The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate for the Bayelsa governorship election, Senator Diri on Tuesday promised to open up most of the communities in Southern Ijaw Local Government by creating more roads for economic development if elected.
Speaking at Amassoma, the country home of late Diepreye Alamieuegha during the campaign flag off of the party, the Senator stated that if elected, he would build on the gains of the present administration in the state.
Earlier, the party had declared that the first executive governor of the state, late Diepreye Alameiseigha never believed in the All Progressives Congress (APC) because according to the PDP, APC lacked proper political ideals.
The Vice Chairman of the Southern Ijaw Local Government Council, Pastor Perkins on Ogede, while speaking during the governorship campaign warned that the APC should stop using the name of the late Alameiseigha to curry political gains in the state, insisting that he never believed in the party.
According to Parkinson Ogede: “The APC should stop using the name of the late Alameiseigha to curry for political favour.
Everything in Amassoma, the Alameiseigha home town, was provided by the PDP. No other party brought a bucket of water to Ammassoma. It is a shame and betrayal for APC to make wrong and deceitful claims.”
Bayelsans deserve continuity of good governance – Dickson
Mr. Moses Dickson, a lawyer and entrepreneur, in this interview with TEMITOPE OGUNBANKE speaks on the Saturday governorship election and why Bayelsans should vote for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial candidate, Senator Douye Diri
What is your take on this weekend’s governorship election in Bayelsa State?
Like any other Bayelsan, I am excited at the auspicious opportunity presented for us to determine who succeeds Henry Seriake Dickson, the first democratically elected governor of the state to serve out his two terms. I am delighted at the stability and growth the state has enjoyed these past almost eight years and the window the forthcoming elections provide to determine our collective future as Bayelsans. It is my sincere hope that this election produces a winner that will sustain and surpass the quantum leap the state has made in the last almost eight years. I hope the electoral umpire will conduct a free and fair contest tapping from their experiences of this same exercise in this state and beyond and that security agencies will exude professionalism in support of a peaceful and credible election.
Who among the governorship candidates will you support and ask the people of Bayelsa State to vote for and why are you supporting and endorsing your chosen candidate?
Having studied the candidates vying in the next elections, I have reached an informed conclusion to support the Senator Douye Diri, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and enjoin Bayelsans to do the same. The reasons for my choice are not farfetched. Bayelsa needs a governor, who will hit the ground running and not a novice coming to experiment with the position. Senator Diri stands shoulder high above other aspirants in this regards as he has acquired and demonstrated competence, capacity and experience from years of long service in government at many levels.
Senator Diri’s candidacy should also be supported to sustain the long-established tradition of political justice that provides the opportunity for power rotation among the different senatorial zones of the state and the constituent local government areas irrespective on numbers and don’t forget that this same ideology granted our state and region an opportunity to produce a president of this country. It is instructive to note that SDD is from Kolokuma/Opokuma local government area in the Central Senatorial district which is one out of the remaining two local governments that has not produced a governor; acting or substantive in the history of Bayelsa State. He is a man with a listening ear and an impressive and sustainable policy document if implemented diligently.
What do you think Bayelsans will benefit if they return the ruling PDP in the state to power?
In the immediate, Bayelsans can be assured of the completion of projects initiated by the Restoration government by voting for Senator Diri. Educational milestones like the University of Africa, Medical University, the life changing boarding schools in all the senatorial districts not to mention the Ijaw National Academy, the free school feeding and other massive and aggressive educational initiatives such as the school loans and scholarships at all levels be sustained and improved on. Similarly, this election provides an opportunity for Bayelsans to enjoy the gains of sustainability in governance for the first time. The discontinuation of laudable policies and programmes by successive administrations has been identified as a major challenge to the development of any area. Bayelsans with this election should vote the Diri/Lawrence ticket to ensure the sustenance of the current pace development in the state.
Do you see the APC governorship candidate, Chief David Lyon stopping the PDP candidate?
It is important to clarify that there is just a single party on ground in Bayelsa and that is the PDP. Suffice it to say that the party has been in power since the return to democracy in 1999. In these years, the party to its credit has impacted positively on every household in Bayelsa. This, in turn, has translated to a viable and tested structure that ensures the mobilization of our people in support of the party. The PDP as a party has immensely championed the course of the Ijaw nation over the years. A clear demonstration of the commitment of the PDP to the Ijaw people is the platform provided for the emergence of an Ijaw man as Nigeria’s president despite our “minority” status. The APC as it is today is an assembly of disgruntled politicians driven more by an ambition to secure power than the need to foster the development of our dear state.
