Governor Dickson Live Media Interview On His Stewardship
IN BAYELSA WE DO NOT OWE SALARIES AND ARE FOCUSED LIKE A LASER ON DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS THAT WILL UPLIFT OUR PEOPLE BECAUSE FOR US THE PEOPLE'S BUSINESS COMES FIRST
- Text of Governor Henry Seriake Dickson's Media Chat on Radio and TV on JULY 16 2015
Question: Your administration is about three years in office with a record of remarkable achievements. We have new road networks notably the three Senatorial roads and the Restoration Flyover as well as the four secretariat annexes, Police officers Mess, State Driving School , NYSC Camp Kaiama, Opokumo and others. One significant achievement is your ability to keep up regular payment of salaries of civil servants and political appointees unlike quite a number of states of the Federation and such that the Bayelsa State chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress is commending you on your regular fulfilment of your salary obligations. How have you done it?
Ans: You spoke about payment of salaries and everyone knows that in Bayelsa State we don't owe salaries, we are not in arrears of salaries. We are also not in arrears in paying retirees. Only yesterday, I met with the pensioners and they expressed their appreciation for the efforts of the government.
The only challenge we have is about gratuity which has lingered for about ten years . But in terms of regular payment of salaries, Bayelsa is not owing and we are also not owing pensioners.
What are the measures we have put in place? It's a combination of prudence and the selfless dedication of my team. For us the people's interest comes first and that's why even in my office for three months running, there has been no running cost paid. We don't also have overhead paid for three months now, all because we want to ensure that salaries of workers are paid.
These are for us first line charges and every government needs to treat this as priority payments. And so, God has been helping and my team has been supporting and dedicated and that's why we have been able to achieve what most states have not been able to achieve for now.
The bailout that States are getting, Bayelsa is not getting. Since Bayelsa is not indebted, Bayelsa is not given bailout because the bail out is for States that are indebted.
Yes, our commitment to contractual obligation to contractors is what we are thinking about so that development project works can continue, to see that at the end of the day Bayelsa is way up there.
Question : We however noticed a slight delay in recent months with regards to salary payments. What was responsible for that?
Ans: A delay of one week or two within the context of Nigeria is nothing remarkable. not what people should talk about. Let's not behave in a way that people will wonder whether we are descendants of the Israelites who complained about everything, even when Moses was leading them out of Egypt, asking "why are you taking us out of the land of Egypt to die in the wilderness?"
. Some of these delays are due to late transfers and remittances from banks,which I believe is being sorted out. And as the public holiday ends, I'm sure all those issues will be taken care of.
Question: While your government is in clear standing in terms of payment of civil servants worker's salaries, the same cannot be said of the local government workers. What is your administration doing about this? Will there be a bailout and will your government increase your supervision of local governments, especially as done by the House of Assembly recently?
Ans: I want to make it clear that as we have demonstrated the payment of worker's salaries, even in the face of financial difficulty at the state level the payment of worker's salaries should be made a topmost priority. That is the first thing you do when you receive allocations even before obligations that have to do with running of the office.
For three months running I've not received or permitted any remittances to my office. I never permitted any payment of security votes to my office because I felt that priority has to be given to salaries and pension because these are wages that have been earned. So we are very sad that the situation such as you describe exists at the local governments. The state assembly is vested with the constitutional powers to unravel the reasons occasioning that undesirable situation.
Well I don't want to pre-judge the investigation being undertaken by the House of Assembly but the revenues that accrue to councils has also drastically reduced due to the shortfalls in the allocation from the Federation account as we all get it from the same source. All the same our expectation is that payment of salaries should be given priority attention, especially because there is a deliberate policy since I took over not to interfere with Council funds and not to deduct any money meant for Local Government coffers.
Rather we pay 60% percent of the burden of paying teachers that they ought to bear away from them because of the importance that we attach to education. So with regards to local government salaries we are concerned because in the end I am Governor of everybody and we are running a government that has to protect everybody. And, I await the recommendations that the Assembly shall make from their findings and inquiries but from the preliminary reports I have received so far there is the possibility of our finding one way or the other to clear the backlog of salaries of Local Government workers.
