Dakuku Peterside: Africa’s Number 1 Maritime Administrator @47, By Eze Chukwuemeka Eze

Posted by News Express | 31 December 2017 | 3,164 times

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•NIMASA DG and AAMA President Dakuku Peterside


Hurray! Hurray!! Hurray!!! Dr Dakuku Adol Peterside, Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime and Safety Administration (NIMASA), and former All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Rivers State in the 2015 elections and President, Association of African Maritime Administrations (AAMA) clocks 47 today, Sunday, December 31, 2017.

This pride of All Progressives Congress (APC) and Nigerians started his public political life principally when he was appointed Commissioner of Works under the administration of erstwhile governor of Rivers State and incumbent Federal Minister of Transportation, Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, from 2007 to 2011, where he (Peterside) excelled, redefined and created most of the major roads, flyovers and bridges in Rivers State. Since he left office in 2011, Rivers State is yet to get a reputable replacement for that office till date. This was a man who used midnight for the supervision of most of the key projects under his watch.

A former House of Representatives member and immediate-past governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Rivers State, Peterside has demonstrated a sterling leadership quality that is by today acknowledged by the world and African leaders to warrant his elevation as Africa’s number one maritime administrator. He has proved that his appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari, based on the recommendation of Amaechi, was in order. He has by this feat proved that the Rivers State spirit is in him, by positioning himself as one of the new revelations in the leadership circle in Nigeria. I can now agree with our amiable President Buhari, who spoke through vice-president, Prof Yemi Osibanjo – during the unveiling of the new symbol of NIMASA – that Peterside has made Nigeria proud, by regenerating NIMASA and making it a centre of excellence for other countries to emulate.

An astute and charismatic politician and a seasoned administrator with an amiable personality, Peterside is a phenomenal reformist whose cult-followership stature among the youths and god-fearing people puts him as a leader to be admired, watched and associated with.

Indeed, Dr Peterside has become legendary for showing limitless benevolence to the downtrodden, associates, colleagues and practical display of immense love and compassion to everyone that has crossed his path in life.

Peterside, from his early years in politics to date, has remained focused and unwavering in his determination to provide service to ordinary Nigerians as a politician; whether in the Nigerian lower legislative chamber where he earned a reputation as a progressive and broad-minded legislator whose views were always respected or in his present position as D-G, NIMASA, where he brings in words and actions, integrity, panache, compassion and intellectual dimension to bear in tackling tough issues of the agency.

As Dakuku Peterside turns 47, it is a perfect opportunity for him to sense the feeling of being alive in the depths of his heart and promise himself to continue to do great things and aim even higher.

Carl von Clausewitz, a Prussian general and influential military theorist, noted famously for his military treatise Vom Kriege where he stated: “If the leader is filled with high ambition and if he pursues his aims with audacity and strength of will, he will reach them in spite of all obstacles.” 

  Peterside has pursued his vision with audacity and strength of will to somersault all obstacles to become Africa’s number one maritime administrator.

President Buhari captured the mood and minds of most Nigerians in his remarks about this enigma of a leader when he stated: “Peterside’s unanimous election is not only a personal honour and affirmation of confidence in his ability to lead AAMA, but also places Nigeria in a pivotal position to rally other maritime administrations in collaboration with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) towards safer global maritime activities.”

Having followed Peterside for about 10 years, I can conclude that Prussian General Clausewitz, President Bush and King Prof TJT Princewill had him in mind while defining what audacity and leadership means. Peterside is someone who likes to tread where even angels are afraid to tread. Even though Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State had allegedly attempted to silence him, he went about his campaigns as if he has a spare life. When I confronted him on why he is not scared about all the killings, harassment and intimidation by PDP in the state, he simply answered: “Chief Eze, if I get scared, what do I tell my supporters? Besides, I am a Christian and my God is capable of protecting me in the hands of the evil-minded fellows in PDP.” 