The good thing in all of these is that our people can see beyond the smokescreen and will again rally round the party that has shown the greatest commitment to the development of Ijaw land. Quote me any day that there is only one party our people know and trust and that’s the PDP and am glad to say even the business community I belong to have worked hand in hand with policymakers over the years to advance the cause of entrepreneurs and we feel committed to continue this partnership with the incoming governor, Senator Diri and his team.
What is your reaction to the disqualification of the APC deputy governorship candidate, Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, on account of presentation of false information to INEC?
The legal effect of the disqualification of the deputy governorship candidate of the APC in Bayelsa State under the Constitution and the Electoral Act except reversed on appeal, simply implies that the APC has no governorship candidate at all for the gubernatorial election. Justice Inyang Ekwo disqualified Senator Degi-Eremienyo over false information given in his Form CF001 submitted to INEC. The suit was instituted by the PDP against the APC candidate and the judge found and held that he gave false information in relation to his educational qualifications and went ahead to depose to an affidavit to correct the discrepancies. The judge held also that all his documents bore different names and therefore disqualified him from contesting the election.
By virtue of section 187(1) of the 1999 Constitution, a candidate for the office of Governor of a State shall not be deemed to have been validly nominated for such office unless he nominates another candidate as his associate for his running for the office of governor, who is to occupy the office of deputy governor and that candidate shall be deemed to have been duly elected to the office of deputy governor if the candidate who nominated him is duly elected as governor in accordance with the said provisions.
So, any ticket devoid of a joint running mate is automatically invalid, null, void and of no effect whatsoever because it is simply unconstitutional. The constitution envisions and has deliberately made a governorship candidate to be a tied with the deputy governorship candidate in any election, sharing the same unbreakable fate for better and for worse. One without the other is not competent to contest. So where a governorship candidate cannot, therefore, produce his running mate, his candidature lapses into natural and immediate extinction. My view then is that the APC has no candidate arising from that judgement and I am happy that many of my senior colleagues also share the same view.
What is your advice to Bayelsans as they come out on Saturday to elect a new governor?
I will ask Bayelsans to come out en masse to exercise their franchise via the ballot on Saturday. Furthermore, I would ask our people to reflect on the state of our nation at this time. Specifically, I would ask them to consider the promises the APC made to attain power at the federal level and what has become of those promises today and I am asking my friends in the business community here to understand that our businesses rest on policies of the government which either help our businesses grow or wind down. So, it will be regrettable if anyone believes the APC will achieve in Bayelsa, what it has failed to do with the enormous power and resources it controls at the centre and I am more concerned about my state.
We have made a lot of progress as a state. We are having an airport that will boost our businesses and link up more opportunities for us all and our state, we are having a Brass NLNG, we are making giant strides towards stable power for our businesses, we are having a seaport that will drive all other sectors and many more all under a stable government under PDP in the last seven years and we have to continue this stable and sustainable governance train.
I will also ask Bayelsans to vote for Senator Diri to ensure that the current peaceful and harmonious relationship is sustained in the years ahead. A vote for Diri is a guarantee that Bayelsans will continue to enjoy freedom of expression and association irrespective of their place of origin, religious or political persuasion. I believe Bayelsans from all walks of life will again affirm with their votes their preference for the party that has contributed immensely to the development of the state. I believe Diri, like Dickson, will leave behind a better Bayelsa than he met it.
Oshiomole to Bayelsans: Vote massively for APC
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, yesterday urged Bayelsans to vote massively for the party in Saturday’s governorship election in the state.
Oshiomhole, who spoke in Yenagoa during the grand finale of the party’s governorship campaign, advised Bayelsans not to make the mistake of voting for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which according to him, kept them in darkness for eight years.
Accusing outgoing Governor Seriake Dickson of mismanaging Bayelsa State resources, the APC national chairman further alleged that the governor was intoxicated by power to the extent that he disrespected even leaders who helped him to power.
He added that Dickson belongs to history because the election for his successor would be decided by the electorate and warned the governor against resorting to violence, saying such desperate move would further plunge him deeper into problems.
His words: “Dickson is panicking. How can he not panic when the real Lyon has arrived? Who will not panic when you cannot point at the schools you have built and a Lyon is coming?
