Monday, 9 November 2015



The mise-en-scene of the December 5 election (5/12/2015) in Nigeria is a place no discerning minds would acquiesce for his inchoate progeny to be nurtured if one had the means to procure a better livelihood for his progenies. Bayelsa state, a state popular for its jewel below and yet so difficult to transform to the Dubai of Africa, with a population of not more than two million people, a particular man has a case with the anti-graft agency of 50 count charge bordering on stealing and money laundering, yet the people still wake up to hunger and starvation on a day to day basis. A state notorious for its alacrity of teenage pregnancy and under-development as you could see several bridges called monkey-bridges in the capital, leading to road-less and street-less houses and homes that immensely compare with the best ones anywhere. By the way, monkey-bridges are tiny “lanes,” for want of a better term, of tiny sticks or stilts the people make in order to get to their houses with no link-roads. Of course in the majority of places they are surrounded by swamps – in fact, you are not wrong to call them swamp houses or swamp homes. And the revolting swamp smell can make good blood bad blood! I am talking of Yenagoa of a civilised, modern world of now un-hollow people now made hollow by hollow leaders who preach the needful – the horrible word invented by stellar-less Stella – transformation agenda that transforms the masses further and further into the culture of penury and pauperisation. Hell! Bayelsa is a jungle.

Not too erstwhile, I was at a radio house where I shared some of the solutions to the challenges we Bayelsans are faced with, as a people. Because no one in his right mento compis would dare talk about the problems of the state again, we are jaded with the too many problems already and it is hightime the we began to proffer solutions to the many evils that has besetted and bedeviled us. We are not suffering from bad leadership, what we are suffering from as a people is far beyond our pensive understanding but the total basterdized and abuse of our psyche by the fortunate few who have decided to run our own state carte blanche. Thesame people we gave our mandate. Among the many respite suggested was the need for re-orientation and revaluation of our people as well and sensitization and reassessment of our processes. Now that the period of the public's rambunctious cry is gradually paving way for another electioneering process which has been characterized previously by political violence, intimidation, victimization and financial inducement, Bayelsans should take a moment to mull over some pertinent issues. Only recently, as a people, we have witnessed political parties go into the foray of character assassination, circumstantial ad hominem and committing the straw man's fallacy rather than proffering solutions and tendering plans on how to salvage our dear state from this pitiable condition as the legendary image of the Nigerian urban poor is still written on the faces of street urchins, okada-riders, civil servants, students, hawkers of wares, traders and sellers in Bayelsa state.

Not only have we been denied so many things as a people, we have also be denied fundamentally, our right to choose our leaders which is in contravention of Section 14 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, because I dare to say that an election characterized by the afore-mentioned attributes would be anything but peaceful. There is indeed, the need for a change. The call for this change have been made by concerned citizens who like the Biblical dream of St. Paul, have been calling out to an unknown but certain Moses to come to Bayelsa and deliver them, and Saturday (7/11/2015) definitely brought smile to the faces of these concerned demanders of change as they all witnessed a young vibrant and dynamic man who has never held public office before, nor embezzled public funds, neither has this young man made the rounds for soiling his hands with blood, or taking cocaine, leading the charge of the new order as he took his fizzled out but determined supporters to the streets of yenagoa in a rally seen to the opposition as a school parade, because they understand that the modern day saviour would not induce people financially even if the money was there to dole out to people to come out and support him, hence they erroneously thought the rally was just for the few righteous and sane ones in Bayelsa but to their greatest chagrin, the crowd was mammoth, and on the spike of that march was the deliverer himself, Moses Siloko Siasia, the face of the neo-politicking in Bayelsa. Moving away from the paradigm of character assassination, name calling, thuggery and intimidation politics that has gotten really deep to the sub-consciousness of these innocent Bayelsans, it would take sometime though, but with such an impressive rally like that witnessed two days ago, the city-cum-people of Bayelsa, no doubt will awaken to the neo consciousness. What the opposition should consider is that a determined and motivated few can perform wonders more than a docile and uninspired many as I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep, but I am afraid of an army of sheeps, led by a lion. Bayelsans keeps saying "we will eat their money, and vote our conscience."

The primitive attitude of Bayelsans was manifest on the faithful day but His Ecxellency was too dogged not to despair. He led his men to the streets with what he had, the little he could afford. Moses indeed have changed the parameters of Bayelsa state politics as electioneering and campaign period is no longer seen as a means to enrich one's self but a period that calls for re-assessing the governments performance and balancing the cost of voting with its benefits.

Indeed, beyond the vultures who has milked us dry as a people and waiting to feed on our remains so they can bury our cadaver's at the Hero's Cementary along the Sani Abacha Express way, there lies a young man in whose hands the future of our progenies and posterity is secured. One who has committed the requisite class struggle to see the needed change meets his people. Bayelsans should rally behind him because you do not supplant the old with the new by applying the old modus opernadi, hence you loose all credibility.

Aluzu Ebikebuna Augustine

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