We have a very difficult situation that we are managing ourselves but I find it unacceptable in Bayelsa that any worker going to work will at month end not have his salary. It is not acceptable. So on that score, by the time I get the recommendations of the House, I will meet with my team and we shall devise ways to support the Councils for the sake of the workers.
Let me make it clear because you also asked if we would tighten supervision. Local Government Councils as created by the constitution are autonomous and that is why we don't interfere in things that they do. We only give them general guidelines to be prudent and just as I have obligation to declare my income and expenditure, they also have an obligation and expect that they will be doing so. But we will take more than a passing interest in their financial issues and only as it relates to workers salaries.
Question: Your Excellency a few days ago you presented an instrument amounting to N46m to kick start the payment of the Bayelsa State Volunteers engaging about 3,000 youths, 600 of whom are graduates and 2,400 non-graduates. Could you please throw more light on this scheme?
ANS: The Bayelsa Volunteer scheme is being rejuvenated and for those who are talking about graduate unemployment, for those who are saying things that are politically motivated, this government has engaged more youths than any government before me in terms of public employment and public service at all levels.
We feel that we should start off with that. The Bayelsa Volunteers would start up a mechanism for training their members and imparting necessary skills in them for more permanent employment and productive enterprise. I said while presenting the instrument that every month they don't need to come to me as it will be treated as first line charge, as part of the general salary payment.
So all those beneficiaries, once salaries are paid, they will also get their allowances. They will be given opportunity to do a few things to earn a living, to earn one skill or the other. As I said earlier it is not intended to be a terminal end but stop-gap for the moment. It is to assist them find their bearing , assist them to cope with these difficult times pending when they will get something better and it will be nice for them to have this at the back of their minds before they start thinking they've got a pensionable job because that's not the amount they would need to make a living forever. I enjoin all of them to be law abiding and to be faithful to their assigned duties and to acquire the necessary skills and correct attitude.
Question: Your Excellency, the race for the gubernatorial polls is now weeks away and some members of your party, the PDP are jumping ship. What is your party doing to face up to the challenge?
Ans: Well, let me assure you that this state is a solid PDP State. In the last general elections we saw that a number of these big wigs did not support the candidate of the mainstream of the party, the flag bearer of the party, We won resoundingly and these were elections that were far more keenly contested and more complicated.
And we campaigned in every constituency. Opposing campaigns were sponsored by our own party members, party stalwarts and candidates were floated from all other parties against our platform but in spite of all interferences, in spite of all the intimidation PDP won resoundingly and you don't need to look too far. Politics is not magic that you just conjure victory overnight. No, victory comes as a result of a totality of a lot of factors. Just because we have lost to APC at the general election, some fair weather politicians are running to APC as if they can make APC win overnight. Politics is not so. You are talking of a party of three Senators out of three Senators, you are talking of a party that has five out of five Reps members, and even at the worst of times when PDP in Abuja was contending against PDP Bayelsa with the support of faithful party members that we enjoy, we won three Senate seats, five Reps seats, and won 23 seats out of 24. And one is now at the tribunal, though we still believe that even in that seat we should have been declared.
Now, you have eight local government areas, political appointees, commissioners, special assistants, board chairmen and members, you have almost one hundred and five counselors, How do you think you will suddenly, in two, three months almost overnight overthrow that kind of party?
And to cap it all you have a performing governor on ground who knows elections, who is giving effective, proactive and consistent leadership to the party, because if I were not in position to give that leadership, let me tell you by now you would not have PDP in Bayelsa. What with the forces that were arrayed against this state and against our party. For more than three years I contended against forces without complaining, stubbornly and rightly resisting them in the interest of this state, in the interest of the Ijaw nation.
This state is a solid, impregnable stronghold of the PDP. Most of these big wigs, for about 15 or 16 years, PDP made all of them seem big. When PDP needed them most, at the last general elections, and for some reasons rightly or wrongly, they supported other candidates, PDP defeated them.
