Sunday, 15 November 2015



In view of the forth coming December 5 gubernatorial election in Bayelsa state, an assessment of the psyche generally of Bayelsan populace has become pertinent as to the determination of their readiness to embrace a positive leadership or their willingness to stick to the unfavourable party politics that has afforded them with so much to desire in terms of deriving the dividends of democracy from a supposedly constitutionally elected Executive. This has been stratified into the Comtenian and Spencer school, as some quarters believe the individual is who is inherent with the ideas while the bulk of others are still sticking to the group mentality, believing that having an identification with the centre or a particular party soothes and derive some sort of satisfaction. The former believes the individual is greater than the group while the latter believes the group transcends the individual and so, no individual is indispensable.

Democracy provides the opportunities for the people to freely exercise their voting rights in the selection of representatives who govern them. Democracy depends on parties to survive, since the structure of elections, right from citizens participation to candidates’ selection and presentation of competing political programmes is done by political parties and voting is carried out by the electorates based on the preferred obvious party on the ballot paper. It is on this note that political parties occupy a special place in the democratic equation in the state and the nation at large.

The result of examination undertaken revealed that Bayelsans care less. It also reveals that Nigerian political parties does not possess features of political parties such as ideology, party manifesto's, like-minded people as well as viable opposition (it's a two party system from what is obtainable). All parties are engaged in intra party conflict rather than embarking on programmes that would benefit the masses. The result of undemocratic conduct of political parties such as candidate’s imposition, unclear manifesto's as revealed in this paper, gave rise to assassination, intimidation, political violence inter alia that portrayed Bayelsa state and Nigeria as one of the most risky nation in the world. Such dogged conviction does not only portray an indictment on our educational sector for failure to discharge it's public responsibility, but the severity of our intellectual mal nourishment. However, the findings showed that the enlightened few of 30% of respondents agreed that money and class were the major factors that undermined or determined the position of candidates in Nigerian election, while 47% of respondents also agreed that the power of incumbency and godfatherism greatly determined the emergence of party’s candidates. Almost 70% of respondents agreed that tribalism, ethnicity, nepotism, greed and sectionalism were major factors that have caused party’s lack of internal democracy in Nigeria. The study concluded that party politics in the area of nomination, selection and elections have negative implications on democratic consolidation in Nigeria. Among other things, the study also concluded that lack of internal democracy within political parties as a limiting factor in Nigeria’s attempt to deepen democracy, sincerity, integrity, honesty, transparency, people-oriented and straight forwardness are sacred words and character traits of a
Government that are alien to our political parties who sometimes lack the stamina to call their erstwhile candidate to order after emerging winner of an election, such candidate is presented with a carte blanche opportunity who sees himself above the people, party, state, and law sometimes.

Sometimes, Bayelsan's to a discerning mind are bereft and void of reasonable justification as to why they are pitching their tent with a particular party. At times, aligning with the centre is sufficient to satisfy their myopic and alarming brain. Though, with the pitiable situation of Bayelsa state, Bayelsan's are yet to learn, with our inchoate democracy and the level of impoverishment and under-development that has assailed our very existence and almost at the verge of shaking life from us only recently, some anti-people elements have dared to declare out of the ignorance and a sheer lack of understanding of facts a particular party, an Ijaw party. Just to argumentum ad populum and gather sympathy votes from Bayelsan's who the said 'Ijaw party' refused to development for 6 years with an Ijaw man in power.