“Won’t you panic when you borrow as much as Dickson has borrowed to do things that people cannot see and now a Lyon is coming to ask questions?”
“He knows the meaning of poverty and he understands how poverty dehumanizes. He has struggled against forces and he is an example of what is possible when a man is focused.
“I believe that the people of Bayelsa State by coming out to vote for Lyon, will be making a bold statement that in democracy anybody who is focused, determined and relate with people and community can be supported to a position of authority.
“Dickson will soon find out that democracy is a leveler and an equalizer. In an election, you are either a winner or a looser. As we come out on Saturday, come out and cast your votes for APC. David Lyon is a home-bred man. He has been using his resources to take care of his people. When he becomes governor, Bayelsa will change.”
Also speaking, a former governor of the state and Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, said Dickson has received over N1 trillion since he came on board, but there is nothing to show for it.
Insisting Dickson’s government was a failure, Sylva accused the PDP of attacking APC members in the state and shopping for court judgements to stop the opposition from contesting the election.
He said: “Governor Dickson said he had built an airport. A few days ago, he brought some people to come and walk on the tarmac. I thought he was going to bring planes to land on the tarmac. The biggest shame is that the airport is the most expensive airport in the world.
“So far, Dickson has spent N91 billion. He owes N58.2 billion on the airport to banks. So, you can see why Dickson is very desperate because he knows that he has taken Bayelsa people for a ride. He knows that he had done nothing and he had taken us into debt more than anything else.”
Lyon, in his speech, said he has what it takes to take the state out of the woods. “I’m close to you people and let me assure you that Bayelsa will see light under me. For eight years insecurity has been the order of the day, but I have what it takes to solve the problem of insecurity. APC is not coming to deceive you people like PDP did for eight years.”
Boro’s kinsmen declare support for DIri
Kinsmen of late Ijaw freedom fighter, Major Isaac Adaka Boro, yesterday, declared support for the gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri.
They stated their position at the historic and symbolic town of the Ijaw struggle during the party’s mega rally in Kaiama, headquarters of Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area.
Governor Seriake Dickson, who addressed the rally, expressed joy that victory is already awaiting the PDP in Saturday’s election.
The governor, who was full of praises for the people of the area, expressed confidence that PDP would emerge victorious at the poll.
His words: “Your massive turn out is a clear indication of your total support to the PDP and I am sure that you are ready to give your votes en bloc to Senator Douye Diri, who is an illustrious and worthy son of Kolokuma.
“I want Kolokuma/Opokuma people to remain focused, peaceful and united and rally round Senator Diri because the task ahead is a collective one.
“I urge you all to turn out in your numbers this Saturday to deliver him as the man I will hand over to come February 2020 as the next governor of the state.”
Chairman of the state PDP, Mr. Moses Cleopas and the Director General of the PDP gubernatorial Campaign team, Dr. Nimbofa Ayawei, urged the people to reciprocate the huge investments that the PDP-led government had made in their area by giving the party bloc votes.
In their separate solidarity speeches, the immediate past speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Tonye Isenah and a former Special Adviser to on Domestic Matters to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Hon, Waripamowei Dudafa, urged the people to work for the Diri/Lawrence ticket.
Earlier, Governor Dickson had presented Senator Diri as the PDP governorship candidate to the Ibenanaowei of Kolokuma Kingdom, King Agara Onya Mozi at his palace, where the royal father gave his blessings.
Wada charges electorate not to be deterred by threats of violence
The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for this weekend’s governorship election in Kogi State, Engr. Musa Wada, has urged the people of the state not to be deterred by threats of violence and come out to vote.
He gave the charge yesterday at a rally in Ayingba, Dekina Local Government Area of the state.
Attributing the huge crowd at the rally to the people’s determination to vote out the APC-led government in the state, Wada said: “Nobody gave you one naira to come here. You are here because of interest, determination and desire to end maladministration, poverty, lack of salary payment and development decay that characterized the APC government in Kogi State.
“I want to assure you that your sacrifice to liberate the state will not go unnoticed because my first priority as governor, if Allah permits, will be total human and physical development.
“I want enter into covenant with you that I will not compromise in the provision in my ‘rescue mission’ agenda as I will review all the injustice done to you by the present APC government in Kogi State.”
Wada, who assured the people and the electorate that their votes will count, called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), police and other security agencies to be professional in the discharge of their duties before, during and after the election.