And so while we are not happy that for whatever reasons most of these our brothers, friends and colleagues and they still remain our brothers and friends, even though we may not agree with them politically, there are no real disagreements. These are political disagreements so PDP still has enough room for all of them.
And let me use this opportunity to call on them that it is not too late for them to return to the big umbrella. The PDP umbrella is big enough to contain everyone of them. And let me assure them that if there is any thing I know about Bayelsans, this land of proud Ijaw people, it will resist any untoward political calculations. Such stance will not fly in Bayelsa.
This land of proud Ijaw people will not reward our adversary, our opponents will not be rewarded, the gang up that was formed against the Presidency in the previous election will not be rewarded. Bayelsans are wise people, very experienced people. They are not as gullible as what some of these people think they are.
They may succeed in spreading rumour, they may succeed in spreading propaganda but I assure you on the day of voting, Bayelsans will rise up, Bayelsans will speak with one voice, Bayelsans will vote defend their Ijaw home land. This Jerusalem of the Ijaw nation will not be handed over on a platter of gold to those who ganged up to humiliate us in this country.
They should look at the appointments that have been made so far and tell me which Ijaw man that has been appointed so far . They should be ashamed of themselves and their children should be ashamed of what their fathers are doing. Let them mention the appointments that have been made that are from Bayelsa.
This time calls for unity in Bayelsa. This is a time that calls for unity and cohesion. This is not a time to tear down this sacred land of Bayelsa. With what they are doing I'm sure Isaac Boro whom we brought back to bury will be turning in his grave to see if these are the leaders we have in Bayelsa. The late Harold papa Preye, the late Melford Okilo will be looking at these characters, who do not know what it means to protect the collective Ijaw national interest.
We in PDP feel that a party that has given us the first President from the acclaimed minority, the PDP remains the Ijaw peoples party. We know that this is politics and our constitution guarantees freedom of association. But beyond selfish interest, beyound selfish ambition there is a higher cause or interest, especially for those who claim the responsibility of leadership.
I am very confident the PDP led government in this state has done enough to count on our record of performance . If a governor in these trying period does even half of what we have done, people will clap for that governor.
Maybe they don't know that the Ogobiri bridge has prigressed . They should go and find out. The Bridge has extended to Ogobiri from Amassoma . What the APC fellows could not do for five years.
I took over 2012 and no one could smoothly access that road. We terminated that contract because it was a conduit pipe for fraud and awarded it to CCEC which is one of the best construction companies. In less than two years they completed it. Maybe they don't know that it's with the strategic intervention we made by giving Setraco three billion naira in partnership with Shell and NDDC that people can now drive to Nembe.
I hear the gentleman leading the APC said that road was not economically viable but the PDP government has made it economically viable. PDP has made all roads viable. We are constructing a road to Oporoma, we are constructing a road to Ekeremor with sand filling gone beyond Ofoni and we intend to move on.
The Road to Azikoro in this Yenagoa, they could not do it for five years. They attempted to demolish houses and that was all they could do but now it is completed. Look at the first flyover that is standing there as a testimony to our development efforts in our state and not to talk of the schools and schools and schools everywhere.
Again drive to the Five Hundred bed that is standing there as a marvel. The Diagnostic centre that is world class, with residential accommodation for doctors and other auxillary facilities are there. State building is not done overnight. When you have a government that has the vision and commitment for development, what you do is to co-operate to move the state forward.
Now we feel that with all that we have done, with the peace and security that have returned to our State, that these characters leading APC who only stole and stole even the lives of our young people Bayelsans will now have an opportunity very soon to say whether they want to return to those dark days. Well, who sees light and prefers to return to darkness?
I am here as a democratic governor, a champion of democracy and even where I am tested with some of the most violate situations or nasty propaganda, you have seen that I have not arrested any person or disrupted any meeting of the opposition for criticising me.
People are organizing rallies, including those who were throwing dynamites, shooting and killing people for declaring their ambition, for merely exercising their democratic right because that is their right.
It is our conviction that Bayelsans are not fools to listen to them and to believe that when they come you will have plenty of money. It's all lies. When the people leading APC and most of these characters were here, were you picking money on the streets of Bayelsa?
