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BAYELSA GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION AND THE NON-EXISTENT POUND OF FLESH

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~~~ Most Senior Comrade Wisdom Oniekpar Ikuli aka Mirror and Conscience of Society.

As Bayelsans countdown to the 11th November, 2023 Governorship Election and preparations for formal commencement of campaigns intensifies, political players, pundits and watchers have beamed searchlight on the two leading Candidates, the incumbent Gov Douye Diri and Chief Timipre Sylva former Governor of Bayelsa State and immediate past Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.

Senator Douye Diri has spent less than four(4) in office as Governor while Chief Timipre Sylva spent five(5) years in office as the third Executive Governor of Bayelsa State and another four(4) as Minister of State for Petroleum Resources. But despite the above, unbiased surveys by several organizations have put incumbent Gov Douye Diri far ahead of Chief Timipre Sylva the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in performance index and other areas including leadership responsibility and disposition.

One of the highest surveys is the one that was carried out by Hon. Israel Sunny-Goli, the immediate past Member of the Federal House of Representatives that represented Brass-Nembe Constituency, the both Local Government Areas that Chief Timipre Sylva hail from.

Hon. Israel Sunny-Goli is not just an ordinary Bayelsan, he is a critical stakeholder in Bayelsa State and the Ijaw Nation by all standards and ramifications. But very significantly is the fact that he is the closest ally of Chief Timipre Sylva. He is often described by many as the First Political Son of Sylva and the most outstanding Field Commanders of Sylva’s Foot-soldiers.

Hon. Israel Sunny-Goli’s permutations and unbiased survey result that is widely circulated places incumbent Gov Douye far ahead of Chief Timipre Sylva in all the Local Government Areas in Bayelsa State.

Everyone that know Israel Sunny-Goli know that he meant everything that he said. Bayelsans know that he is not among political jobbers who will tell Sylva what he wants to hear because of their quest to get their share of the Petroleum Cake before abandoning him in the last minute and jumping ship to join performing Gov. Douye Diri who is the choice of majority of Bayelsans.

UNBIASED ASSESSMENT OF THE ADMINISTRATIONS OF GOV. DOUYE DIRI AND CHIEF TIMIPRE SYLVA IN SOME KEY AREAS

At this point, it is pertinent to assess the administrations of Chief Timipre Sylva and incumbent Gov. Douye Diri in the areas of:

  • ROAD CONSTRUCTION
  • CIVIL SERVANTS WELFARE AND PENSION
  • SECURITY
  • PEACE AND UNITY
  • POLITICAL STABILITY
  • EDUCATION
  • HEALTH
  • AGRICULTURE, etc.

Road & Bridge Construction

While Sylva and his supporters are boasting about construction of sixty (60) internal roads that never lasted, supporters of incumbent Gov Douye Diri are not making noise about the Expressways and Highways with legendary Bridges that Gov. Douye Diri is building.

Gov. Douye Diri does not believe in playing politics with the development of Bayelsa State and that is one of the reasons he is not talking about the signature projects particularly the roads and bridges that he is building including the Nembe-Brass Road that Sylva had opportunity to build but said it was not economically viable.

The Sagbama-Ekeremor Road, the Yenagoa-Oporoma Road, the Glory Drive, Opolo-Elebele Road, the Igbedi Road, Nembe Unity Bridge, Imiringi Bridge, Elebele Bridge, etc are all Signature Projects.

Civil Servants Salary & Pension

Sylva administration did well in civil servants salary payment but Gov. Douye Diri is more committed to the above especially in the area of prompt payment of workers salaries and pensions.

Security

There was total collapse and near absence of security of life and property under the Sylva administration.

Operation Famuo-tagbe which was launched by Chief Timipre Sylva was a nightmare to Bayelsans and other residents.

Over one decade later, investigators, security experts and ordinary Bayelsans have not been able to get statistics of the number of persons that were unlawfully imprisoned, maimed and killed during the horror and dark infamous and inglorious years of Operation Famuo-tagbe.

That era may be likened to the Adolf Hitler Gustapo Nazi regime where perceived enemies were arrested, detained and even executed at will. Human rights was at its lowest ebb.

But under Gov Douye Diri Bayelsans and other residents are sleeping with two eyes closed because of adequate security.

There is no indiscriminate gunshots, maiming and killings like the Sylva administration where Bayelsa State was almost likened to a killing field. Innocent men who were arrested for trivial reasons were taken out in the dark of the night and executed.

Today, members of the opposition hold meetings and move around the state freely without any form of harassment or intimidation which was not the case during the Sylva administration.

Peace and Unity

Bayelsans were divided during the Sylva administration despite the fact that there was no strong opposition since opposition parties were near non-existent then but those who disagreed with policies and programmes of the Sylva administration were branded and tagged as Obote people ‘enemies’.

But under incumbent Gov Douye Diri, it is difficult to differentiate between members of the ruling PDP and the oppositions because the Governor has created a level play ground for all. He is running an all inclusive system where members of the opposition even have more say and privileges.

Gov. Douye Diri does not discriminate or segregate against any segment or section of the state. He detest the divisive, destructive and distractive concept of ‘Core Ijaw and Non Core Ijaw’ and that is the reason you no longer hear about it.

Gov. Douye Diri places so much premium on the Peace and Unity of Bayelsans and other residents.

Political Stability

Bayelsa State experienced unimaginable political instability during the Sylva administration, but the same is not the case under Gov Douye Diri administration where there is enormous political stability. It is a known fact that Bayelsa State is one of the most stable states in the country.

Education

Sylva grappling and struggled to fund NDU which was the main institution during the Sylva administration but Gov. Douye Diri is doing marvellously well in the adequate funding of all the universities and institutions in the State.

Health

The Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri and Diette-Koki Hospital were the major hospitals and health facilities in Bayelsa State but today beside adequate funding of the existing health facilities, Gov. Douye Diri has also built hospitals in the Headquarters of the eight(8) local government areas in the State.

Agriculture

Bayelsans remember the fishing trawlers and big political fish pounds that were dug everywhere in Yenagoa and it’s environ but no single fish was caught or sold by the Bayelsa State Seafood Company.

But under the Douye Diri administration Bayelsans have been given Agric Loans and most of the beneficiaries are doing very well despite the devastating negative impacts of the last year 2022 flood that destroyed many farms.

The government is also building Cassava Processing Plant and others to promote agriculture.

Generally, Bayelsans are very proud of Gov. Douye Diri who is laying a very solid foundation for the new Bayelsa State without making any noise.

On the other hand, they are querying the achievements and impacts of Sylva’s four(4) years as Minister of State for Petroleum Resources under the immediate past administration where he had opportunity to make Billionaires, Multimillionaires and even give Employments to hundreds if not thousands of Bayelsans and other Ijaws but he rather choose to impoverished everybody around him and everyone that went close to him in accordance with his principle of impoverishing everyone to get their maximum submission, subjection and loyalty.

On the final analysis, Bayelsans have resolved to queue behind Miracle and Prosperity Gov Douye Diri who is doing marvellous work as against Chief Timipre Sylva who believe he has scores to settle and he wants a non-existent pound of flesh.

~~~ Most Senior Comrade Wisdom Oniekpar Ikuli aka Mirror and Conscience of Society.

  • National President
    Niger Delta Nonviolence Agitators Forum (NDNAF)
  • Executive Director
    Centre for Peace Advocacy and Social Rehabilitation (CPASR)

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