at the helm of affairs. 
This, he said, should be the concern of the people rather than cultivating cut-throat politics or the tendency to blackmail those in government.
While endorsing the incumbent Governor, Seriake Dickson, for a second term, which he said was based on his performance in office, he advised the people of the state to disregard attempts by those he referred to as “desperate politicians” to run down his administration, saying the governor’s record in infrastructure, education, health, urban renewal, economic diversification and general restructuring of the government to deliver on the welfare of the people were clear indications that he meant well for the state.


MAY, 08, 2015.  
ALAMIEYESEIGHA DENIES GOVERNORSHIP BID; BLAME MISCHIEF MAKERS…. ENDORSE GOV. DICKSON FOR SECOND TERM IN OFFICE

Chief Alamieyeseigha who  reaffirm his total support for the restoration administration of Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, expressed satisfaction with the performance of the PDP controlled Government in the State and called on all right meaning Bayelsans to rally round the second term bid of the Governor.
While reassuring Governor Dickson of his support, especially his second tenure bid, he called on Bayelsans to be focused and not allow themselves to be deceived by persons, who do not mean well for them
“Having served my people as Governor about ten years ago; I don’t have any intention to go back to Government House, after all I did not forget anything in Government House and nobody should draw me into such games” he stated.


MORE ENDORSEMENTS ARE COMING AND GOV. HENRY SERIAKE DICKSON WILL RESPONDS TO ALL  OF THEM AT THE APPROPRIATE TIME  


These endorsements so far was compiled by Saint Mienpamo Onitsha of the Bayelsa Social Media Team. 
Tuesday, May 12, 2015