It won’t be a taboo for Bayelsa to have a female governor – Clement
Blessing Clement is the candidate of the Mega Party of Nigeria (MPN) for this weekend’s governorship election in Bayelsa State. In this interview with PAULINE ONYIBE, she speaks on why she wants to govern the state
Nigeria has never had a female elected governor. What is your driving force in the contest for the Bayelsa State governorship position?
I am a grassroots politician and I have been in politics since 1999 and I have contributed a lot to the development of Bayelsa State. Some people say there is no way a woman will be a governor of a state, but in other countries, women are involved in governance more than men. The idea of a woman becoming governor is not a taboo, but should be seen as a welcome development. So, I think the time for Bayelsa State to produce a female governor is now.
Considering the performance of previous governors of Bayelsa, what is that distinctive difference you intend to make to change the political narrative of the state?
You know that we women don’t play politics of violence, rather we play academic politics and we reason very well. I will reshape the political landscape of Bayelsa State and that would be achieved through peace. You know that women are peacemakers. If you go to the National Assembly, women are there and they are also in the states Assembly. There are also women serving as ministers. So, if I become the governor of Bayelsa State, there is nothing wrong with that. Women don’t fight; we don’t carry guns, so we can use women to bring positive changes in Bayelsa State.
How would you ensure peace in Bayelsa if you become governor given the volatile nature of not only the state, but the entire Niger Delta region?
I have a nine-point agenda that covers areas such security, jobs for the youth, education, infrastructural development and health, among others. When all these are in place, there will be absolute peace in the state. Through empowering the youth, we will ensure because violence comes as a result of hunger. If you come across someone, who is hungry and you say just one word to that person, violence occurs. I have intimated the people about my agenda and everyone is overwhelmed that I am the only one talking about peace in Bayelsa State.
Who is your political mentor given the role political godfathers’ play in Nigeria’s politics?
I will say that God is my political mentor because we said that we don’t need the godfathers. We need just God on our side. You know that godfathers run Bayelsa politics and we only respect the elders and royal fathers. Those are the people that we will look up to as our mentors.
You said you have a nine point agenda,what exactly is your plan for the agriculture sector in the state?
In 1999 when Diepreye Alamieyeseigha was the governor of the state, he bought tractors, but all those tractors are there unused. We have good land for farming. So, we will register every farmer in Bayelsa State and distribute the tractors to them. We will also give loans to the farmers. Gone are those days when we used machetes and hoes to work until we are tired. When you go to the North, you see tractors to clear farmlands and that explains why they have food.
What is your plan for education?
Education is the most powerful tool for development and the most potent weapon to fight poverty. So, I will declare free education at the nursery and primary levels and reduce the cost of school fees for students of secondary and tertiary institutions. I will adequately pay the teachers’ as well as take care of pensioners’ gratuities.
How do you intend to tackle youth restiveness in the state?
That is why I am talking about security and job creation. I will engage the youth in community policing and they will partner with police. You know when you engage these youths; they won’t have to think about criminality. There is so much criminality in the state because these youths are not gainfully employed. Also, we will establish skill acquisition centres in the various local government areas of the state.
How do you intend to boost the revenue base of state in order to fund the programmes you intend to embark on?
Apart from oil, we have enough sand in Bayelsa State to produce glasses, so I will ensure an enabling environment that will attract investors. You know that industries will bring more revenue, so industries like the plastic factory would be revived for our youths to be employed.
Do you intend to run these industries through Public Private Partnership (PPP) or as government owned ventures?
Bayelsa State receives about N20 billion or more every month and the question is: how much is the state’s wage bill? But despite the allocation which the state receives from the federation account, workers in Bayelsa are not being paid. I can’t partner with other companies. I am a businesswoman and I know how much it took me before I become an entrepreneur. I came here since 1989 and some people just came to this state and became governors because they have godfathers. When there is no godfather, all these I have listed can be done. I can’t partner with any company because after some years, they will take all their money back and the company will close down because it is not our own. Go to Akwa Ibom State and see what Governor Udom Emmanuel is doing. He is not running those things through private partnership.
You said that the state receives more than N20 billion every month from the federation account, but sometimes government claims that there is no money to run the state…
If anybody tells you that there is no money to run the state, that person is being economical with the truth. Let me tell you, there is no way you will say that there is no money to run this state that has eight local governments. I don’t want to believe that. I am telling you that I came here in 1989 and I know the problems of Bayelsa. As a businesswoman, I know the capacity I have and you are talking about a state. Do you know that I can bring an industry by myself ?
