TheNigerianVoice Online Radio Center

Gov. Seriake Dickson: Uniting The Ijaws For The Future

By Basoene James
Listen to article

The Holy Book says, my people perish for lack of knowledge. To this we can add vision, without which a people could equally perish. Peter Drucker, the father of modern management, spoke to the allure of fixating on the known saying, “The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence; it is to act with yesterday's logic.”

In the same vein, Dr. Seuss also asserted that you have brains in your head; you have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own, and you know what you know and you are the guy who'll decide where to go”.

All the aforementioned quotes point to the reality of good leadership and vision, without which a people may be groping for a long time without hitting their targeted goal. Again, whenever a leader emerges, the led should appreciate his vision and charisma in taking them to the assured destination. It was the unbelief of the Israelites in Moses’ leadership that made them to wonder in the wilderness for forty years. Now, we have a leader who is capable of charting a course for the Ijaw nation.

In the Ijaw nation today, lovers of good governance have come to recognize Governor Seriake Dickson as a leader, who is imbued with vision, pragmatic zeal and courage to be a rallying point of the Ijaw ethnic nationalities. (This does not include people who believe that governance is all about sharing money). History has also taught us that just as a musician is better appreciated when the orchestra ends, leaders in like manner are better appreciated when they leave the scene. There is a repertoire of literature of such leaders.

The Ijaw ethnic nationality is no doubt the fourth largest ethnic nationality. The people are spread across over five States of the Country, with a substantial number of them in the riverine areas because of their aquatic life style. One thing that has eluded the Ijaw nation over the years is the absence of a rallying point among the numerous leaders of the ethnic group. For now, the only Ijaw State that can serve as a rallying point is Bayelsa State where we have a Governor that was accommodating not only Ijaws from other States but also non-indigenes.

Today, under the leadership of Governor Seriake Dickson, non-indigenes have been given substantial recognition in the State. The crystallization of this fact is the appointment of non- indigenes into positions in government. Never in the history of Bayelsa State has any government embraced non-indigenes like that of the Governor Dickson Administration. Today, Ijaws at home and in diaspora read the body language and gauge the pulse of Bayelsa State before making any utterances or taking any decisions, recognizing that Governor Seriake Dickson has started the Ijaw Risorgimento. Governor Seriake Dickson has re-ignited the consciousness of the Ijaws about their culture, heritage and civilization.

Another rare quality of Governor Dickson is respect for elders. Governor Seriake Dickson treats elders with utmost respect deserving of them as dictated by the Ijaw traditions and culture. His policy that people should put on traditional dresses at least every Friday is a subtle way to revive the Ijaw culture. He has translated books in the several variants of the Ijaw language. He is pan-Ijaw in thought, word and deed. In fact Governor Dickson id obsessed with anything that has to do with the development of the Ijaw culture. That explains why he often refers to Bayelsa State as the Jerusalem of the Ijaw nation. Most people who understand the thrust of his administration are right in referring to Governor Seriake Dickson as the founder of the modern Ijaw nation.

The Restoration Administration is anchored on SHARED VISION. We have seen administrations in Bayelsa State where the Governor and His Deputy work at cross purpose. We have also seen administrations where the Executive and the Legislature had rancorous relationships leading to impeachments, litigation, and open confrontation. In the Restoration Administration there is share a vision between the Executive and the Legislature and an enviable, harmonious relationship between the Governor and his Deputy. This symphony of harmony attests to the caliber of people at the saddle and the degree of transparency with which they transact governmental businesses. Restoration is a TEAM.

Governor Dickson has a sense of mission. At inception, those at the saddle knew the state of the economy, the massively intimidating debt profile bequeathed by the immediate past administration and what strategies to adopt to escape the peonage of development deficit. This informed initiation and formulation of plans and programmes to kick-start the Restoration Agenda. The robust human capital development built-in component in the various Ministries and Agencies is an eloquent testimony to the pervading sense of mission, which all believers of good governance must come to terms with.

As a leader and patriot, Governor Seriake Dickson has won the admiration of all segments of the people, even though some youths still need emphasis on stomach infrastructure. One aspect most people find it difficult to understand about Governor Dickson is that no meeting ends without his mention of the need to empower the youths, because according to him, whatever infrastructure we build, whatever programmes we embark upon, whatever foundations we lay today is for the youths to consolidate. A Fulani friend describes Governor Dickson as soft spoken and peaceful but imbued with immense revolutionary zeal.

As a government, paucity of funds has been a major obstacle but things will surely improve. What we are experiencing is like the darkest period nearer the dawn. Paucity of funds can slow down the velocity with which projects are executed and the rapidity with which we execute projects but it cannot slow down our resolve to accomplish our ultimate goals – that of transforming Bayelsa State into the Jerusalem of the Ijaw nation. With Governor Seriake Dickson at the saddle, Bayelsa will be safely guided to her assured destination.

We are pursuing sustainable development to meet the needs of today without compromising the needs of future generations. The best way to go about sustaining the Ijaw nation is to build enduring structures for development. All these would have been accomplished by the year 2020 when his second tenure comes to an end and the Ijaw race would be better for it.

Bayelsa Social Media Chief