He urged the Bayelsa State governor, Senator Douye Diri who was returned as the duly elected Governor of Bayelsa State to collaborate with Chief David Lyon of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the leadership of his Party for the development of Bayelsa.
According to him, every eye in Nigeria is on Senator Douye Diri to ignite a purposeful leadership in the state in areas as educational development and chasing an Ijaw interest.
He added that Diri has to put the era of partisan politics behind him and work hard to earn the confidence and support of all Bayelsans and Ijaws.
His words, “With the Supreme Court verdict of Thursday, 13th February, 2020 and the subsequent confirmation on Wednesday, 26th February 2020 reaffirming Senator Douye Diri as the duly elected Governor of Bayelsa State, the drawn season of high-level politics in Bayelsa State has come to an end.
“I therefore heartily congratulate Governor Douye Diri and the Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo as well as their entire campaign team and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) at large.
“Let me take few words to counsel Governor Douye Diri directly: As we commonly say, it is God that gives power. And after all the politicking and hard work, God’s ultimate verdict has been passed to us through the Supreme Court of Nigeria. While we are still celebrating the victory, I will like to remind my son, Governor Douye Diri, of my counsel when he paid a courtesy visit on me that he has to quickly put the era of partisan politics behind him and work hard to earn the confidence and support of all Bayelsans and Ijaws; he must run a government of reconciliation to reduce the high level of acrimony that surrounds the State.
“Realising that the election was quite contentious, first within the PDP before its Party Primaries, one of your first assignments will be to reach out individually to members of the Party who rightly or wrongly felt aggrieved and did not support your campaign efforts or even went to court against you. When you visited me I advised you to treat all such persons as brothers.
“I have been in politics for nearly 70 years and confirm as true the injunction that the quality of a great leader is found in his magnanimity in victory and his ability to show humility in reaching out to those who feel offended.
“Secondly, I want you to pay close attention to making all humanly possible efforts to have a good and personal working relationship with your brother on the other side, Chief David Lyon of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the leadership of his Party.
“I commend him for his spirit of sportsmanship in fully accepting the Court verdict and asking all to support the Government as was shown in his Press Statement of 28th February 2020. He has become a politician of weight in Bayelsa State who cannot be easily ignored.
“I expect both of you as leaders to work together in the overall interest of the State and Ijaw nation. All Bayelsans must, therefore, take a cue from the two Leaders and sheath their swords. There must be no more violence whatsoever.
“Furthermore, the new government must now settle down to realities of governance. The expectations of the people of Bayelsa and indeed the whole country are very high. It is often said that Rome was not built in a day and nobody expects you to solve all the problems of governance, in Bayelsa overnight.
“However, all eyes in the country are on you to put in place structures for purposeful leadership in Bayelsa State having regard to the high performance of your predecessor, His Excellency, Henry Seriake Dickson, in such areas as educational development and pursuing an Ijaw interest.
“It was part of these efforts that he extended educational support to Ijaws in other States through the Kaiama Academy, University of Africa and Niger Delta University. You must therefore be able to bring in persons with proven character and passion for public service at various times into your team.
“It is also very important for you to pay particular attention to the question of good governance and transparency which I must observe as a father is absent in several States in Nigeria.
“Let me remind you that due to its peculiar terrain as the most coastal State, Bayelsa has very daunting challenges in area of infrastructure.
“Again, your predecessor, former Governor Henry Seriake Dickson has performed very well in building an Airport, constructing roads to coastal areas, and building educational and medical facilities. You must therefore source for funds from all possible avenues to improve on his performance. Not-the-least, the issues that relate to citizens’ wellbeing such as Healthcare, Education, Job Creation, Payment of Pensions and Gratuity should not be ignored.
“Finally, you are the only Governor of Ijaw ethnic nationality, the fourth largest ethnic group in Nigeria. This should not be so considering that we are indigenous in 6 states of the federation but at present, it is a reality we have to deal with. Your predecessor, former Governor Dickson was very conscious of this and did very well for our people.
“He played the needed role by bringing all Ijaws from the various States of the Federation together. You must therefore have at your heart, at all times, the pursuit of the interests of our ethnic nationality.
“Secondly, I adjure you to pay very close attention to our struggle on the need to restructure Nigeria in line with vision of the founding fathers. That is, a Nigeria with a robust federalist structures where there are no second-class citizens but where justice and equity reigns.
“This is a commitment which I have continued to pursue with other leaders of Southern Nigeria and the Middlebelt with the active support of your predecessor.
“As a father, I will continue to pray for you, your deputy, your families and the entire people of Bayelsa and the Ijaw nation.”
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