What is your plan for the Oloibiri oil well?
My leadership will not be for only Ogbia. My concern will be for Oloibiri. That oil museum has to be built. The president has to visit where the oil was first found. That oil well was the first in Nigeria, but that place is now a forest and criminals can hide there. The Oloibiri oil well is just like a first child in Bayelsa State and in the entire Nigeria, but as I talk to you, I don’t think that President Muhammadu Buhari knows where that oil well is.
What is your idea about a local refinery?
A local refinery may not get the approval of some people because of oil pollution, but I will liaise with the Federal Government to do it and be paying taxes to the federal government
Do you believe in resource control?
That is what our people are fighting for. But that is not a day’s job because the same resource has been bringing problems. So, that will be followed gradually.
The Bayelsa State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (BASOPADEC) is supposed to have been on ground to ameliorate the sufferings of the oil producing communities through the 13 per cent derivation. Other oil producing states have established theirs, but Bayelsa is yet to do that. Do you intend to see to its take-off if you come on board?
I will ensure the establishment of the commission because the process is on even though it has not been completed.
What are your plans for the women folk?
I have 40 per cent position for the women, while the remaining 60 per cent will go to the men.
Vote buying has become a norm in Nigeria’s politics. What is your take on it?
Our people are wise now enough not to sell their votes and I am assuring you that not only members of my party, but members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are the ones, who will vote for me in this election. The PDP and APC will bring the money, but the people will collect it and still come out tovote for Mega Party of Nigeria (MPN) because it is the party of the people.
What is your advice to the youth ahead of Saturday’s election?
I have already counseled the youth in the state on the dangers of allowing themselves to be used by politicians. In all my campaigns, I have been telling them that these politicians have their children abroad, but when elections come, they will use the ones at home to perpetrate violence and even use them to kill their brothers and sisters. After the elections, they will abandon them and they will become sea pirates and armed robbers. I have already educated the youths. I have been sounding this warning and I think that explains why a lot of them are now becoming sensible.
What is your expectation as we go into the election?
Every one of us should abide by the law because the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and police authorities have persistently stressed the need for all the political parties to play the rules, but you know that the APC and PDP are the two parties that always cause crisis.
What do you expect from the security agencies?
The security agencies should take their duty very seriously because they have been deployed to secure every one. They are not coming here for only the APC or the PDP. They are coming here for all the contestants. Of course, we know those going to the field. It may not be more than four of us, but as the iron lady of Bayelsa State, I am going to win the election.
What would happen to the projects initiated by the present administration, which are likely not to be completed before it leaves office?
I will not abandon any project because I will continue from where Governor Seriake Dickson stopped.
Kogi guber: Deployment of Bello’s ex-ADC invitation to violence, PDP tells IGP
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said the deployment of CSP Usman Musa, former ADC to Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello to coordinate security in Saturday’s governorship election in the state is an invitation to violence and bloodletting.
The party in a statement Wednesday by the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, alleged that CSP Musa has been compromised and directed by the governor and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to use excessive force, intimidate and arrest voters.
CSP Musa had been transferred to Lagos but PDP said he was deployed for the election to do the biddings of the governor and the APC.
“We have also been made aware of directives by the APC and agents of Governor Yahaya Bello to shoot and kill during the election to aid the manipulation of the electoral process for the APC,” PDP further alleged.
It called on the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to immediately reverse the deployment as it could lead to a breakdown of law and order.
Edo APC crisis: NWC sets up Fact-Finding/Reconciliation Committee
… Gives nod to suspension of state party chairman
To address the crisis in the Edo State All Progressives Congress (APC), the National Working Committee (NWC) has set up a Fact-finding/Reconciliation Committee.
The party took the decision after its meeting Wednesday but, however, it did not give the names of the members of the committee.
In the statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, the NWC upheld the suspension of the Edo State APC chairman, Hon. Anslem Ojezua by the factional party executive in the state.
The factional state executive had on Wednesday suspended the state party chairman, Edo State governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, his Deputy, Hon. Philiph Shuiabu and the Secretary to Edo State Government (SSG), Osarodion Ogie.
The NWC was, however, silent on the suspension of the governor, his Deputy and the SSG.
Onilu, in the statement said: “The NWC has watched with grave concern the political development within the party ranks in Edo State and is deeply disturbed by the recent turn of events. We note that this is happening in spite of the various steps the party has taken to find an amicable resolution.
