Posted by Theresa Moses | 17 November 2015 | 3,565 times
The November 11-13 campaign tour of communities in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area afforded the Bayelsa State Governor, Hon Seriake Dickson, an opportunity to further feel the pulse of the people and get first-hand feedback from the constituency, where 12,000 youths promised to denounce kidnapping and piracy.
Speakers at the rally in Oporoma, the council headquarters, were unanimous in praising the ‘Countryman Governor’ for developing the state and restoring peace to the once volatile state. Prominent ex-agitators such as Pastor Reuben, and Joshua Makaiva said aside his developmental strides in Southern Ijaw, the governor has projected the dignity of the Ijaw nation. “Dickson is an embodiment of the Ijaw man, and based on his development stride, the crowning glory of which is the Anyama Bridge, we have mobilised over 12,000 youths, and we have resolved that as from today, there will be no kidnapping and piracy on the waters of Southern Ijaw,” they declared.
This came as news filtered in that the youth leader and 29 other All Progressives Congress (APC) members in Otuan ward in Southern Ijaw have defected to ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP). In an interactive session with journalists, minutes before he rode a motor bike to the mega rally at Oporoma open field, Dickson said he deliberately chose to visit the communities for first-hand assessment of their needs with a view to serving them better during his second term. His Words: “I am appreciative of the people of Southern Ijaw for coming out en masse to receive me and my entourage. I am also aware of their demands and I am committed towards addressing them, as well as complete all on-going projects in the state.”
The governor, who did not leave each community the same way he met them, was overwhelmingly received with gifts and chieftaincy titles, which he also reciprocated with either commissioning of projects, requests affirmed or promises made. While almost all the communities got their prayers answered, others had his assurance, especially in areas of appointments and infrastructural development.
The success story was same from Olugbobiri to Koluama 2 through Korokorosei to Peremabiri, where he was decorated as ‘The Peacemaker 1’ of Pere Kingdom, Okpotuarri, Lobia 2 and Ekowe among others. The campaign train continued at Opuama to Eniwari, Aguobiri 2, Igeibiri in Terakiri clan; Oweikorogha to Angiama then Oporoma.
Expectedly, like a well-rehearsed play, each community showered the governor with encomium, after reeling out his government’s presence in their respective communities, followed by their demands. The governor in his usual style took on each demand and made his pronouncement. At the palace of HRH, NS Orianzi, the Ebinanaowei of Olodiama clan, Dickson who was decorated and presented with a sword, had in response to their numerous demands said: “Olugbobiri is my in-laws’ community. I have awarded contract for more inner roads. By the end of this month you will see the contractors as they will be mobilised to site.”
After hailing the governor for being miles ahead of his predecessors in the state in terms of infrastructure development, appointments of theirs sons and daughters into prominent positions, the community spokesperson, Col Ronald Yeikorogha, stated that their demands were: “Third inner road, upgrading of the cottage hospital to a full-fledged health centre, more appointment positions, among others.”
In Koluama, the governor’s instant solution to their pathetic erosion story brought relief to the troubled community. They are one of the three APK (Apoi, Basan and Kaloama) communities, who were once a clan that was almost washed off in 1952 disastrous erosion, which has now separated them into three clans. While Apoi and Basan have since respectively gotten official recognitions as clans, Kaloama is not.
But Dickson came and made their day as he declared thus: “You have asked for a number of things. Kaloama is hereby recognised as a clan. All necessary process will be given express attention to enable you take your rightful place in the state. I will liaise with relevant agencies to tackle the situation and save this beautiful town.” A prominent son of the town and former agitator for a better Niger Delta, Makaiva, had earlier in his speech said: “We 100 per cent PDP. There is no vacancy in the whole Kaloama. We have since 1999 remained wholly in PDP.”
Dickson also commissioned a road project at Korokorosei, home town of the Speaker of the State House of Assembly. At Opuama, their spokesman, Chief Okoko Stample said: “Since 1999, we have been PDP all through. We have resolved to vote you back for a second term. We believe in you as we are living witnesses to your lofty achievements in all sections of the state.” He however lamented that in spite of their loyalty, they have no commissioner and top government functionaries. One of the many highlights was at Peremabiri where HRH, King Progress Ebiseleghe Neverdie, waxed spiritual, just as he described Dickson as “the David of our time,” before his spokesperson dropped a 12-point request. Chief amongst them were facilitation of a Navy base, employment of 20 teachers to the primary schools in the area and provision of more infrastructure.
At Eniware, their needs are walkways, healthcare and traditional stool upgrade. While at Angiama 1,000KVA generating set was approved for the community, just as the governor informed them that the state has remobilised the contractor handling the state turbine located at Imiringi, back to site.
In all the places visited, Dickson enjoined community, women and youth leaders not to give in to the temptations of violence before, during and after elections.
From the tour, one thing that stood out according to feelers from the communities visited, is that the people see him as an Ijaw leader who projects the interest of the Ijaw nation within the context of the national interest.
Dickson, a Prince of Tarakiri, is from Kpadia Ruling House, and his great grandfather was the first king from that kingdom. He was born of Ijaw mother from Angiama in Delta State while his paternal grandmother hailed from Otor-Iyede in Isoko, also in Delta State. Apart from having blood relatives in two major geo-political zones of the country, what makes Dickson a highly detribalised Nigerian is that he is one of the few politicians in Nigeria that builds bridges across political parties, tribes and religions.
•Photo shows Governor Dickson.
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