As a tested and trusted reformist-administrator, who has all it takes to reform and transform NIMASA into the pride of Nigeria and Africa, Peterside has proven that his appointment was not misplaced. 

“Dr Peterside who met a primitive NIMASA comes well prepared for the task of breathing a new life into NIMASA. Apart from boasting of a sound academic background that includes a degree in Business Administration (Management) and certificates in Leadership and Project Management, he holds a doctorate degree in Organisational Management with research interest in corporate political strategy. 

Dr Peterside is reputed as an authority in corporate strategy and business-government relations. He acquitted himself creditably in all his previous assignments, including as commissioner for works in Rivers State and a distinguished member of the House of Representatives where he served as Chairman, House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), in the seventh Assembly.

“He is a well-known champion of reform and strengthening of institutions as key to unlocking development potentials. Peterside, a legislator par excellence, has served at all levels of government in Nigeria: local, state and national and, is fast establishing himself as a national reference speaker on oil and gas policy and legislation matters.

“Peterside has been a most sought-after resource person in international conference: he was a major speaker at the 2013 Middle East Downstream Week held in Abu Dhabi in May, 2013 and the 2013 World Refining and Petrochemical Technology Summit in Doha, Qatar, among many other speaking engagements around the globe. I have no doubt in my mind that he will excel on his new assignment as the NIMASA Director-General.”

Special quotes that define his personality and politics 

1. “Ogoni people love me and are very hospitable. I grew up in Ogoni, where I spent over 10 years. I still have many childhood friends from Ogoni. I was at the forefront of Ogoni struggle in 1990, when Ogoni Bill of Rights (OBR) was put in place. Ogoni people are peace-loving and not violent. It was when I was Rivers Commissioner for Works that most of the roads in Bori (traditional headquarters of Ogoniland) were tarred. I will continue to protect Ogoni interest. Senator Magnus Abe is my brother and friend and we have had useful discussions. APC in Rivers State cannot be in reverse gear. We will place emphasis on equity, justice and fairness. We will ensure inclusive government. Everybody will be carried along. I am an Ijaw, but I will be the governor of Rivers State. We can together build a greater Rivers State.”

2. “Electoral victories like mine could only make meaning when it is won without violence. I abhor violence; no victory in any election and, indeed, in any human endeavour in life, is worth the blood of anyone; no victory is worth the life of any person.” 

3. “We bring a roadmap of wealth for Rivers State anchored on a legacy and foundation of prosperity laid by Governor Chibuike Amaechi. We all know Amaechi’s legacies in education, health, agriculture and other areas. He has built world-class schools and hospitals in every nook and cranny of the state. His health centres can match any standard hospital found anywhere in the world. We have unveiled our campaign plans and programme and we can be judged by our vision and contract with Rivers State and our people contained in the Roadmap to Prosperity at the end of our tenure, if elected. This is Rivers Project. It is not about APC. We invite everybody to come on board, join us to move Rivers State to the next level. Rivers people’s support for me is overwhelming. I really appreciate the outpouring of love. I thank all Rivers people. I will not disappoint you. APC members rely on God, and I will continue to rely on God. I do not depend on my strength or ability. I will ensure unity in Rivers State. All Rivers people will have roles to play in my administration, when elected as governor by God’s grace. Our doors will be wide open.”

4. “In Rivers State APC, we are committed to treating all members equally irrespective of when they joined the party. Indeed, the APC believes that, unlike the PDP in Rivers State which operates like George Orwell’s Animal Farm, where a small clique is more equal than others, we are greater together because we are equal and like they say, the sky is so large that there is space for every star”

5. At Buguma, the traditional headquarters of the Kalbari Kingdom, Peterside told the monarch, King (Prof) TJT Princewill: “I am a son in this house. It is only a son who does not know his rights that will not know when to approach his father. I know my right and I know when to approach my father. I am therefore here to seek your fatherly blessing. By April 11, our people will be electing a governor. One of the major political parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has given me their flag as their candidate. But I resolved within myself that I will not accept the challenge without seeking your fatherly blessing. If I have your blessing, I will succeed. I am a son you raised properly and the promise is that I will not disappoint you now that I have been given a huge responsibility. You taught us not to run away from any fight that will bring development and progress. As a bearer of your vision, I will be going into this race pursuing the unity and wellbeing of our people. I shall advance your dream and vision for Rivers State where everybody will have a sense of belonging, not where some people will be second-class citizens. And we must defend the values and convictions you hold dear.”