“Recall that party leaders such as the Chairman, Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; Chairman, Progressives Governors’ Forum (PGF) and Governor of Kebbi State, Alhaji Abubakar Bagudu, and other eminent party leaders, had all tried at various times to ensure that the issues do not escalate.
“Sadly, these interventions have not yielded the desirable results.
“However, the immediate concern of the NWC is how to ensure that unity returns to the ranks of the party in Edo State. In achieving this, we have decided to constitute a high-power fact-finding and reconciliation committee of party leaders to meet with all disputing parties to ensure that all issues are addressed and resolved.
“Meanwhile, the meeting of the NWC, which held today, Wednesday, at the Party’s National Secretariat received a notification of the suspension of the Edo State APC Chairman, Anslem Ojezua by 11 of the 16 members of the Edo State Working Committee (SWC). We have reviewed the process they followed and conclude that they have fulfilled the required conditions.
“We therefore uphold the suspension of the Edo State APC Chairman, Anslem Ojezua while we await the outcome of the Fact-finding and Reconciliation Committee.
“Please note that the NWC’s objective and cause of action is strictly to address the root causes of the disputations and reconcile all parties to make our great party even stronger.”
Kogi poll: Large crowd at Ayingba for PDP rally
It was the ‘mother of all rallies’ on Wednesday at Ayingba, in Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi State, when the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Engr. Musa Wada held his final campaign rally against Saturday’s election.
The mammoth crowd, which came from the nine local government areas in the Eastern part of the state, arrived the CMML Senior Primary school at Ayingba where the rally took place as early as 8am, to listen to the PDP candidate and his running mate, Hon. Sam Aro.
Our correspondent who was at the rally ground reports that the governorship candidate, who arrived Ayingba about 2:30 pm, could not get to the venue of the campaign ground until about 4:30 pm, due to the size of the surging crowd.
Engineer Wada, while addressing the people, attributed the large number of crowd to the people’s determination to eradicate the hungry-laden government of the APC in the state.
“Nobody gave you one naira to come here, you are here because of interest, determination and desire to yourselves, and the entire people of the state, from maladministration, poverty, lack of salary payment, development decay as characterised in the APC government in Kogi State.
“I want to assure you that your sacrifice to liberate Kogi State will not go unnoticed, because my first priority as governor, if Allah permits, will be total human and physical development,” said Wada.
Give chance for peaceful elections, NGO tasks Bayelsans
A nongovernmental organisation known as Search for Common Ground has tasked all the relevant stakeholders involved in the Bayelsa State governorship election to give peace a chance as Bayelsans go to the polls.
Speaking in Yenago on Wednesday, the Media and Communications Coordinator of the NGO said it was greatly concerned with this bad development, seeing the provocative actions of political party supporters and hate speeches coming from the two major parties in the state.
The group said: “This constitutes serious danger to the election and period beyond. For instance the carrying of coffins during campaigns with inscription of another parties name on it. The numerous verbal attacks by the governorship candidates and party supporters using online platforms to post derogatory comments about their opponents.”
The group said that women have expressed fear to vote after witnessing a violent campaign that included open death threats between opposition party supporters.
Tinubu: PDP ran 16 years of irresponsible govt
Deep reflection crucial in political leadership – Osinbajo
ational Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has described the 16 years (1999-2015) during which the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ruled Nigeria, as a period of irresponsible, spendthrift governance.
Tinubu stated this yesterday in Abuja at the public presentation of “The Challenges of Good Governance in Nigeria,” a book written in honour of Chief Bisi Akande, the pioneer Interim National Chairman of APC and former Governor of Osun State.
The former Governor of Lagos State who bemoaned the challenge of governance in Nigeria even before the rebirth of democracy in 1999, described the period of military rule as one in which few people benefitted unduly at the expense of the majority.
According to him, not much changed with the return of democracy as the then ruling party failed to fulfil the dreams and aspirations of the people.
“This process went on for years. It distorted our society. Our institutions became so corrupted that they often worked against their stated purposes. Vice became virtue. Governance turned into misgovernance and then misrule. Wrong became right.
The social contract at the core of our collective existence was being disregarded if not discarded, not by the people but by those who led them. But justice and hope do not disappear,” he said.
Tinubu recalled that it was that scenario that propelled the formation of the APC to correct the situation of poor governance in the country.