At that time shops were closing and people were leaving Yenagoa. That is not happening now because your monies are not stolen from Abuja. Your monies are not given to cultists, your monies are now spent where they should be spent - for the people's business. Are we content? I will say no, because our resources are limited but you all know that we mean well and to do the best that there can be.
When people come to you to tell you lies, please go to some States, they can't even pay salaries. Are the governments of Rivers State giving money to people on the streets or in Delta State? Some of these people if they were here could not even have paid civil servants salaries. Some of these people even borrowed money claiming to use it on payment of salaries but they stole it.
So Bayelsans, "shine" your eyes. You have a government that means well so all you need to do is to co-operate and be patient. We don't intimidate anybody, anybody is free to criticize and they are doing so, some are even choosing to defect to other parties. Back to your question, PDP would want all our party members and stake holders back. Even if you don't have political appointment, it does not mean you are not a party man or woman.
There are limited opportunities in government and this is a relay race where you run your own while others run their own but not that once you are not in government, you constitute yourself into a mindless opposition group.You should be grateful for a government that has given you opportunity to serve. The other one is not yet a political party. It is a conglomeration of people who craved to take power by all means against one of your own.
So we want to have them back but if in exercise of their political right they think otherwise, PDP is not shaken. The processes of reconciliation are open. I myself I'm open but no one should think that without you the party that made you cannot make other people, the party is bigger than anyone person. How the other party will organize themselves to face us is left to them but I know they are propelled by personal greed, personal ambition, in order to plunder the resources of the state for personal ends.
They are propelled by ambition to take power to favour their families, their friends and themselves. They are not doing what they are doing for the interest of the State and my people on election day will mobilize our men and supporters and will separate the boys from the men.
QUESTION: You talked about some projects which your administration has undertaken,you talked about the Ogobiri bridge and notably the flyover which is there for everybody to see even from the air . There are so many stories surrounding the flyover and some of these projects.I think some of these questions have been asked here before and you provided answers, some of your commissioners have also provided answers to some of these questions. One question that is still making the rounds is that if your administration truly funded some of these projects like the flyover why have they not been officially commissioned and put to use for the people's benefit.
ANS: All these projects in Bayelsa I wish to state unequivocally were conceived ,designed,funded and completed by the government of Bayelsa.There is not one that was not funded by the government of Bayelsa hundred percent and I believe everybody knows. .I think what happened is this. Everybody wants to be governor,every character, every body once you are 35 years develop a governorship ambition .Any position you hold you don't use it to help the people,you don't use it to work for the state,you use it to fight for governorship. That is what is happening in Bayelsa. So a lot of people who were not in Bayelsa have had the inordinate ambition but were intimidated by the performance of my government and they say Ah... with the way this man is going if we don’t throw stories around and take away the credit that should go to him and his government we won't be able to contest an election again so,so they started concocting stories to deceive the poor unsuspecting people of Bayelsa that these are federal projects..There is no Federal project that they will do and give you the money,there must be a contract,it must be in the budget and they will pass the budget,they will award it, and they will come and supervise it and finish it.First of all I am not a flamboyant governor. I am someone who believes that our work will speak for us. For example as we completed Amassoma road we started using it and we have been using it for almost a year. I didn't do any formal inauguration, when we started and finished Boro road, the road to Boro town a very historic centre conceived by Chief Okilo, but no governor could do it;probably some of them didn't have the time,because I believe that Chief Alamiesigha would have done it,I believe that Dr Jonathan would have done it if he had the time but I have completed that road and you have a brand new satellite city coming up.All these projects you see are state government- designed, state- government funded; there is none that I know as governor that is Federally funded or supported. Even the Airport ,we had to borrow N40 billion,the Assembly had to give me permission to borrow N40 billionth to do the airport ,and the airport is going on. They have finished sand filling ,they are doing the engineering works. By next year by the grace of God,we shall have delivered to the people of Bayelsa State a brand new airport.