6. “We will achieve zero crime in Rivers State. We will put in place security infrastructure through the provision of CCTV cameras and security helicopters. You know what happened between Amaechi and the Federal Government when the governor acquired security helicopters for the state.”

7. “We intend to establish a Rivers State Security Trust Fund. We will be in active partnership with the community and the establishment of ‘Operation Know Your Neighbour’. Security is the responsibility of government and we will not fail to protect lives and property,”

8. “The Great Chief Eze, Thank you very much for your historic memo which turns out to be the first memo I have received in this new dispensation. Thank you for the candidness. Humility is my nature so nobody will teach a fish how to swim. As you are very much aware, Senator Magnus Abe is not only my friend, elder brother but he has been my close ally in most of the strategic planning we have done in the Amaechi political family, so it is given that he will be at the centre of our march to Brick house. I visited him yesterday and we had very fruitful and honest conversation.

“On Wike, he is my friend. But he knows that the Typewriter and Computer Processor does almost the same function, but are not meant for the same generation.  I wish him well and you can be sure that I will extend my hand to him and other Rivers people to join  me so together we can build on the Foundation laid by our great leader and take Rivers State to greater height.  

“You talked about prayers, unfortunately it does not have overdose, so don't worry. Christ brought us this far and only He can take us through and sustain us. We have no other hope. He is our confidence.” 

9. “My desire to be governor of our dear state is a product of deep commitment to serve and a passion to expand economic opportunities for all our people. My aspiration is not about the pomp, pecks, and privileges of office, but out of a desire to make Rivers State greater.”  

10. “Today in the presence of my God and my king and before you my fathers, mothers and brethren, I repeat this pledge. Having worked closely with our leader, our brother, our governor and our friend, I have seen his passion for excellence and a new and better Rivers State. I have been challenged by this passion and believe that a greater Rivers State is possible if we all join hands. Together, I believe we can provide leadership that will accelerate the actualisation of a greater Rivers dream of improved middle-class, first-class, safe environment, equal and more socio-economic opportunities and create a greater sense of community, a Rivers State that will be the pride of Africa.”  

11. “Our party, the All Progressives Congress, is a party of ideas. One that believes in the unity of people to achieve the set goals of socio-economic prosperity, functional infrastructure; and to build an educated and healthy people.  I will pursue the manifesto of our great party with all my youthful vigour, talent, your support and the guidance of our elders and the Almighty.”

12. “On my honour, I pledge this day, before God and his priests assembled here, that when I am elected and sworn into office as governor of Rivers State in 2015, I will serve God and our people. We will not sell our dear Rivers State to the Devil. Not for anything!”

13. “When on October 25, 2007, our governor took over leadership in our beloved state, we all agreed that power belongs to God. And so, we set our heart that if that faithful God would graciously give us an opportunity to serve Rivers people in any capacity, we would do so with all our heart and soul and strength and that at each point, we would raise an altar of Praise and Thanksgiving to His Holy Name. We are, therefore, here today, to stand true to that vow.”

14. “We have always been a people of history, a people which destiny has made both proud and grateful. Our progenitors praised God. While on water fishing, or, by the river banks picking periwinkle, or in their farms tilling the soil, our fathers and mothers always praised God.”