He, however, lamented that certain forces which preferred the old order still erected obstacles to good governance in the first four years of President Muhammadu Buhari, by enthroning reactionary elements – Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara – as leaders of the National Assembly.
The situation, Tinubu said, created a sour institutional relationship between the presidency and legislature and hampered the delivery of good governance.
“You might recall that not too long ago the ability of this government to deliver on key aspects of its mandate was hampered because the National Assembly was controlled by reactionary elements that fought for business as usual and against reform.
“This situation has been corrected by the sovereign will of the people during the last election. What emerged is a new National Assembly leadership committed to progressive reform. As a result, we have seen the quick passage of the historic Deep Offshore (and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract) Act, which substantially amended the financial terms of deep offshore oil production. Because of this, government will gain billions of dollars in new revenue to be used for the development of our economy, its infrastructure all for the ultimate benefit of the Nigerian people.
“This achievement is not an isolated occurrence. It is a harbinger of other reforms to come now that the president has a reliable partner in the current National Assembly. History will look back and record this as a key moment in our progress as a nation. However, this moment would not have been possible but for the formation of the APC,” he said.
Tinubu paid glowing tributes to Akande, describing him as a mentor and friend, without whom the emergence of the APC could have been thwarted by forces out to frustrate the birth of a new political order.
“I have had a chance to take a cursory look at the book. The author has identified challenges to governance which are institutional, psychological, political and economic. Many of the issues raised in the book are matters of the deepest concern to our party, APC, and of President Buhari’s administration,” Tinubu said.
In his remarks titled “The Value of Introspection.”, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said deep reflection is crucial in political leadership and is the difference between transformational leadership and the banal.
“Anyone who has paid attention to Chief Bisi Akande and his political life will notice that he also observes that tradition of documenting his thoughts on governance, on the responsibilities of those who govern.
“So, you may have come across his books; “A Fresh Start in Osun State”, “Moving Osun State to Prosperity”, “The Inner Minds”, “The Drama of Fate”, where he reflects on the challenges of sub-national governance and his prescriptions based on his experiences.
“The deeply reflective style always endures and ensures that he always provides the personal human dance of fate and circumstances that attend all human effort in politics.
“A major benefit to society of the individual reflection of its leaders is that they explain complex ideas with their own peculiar wisdom and expression.
“So in trying to define this phrase that we use so often and we all seem to know what it is even without defining it, that phrase “progressive politics” or governance, Baba Akande simplifies it as a teacher would and I quote him:
“This tradition of converting the birthdays and celebrations of our leaders to moments of reflections is an important one and I urge that our tendencies continue to do so.
“I was privileged to speak on the subject of reforming our electoral laws at Chief Bisi Akande’s 70th birthday, how time flies. Every year since 2008, we devote the 29th of March to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s birthday to the Bola Tinubu Colloquium where we take as deep a dive, as a one-day event will allow, into matters of importance into governance or our political economy.
“It is the duty of leadership to continue to reflect, to write, to debate, the rigour of our thoughts and ideas and the discipline of execution that will lift our people from ignorance and misery to wealth and prosperity,” he said.
VP Osinbajo noted further that, “A tradition of our political tendency is that of introspection or reflection. By our tendency, I refer to that established by Papa Obafemi Awolowo, which in spite of its various iterations and versions, we all agree to describe as progressive politics.
In response to the eulogies heaped on him, Chief Akande expressed appreciation to the author of the book, saying it couldn’t have come at a more auspicious time than now when Nigerians want to ensure that good governance thrives in the country.
Akande described low quality of education as the greatest obstacle to good governance in Nigeria.
According to him, education remained the most important key to unlock human potentials.
“In Nigeria today, however, the numeracy and literacy contents of our education is too low compared with those of the people that once colonized and amalgamated our various communities into what they christened as Nigeria over a century ago.
“Our knowledge of science and technology remains so perverted by our low education that while the global economy is being driven by technology, industrialization and hardworking, Nigerian economy is largely being driven by prayers, rituals, and miracles.
“The truth is that the most potent and lasting miracles are found in workable planning-based accurate data interpretations, critical path analysis, and devotion to duties.
“Any country that fails to plan properly is planning to fail woefully. We therefore need to rework our school curricula, retrain our teachers and re-write our laws to give higher quality to our education. We must also reposition and re-restrategise our finances to spread the high quality of education to every corner of our country,” Akande said.
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