These characters who are not serious they feel that politics is only about spreading propaganda and rumors and because some of our people are gullible,they listen to rumour more than even reality. Let me inform you that in the early days of my government some of these characters had met me. They said that there was no point in the programmes that I was initiating,that these Bayelsa people you don't work like this for them o! They said so,but I pushed on and they became intimidated.. These are not projects that any other person gave one naira for. If it were so why has the Federal Government not spoken,why have they not sent people to commission them? I didn't commission them because we were waiting for the former President to finish,we were trying to find time for him to visit, pay a state visit and he really really wanted to pay a state visit and he knew all these things I was doing,and he wanted to come here on a state visit and then I wanted to give him the honour of commissioning some of these projects. That bridge,I was in his cabinet and I saw the passion he had when he awarded that contract,the project was conceived by DSP but he didn't stay long enough to award it and when Jonathan took over,he awarded that contract to SETRACO. I was in the cabinet;and then we pushed it to a level before we left in 2007. When I came back I found that the project had long been abandoned but we have now completed it. So I wanted him to come and have the honour and I will still invite him to join me,but these are not Federal projects, nobody,no federal official serving or previous can take credit. They are all thanking me ,appreciating me for the vision and commitment and the dedication. So that is the situation.
Our opponents can't do anything,they don't mean well for you in this state. All they do is spread propaganda and deceive people that they will come and give you money.It is the small money for payment of salaries that they want to steal,that was why salary wage bill was N6 billion but we have brought it to N4 billion. They were stealing. That is why we are awarding contracts and getting them done. Even when they took bond they stole the money,they could have built these roads,they could have built even two fly overs but they did not. So we are planning to inaugurate some of these jobs next month because I now feel that our people like ceremony. And we will give them some ceremony. And we have a lot of commissioning to do. We will commission the Boro Town road done by us, we will commission the flyover,we will commission the Azikoro road which we did and finished although we allowed people to be using it . All these roads we did, look at the Secretariat we built, who are they saying brought money to build them? These are characters whose stock in trade is to spread propaganda. Let us see wait and see the characters that they will produce that can match us in terms of what we have put on ground.You judge them,all of them that are saying I want to be this or that and going to APC, judge all of them by their records from when they were special advisers, when they were commissioners. Check the records,you will see that this is a congregation of selfish, greedy people who think that this state exists to serve their private pockets and their families.Under my watch they have not succeeded,and by the grace of God and with your support we shall defeat them in Jesus name.
QUESTION: One Mr Tamilaf is asking this question: why were some 200 strong graduands abandoned after finishing their training in various places where they went for training. He is also saying that despite the promises to engage them in the civil service nothing much has been done in this regard.
ANS: Well it was this government that sent young people to Songhai but you see a lot of things have happened with the economy . Not many people in Bayelsa probably know that we are facing a very strong financial situation. People think there is so much money in government such that when you come to government house you just come with a truck and begin to pack money and they say often that the governor "no de release money". But they don't ask often whether there is money. Our programme of reintegrating them was affected but don't worry a number of the agricultural programmes that we thought they would be deployed into are getting completed. The poultry ,the piggery ,the cassava farm,the rice mills,a number of them are getting completed. It was funding constraints; the speed we were going at was such that if the revenue had not come down by now we would have completed all these projects and we would have been thinking of other ones.But we were slowed down and we are working on it. And I have also established a micro finance bank and this will interest those of you who were saying all kinds of things. You've got to work for yourselves . Too much dependence on people and government. For the micro finance bank in the next one or two weeks when we commission it, please try to open an account there and we are working with some partners to see how small facilities can be given to people to start their own businesses. So,this is an area that the Songhai trained farmers can fit into. You talked about civil service,again you don't just recruit people into the civil service,there are areas of need. Already we have an over- bloated civil service. Any body who is coming to promise you recruitment into the civil service does not qualify to be governor;tell the person so. But there are areas of need that we have identified for which employment opportunities are there.Medical practitioners,pharmacists and all the related are there; engineers,architects,and some other professionals.Agricultural officials have been briefed about the service, about the deficiencies in some of these areas and these are the areas we are looking at. Remember we employed 200 young people as forestry guards.We employ according to need and we would employ teachers very soon.