15.  “My desire to be governor of our dear state is a product of deep commitment to serve and a passion to expand economic opportunities for all our people. My aspiration is not about the pomp, perks and privileges of office, but out of a desire to make Rivers State greater.” 

16. “As witnesses to history, you all will agree with me that for the past seven years our state has made tremendous progress under our dynamic governor and leader, Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. Despite the debilitating circumstances, impossible odds, enormous challenges and stormy political climate, our state has continued to march on in the path of prosperity. We have been ‘counting our blessings’ by the grace and mercy of God, and we will continue to depend on our God.”

17. “Today, by your votes and the considered decision of our leaders and elders you have entrusted upon my shoulders the mandate to carry further our shared vision of a greater Rivers State based on the vision and foundation our leader Governor Amaechi has laid in the past seven years. I am humbled that amongst many qualified sons and daughters this august assembly has chosen me to carry your quest to seek the mandate to serve our people. I am humbled by this confidence you reposed in me, and accept this mandate with a keen sense of responsibility knowing full well that I will be accountable to God, Rivers people and our great party.”

18. “To our youths, I am one of you. I am conscious of the fact that I represent our generation. The world, Rivers people and our elders are watching, how we will utilise our youthful energy, intellect, zeal and exposure in taking our state to the next level. On my honour, I promise I will not disappoint you. Together we cannot afford to disappoint them. If not for nothing, the outpouring of your love and that of our parents about my candidature inspires me more to succeed.”

19. “To realise a desirable blue sea economy framework, participatory engagement and agenda setting, participatory policy design and implementation and multi-sector partnership are key areas that must be considered. The blue economy which stands on three pillars namely: environmental sustainability, economic sustainability and social sustainability has a lot of benefits to the growth and development of the sector in Africa, thereby making it compete, favourably with its counterparts in other continents.”

20. “About 70 per cent of the earth resources are underneath the sea and has been in most cases left untapped; almost all the cities in the world begin their development from the sea which shows the underlying importance of the sea to economic and social growth. We must, therefore, work hard and collaboratively to actualise our blue economy sector in Africa.”

21. “We have proposed an anti-piracy bill which is presently before the National Assembly and would be passed soon. This will enable the agency prosecute those found in such nefarious activities that is capable of hampering the development of the maritime sector.”


Finally, the Nigerian youths exposed to us some other facts about Dakuku Peterside, when they stated: “Sir, you are a mentor, a trail-blazer, an epitome of Federal Character and an advocate of greater and united Nigeria dream. We are very much aware of your resilience, charismatic, pragmatic, distinct principle and ideology with the collective effort of other well-meaning Nigerians to achieve the standard dividend of democracy and good governance in the area of distinct administrative and quality service assurance at NIMASA.”

While to President Muhammadu Buhari, “Peterside’s unanimous election is not only a personal honour and an affirmation of confidence in his ability to lead AAMA but also places Nigeria in a pivotal position to rally other maritime administrations in collaboration with the International Maritime Organisation towards safer global maritime activities. Peterside’s new position provides him with an even bigger platform to forge ahead in doing the nation proud by meeting objectives of AAMA.

No matter the position of his critics, Peterside is a symbol of unity, a visionary, egalitarian and, most importantly, a great patriot whose love for Rivers State and her people is infectious. Here is a man who is reputed as a charismatic and disciplined leader; creative and hardworking, a broad-minded fellow with strategic insight. He brings integrity, compassion, and intellectual dimension to bear in tackling tough political issues. He is truly a bridge-builder and loyal to friendship. He boasts credible credentials as a renowned resource person on petroleum matters, leadership/management expert, motivational speaker and a respected authority on corporate political strategy and private-public interaction in Nigeria. Indeed, as he celebrates his 47th birthday in few days time, I wish this great revolutionary, exceptional visionary and democrat the best in all his future endeavours.

Chief Eze, a Media Consultant based in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, can be reached via ezemediaconcept08@rocketmail.com; 08022049770.

Source: News Express

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