One sad commentary about our democratic experience is the wanton glorification of responsibility and irresponsibility as dividends of democracy. In saner climes, the performance of a Leader’s statutory obligations and Constitutional functions such as Staff welfare, Community welfare
and Institutional strengthening do not constitute achievements (or giant strides as we say here). It is a Leader’s capacity to craft and fashion out a vision that
will manifestly translate into the total liberation of his subjects from the interlocking clutches of poverty,
socio-economic exploitation, geo-political
domination, ethno-cultural dislocation as well as a neo-fascist enslavement implanted by past and present years of myopic and tyrannical leadership (the Bayelsa story for the past seventeen years) that constitute what is known as achievements in office. It is in line with this intellectual wavelength that Plato posited that “our object in the establishment of the State is the greatest happiness of the whole and not that of any class.” But sadly here, a Governor will gladly tell the whole world that some of his numerous achievements are payment of salaries (though belated), building of a glorified over-head bridge. It is tragic, indeed lamentably tragic that we are blessed with the Seriake of a Governor who has turned the Bayelsa
Civil Servants into civil slaves and the entire Bayelsans into the Willing who are led by the Unknowing and are doing the impossible for the Ungrateful and have done so much for so long, with so little that we are now qualified to do anything with nothing. And now, the government has resolved into recruiting professional liars on daily basis giving out bogus and unverifiable information to feed the gullible and unsuspecting public. They insists they have built us a State in the Art schools, but how many of their children belong to any of the schools? Having mammoth turnouts in his Town-Hall meetings because it has resolved in doling out cash to Bayelsan's who he has subjected to perpetual poverty in their own land, flowing with milk and honey.

Yet, with the foregoing, the chunk of Bayelsan's are still gambling with their future, playing party politics in lieu of the credibility of the candidates. Two (2) out of the three (3) contestants are responsible for our dismal condition as a state and deserved to be lynched. One sold everything that was to obviate the state and it's Citizens the hardship they are faced with and the other built prison yards in lieu of Schools we voted for. Our Court (judiciary) is properly funded by the state because it is the readily place to haul my kinds who would make a fist to their obnoxious policies and tax laws. Playing into the psyche of Bayelsan's and appealing to their selfish interest is a way of garnering support for another four (4) years of slavery, imposition and political bondage for the people.

It is understandable that it is far too early to expect “giant strides” from a state that is just 17 years old, but the truth still remains that solid steps and actions imbued with the innate capacity to
engender qualitative development of the people and infrastructural resuscitation can be made in 17 years. A baby that cannot survive, learn the rudiments of manhood and be able to fend for himself at 17 years is only fit for an Orthorpaedics reclusion, and not the Creeks.

Oil rich Bayelsa, the glory of all lands,
has gone through a most excruciating journey for the past 17 years in the hands of intellectual blunt-leaders who
have only succeeded in perpetuating infrastructural decay and backwardness, thus presenting her as a standing example of an institutional irony, and can
ill-afford, the speeding antics of a snail, in its destined march to greatness.

The age-long aphorism and cliche of “moving the State forward” should be denounced for what it is, an empty,
stultifying clause that oozes deception. Owing precisely to the beguiling attractiveness of the spoils of office, our Leaders usually fixate on the metaphor
of propulsion, mistaking the image of motion with the idea of progress. Moving the State forward into what? Crises, chaos or crass corruption and insecurity? Only recently, the astronomous rate of crime is too much any state can bear, instead of our Countryman governor to be touring round the state in his bid for a re-election he should channel some of these resources to the state security outfit to curv the menace of kidnapping in the state as well as wanton destruction of lives and properties by these livid un-employed youths whose aged parents you have crassly refused to pay gratuity and a year and 7months salary. The state university (Niger Delta University) has purportedly been gentrified only in the news headlines, with students paying an alarming ammount of N120,000.00 for a session with poor infrastructure and inencourageable educating environment is another educational fraud, encouraged by the Restoration led government. Our recent history is replete with Leaders that have moved us forward into ineptitude, misery and unimaginable self-enrichment.

The time is right for Bayelsa to take that gargantuan stride from Party politics to issue based one, electing leaders based on their credibility and not on the platform which they stand. It is individual that owns the idea and not the party.

I say Bayelsa deserves better, a disassociation with every strings from the past and move onto something/someone new.

Bayelsa deserves a leader who is accountable, passionate and responsible.

We deserve Moses Siloko Siasia of People's Democratic Movement, the party with the torch logo.

Written by:
Aluzu Ebikebuna Augustine
New Media Coordinator for Moses Siloko Siasia Campaign Team.

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