QUESTION: I am a teacher from CPS Akenpai primary School. Akenkpai primary school, located after Winners road is in a very bad shape. As I speak to you the teachers and pupils can't go to school because of this problem of the road. The road is flooded with water and grass, snakes have all taken over this road. Please tell our "talk na do governor" to help us rehabilitate this road.
Also please look into the bursary issue of Bayelsa students who are outside the country and then some within the country.
The clarification from local government chairmen that you have never touched a penny from their funds tells the story of your uncommon prudence and patriotism to our great state.Sir,keep doing it. The state is on track.
Then a related issue your excellency,we are satisfied with your stewardship so far,your stewardship in Bayelsa. However Bayelsans are not comfortable with the local government chairmen for paying themselves while other workers are starving.Your excellency would recall that some council chairmen were removed in August 2012 for similar reasons. What will happen to these ones? That question is from Dogo Ansara from Sagbama.
GOVERNOR DICKSON: Well let me begin with the last from my contriman Sagbama concerning the LGA chairmen. Well like I said it is an unfortunate situation. We will await the outcome of the Assembly investigation reports. When we receive it we will know what to do. But bear in mind that we are running a democracy where things have to be done properly. But we are very concerned about the issues raised issues about bursary. You know all these things are affected by the low revenue of the state. I mean there is no magic about it.and I don't know how to deceive people,I don't know how to deceive you. My commitment to our state and the Ijaw nation is to tell you the truth at all times. We have not been able to meet up our bursary obligations because we did not have the money to do so but we are reworking our finances because in this government,apart from using public funds to serve your common good we don't use it for any other purpose. The moment our finances improve and I keep working with my finance team and even this morning we were in a crucial meeting trying to reorganize the finances,we are committed to paying bursaries and we would do so in no distant time. About the plight of our scholarship students,and this is something that is very dear to our hearts,it was our restoration government that came up with this robust scheme where the entire commitment came up to about six billion Naira.so it was a major major burden for Phd students,for masters students and even for secondary school students. It is a massive scheme we initiated. We didn't do it to punish the students,we didn't do it to stress the parents and guardians it was an investment for the future of our state but soon after we started it the revenues went down and even as we speak Federal scholars are also in the same situation. Students who are abroad on Federal Government of Nigeria scholarship, the federal government that you would imagine has all the money also has the same problem. Other states,neighboring states are all in the same problem.I appreciate your concern and we are doing something about it. Just this week I have approved something for some of them in Lincoln and by the end of this month I intend to approve something again for some of them in Russia,in Malaysia,in the UK. But it is going to be a gradual process because we have to deal with the reality.
On the road at Akenpai,my commissioner for works will inspect that road by Tuesday after the public Holidays and see whether it is something we can accommodate. If it is a major job then we have to see how we can source the funds to do it.
QUESTION FROM MODERATOR Then another of your contriman from your local government , Sagbama ,his name is Austin,and he is asking: Sir,as regards Sagbama Electricity-When will the light come on?
GOVERNOR DICKSON: Thank you very much. In fact the commissioner I spoke with before I came here was the Commissioner for power. He has assured me that everything has now been put in place and we have the power that will be turned on very soon that will light up most of the communities in this state. We have virtually made the gas turbine in Imiringi to be new. We have worked with Shell and we have paid over N300 million for them to clear the arrears of gas they had given that the previous government did not pay. They had said unless we pay that they will not put it on. We have paid that so for those of you in Ogbia ,Nembe axis,you should know that your government has virtually bought a new gas turbine,we have installed it, we have worked with Shell and we have paid Shell another N 300 million just for you to have light but we are not stopping there. We are sending light to Nembe city,we are sending light to the entire area so when we go and start "Operation light up Bayelsa" you wilk see what will happen . We will go to Sagbama and light up Bayelsa, and it will take light to Ofoni that is the first phase and I was thinking and hoping that I will be able to award the next one that will take power from Ofoni to Ekeremor. But the first phase we have completed now; new transformers ,new substations ,new injectors everything new,awarded,funded,conceived and completed by us. There is light up to Agbero Odoni all those areas,there is light to in Kolokuma Opokuma,there is light in Amassoma.Amassoma that never had light before,we have given them light. We have given light to Yenagoa suburbs,Ogbogoro,Akaba,Famgbe,all that area. I am counting achievements; real, solid ones not something that people will come and promise and can never do,people who never had an opportunity to exercise authority over people positively except themselves they are the people talking.But we have worked for you. Our projects are there speaking and you the people of Bayelsa for whom we are working you should also speak for us. MODERATOR:Wilson Akpabio from Ray Power will take the next reaction.
WILSON AKPABIO: What is your reaction to the thinking in a section of the political elite that an incumbent governor will not stay to see the end of what he has started.
GOVERNOR DICKSON: There is no such jinx in Bayelsa. There is no such curse in Bayelsa . We are not a cursed people. This is a blessed land. Yes it was unfortunate the first elected governor ,he was elected,don't forget that ,he was reelected so people are saying things they don't understand maybe they were too young. Chief Alamieyesigha was elected in 1999, re-elected 2003.And he was almost concluding his second term when that unfortunate event occurred. Now the former president became governor, became candidate for the PDP and was on his way to winning elections when he was elevated for higher national assignment and responsibilities.Even my immediate past predecessor,my contriman,my friend,he is a friend and a brother,he is not an enemy,no no no.Thats not my politics,my politics is issue- based,no personal differences ,no personal antagonism. He is a friend and a brother still,but a friend and a brother that I disagree with.He has no vision for our state,does not mean well for our state and also those following him, like father like son, do not mean well for our state.Now he himself as bad as things were even when they were killing people won his party's nomination and could have been re-elected if he had not gone to court. He was the one who out of greed wanted to have one more year added to his eight years allowed by the constitution. On his own he went to court,his election was postponed and the Supreme Court disagreed with him so he miscalculated. And when they were rescheduled the political dynamics had changed.so it wasn't the fault of any Bayelsans. So please inform Bayelsans,there is this wrong notion that a governor will not complete his term or will not be reelected. Anyway the good thing is that by the grace of God,Bayelsans who are alive working with us on account of what we have done,on account of what we have achieved,on account of what we propose to do working together all of us we would make it possible for a governor to seek re-election, win a second term and hand over successfully to a successor in Jesus name.
I am consulting, I have been working to advance our development. I am aware that we are not where we will like to be yet, and I will be the first to acknowledge that, but you are also living witnesses to the fact that, for the past 3 years and more there has been a paradigm shift in almost all critical spheres of our lives and we are making progress. Even in the face of dwindling financial revenues of states. We need your support, we will continue to need your prayers, we need all genuine leaders of Bayelsa who mean well for this state, who mean well for the Ijaw nation, to stand and work with us.
This state does not only exist for those who call themselves politicians and political leaders. The interest of persons, the interest of family and friends cannot take precedence over the well being of our people. We are prepared to work with all of you and even with those who disagree with us because in the end we have no other state to call our own than this Bayelsa, the glory of all lands.
I have been working, consulting and praying, and with respect to the political activities that INEC has announced, I willbe addressing the state at the end of my consultations. Meanwhile, I call on you all, particularly the young people of this state, to whom the future belongs, to eschew violence, dont allow yourselvesto be used by so-called political gladiators, who do not mean well for you. For a number of those who mean well, supporting and trying to advise in areas they think we can do better, that is the right step to take.
There can only be one Governor of our state at a time, and the duty and obligation we owe ourselves is to support that person. I am open to consultation, am open to advice as I have always been, and we look forward to working with everyone as we march on to build a new Bayelsa. This is a very trying period as the Ijaw nation is under severe threat, and we have to maintain the sanctity of the headquarters of the Jerusalem of the Ijaw nation.
Moderator- Somebody who listened to you from Kaiama is very impressed and he says:" Your excellency, the good people of KOLGA, are saying a big thank you to you for the construction of Boro town road, construction of the NYSC orientation camp and the sport institute at Asuama. We appreciate all you have been doing and we want you to do more.We are in total support of your second term. Thanks." Murphy George from Kaiama.