BAYELSA: RESTORATION OR DICTATORSHIP?
By -Dei B. Badou
The restoration administration-led by Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson appeared like another form of dictatorship in which he or his appointed committees holds absolute power at the exclusion of the people and even the state Assembly.
Right from its inception, the restoration government is anchored on dictatorship. He has governed Bayelsa for almost 5 years, most of that time as a dictator. His promises to restore and build Bayelsa into a great state were all promises of hopelessness and in futility; rather they are all promises in dehydrating Bayelsans.
Close to his second term ambition for the governorship, he took the title of [OFURUMOPEPE] meaning White Shark. He could hardly fulfill any of the promises made to the people in his four years in office; could not even reduce unemployment and improve the various economic sub-sectors for effective productivity, rather the price of the restoration agenda was the enslavement of Bayelsans.
This is an administration that came to power under conditions of turmoil and confusion, predecessor administration-led by Chief Timipre Sylva allegedly unable to provide the people the needed security, basic amenities through bad governance in 2012.
As a result, Abuja-based PDP political elite-led by the former President Goodluck Jonathan, late Col Sam Inokoba (rtd) and others seized power through political trickery in the highest form of revolutionary means and ousted it.
Since its takeover in 2012, the dictator and his followers retain their positions through force or threat of force, abolishes or closely controls the state legislature, rendering it impotent and a rubber stamp and quickly suppress freedom of speech, assembly and the press.
It sets up an elaborate secret-police system that monitors and detects opponents of the administration; persons who object the dictatorial rule are persecuted. Familiar example of this dictatorship is the locking up of Tonye Okio at Okaka Prison without any justifiable reasons, sacking of a court process allegedly sponsored by dictatorial system in Yenagoa, the state capital and many other dictatorial tendencies.
A dictatorship that has power of life and death without appeal to the people or the state Assembly, but he could not leave the state and had no control of the state treasury. Dictators are known world-wide for their centralized dictating system that allows people to dictate from different locations to a central office.
With this system put in place by the dictator, the people dictating may use a regular telephone or a special micro-phone that is connected to telephone lines hence persons who objects to the dictator are detected and prosecuted even when on overseas trips.
The present dictatorship in Bayelsa lacks knowledge of ethics and politics that enable people to act properly and live happily knowing very well that the goal of human beings is happiness and that the people achieve happiness when government fulfill its functions and obligations.
Therefore, it is necessary for the government of the day whose responsibility to determine what its social contract with the people are all about and not to torment and impoverish them in the name of TALK NA-DOISM, a political slogan that holds no water in the present circumstances.
The function of any good government is what, it alone can do or what it can do best for the people and not to deny, deprive, harass, intimidate, dehumanize, call them all sorts of names including unproductive human beings as was allegedly used by the dictatorship on retirees.
For example, the function of the eye is to see, so also the function of the knife is to cut. It is said of old that a human being is a “rational animal” whose function is to reason, before acting and therefore a rational government is to provide a happy life for human beings under its control is a life government by reason and responsibility.
It is the general belief of the people that a government which has difficulty behaving ethically such as depriving and denying its people from getting their wages is morally imperfect. The ideal government practices behaving reasonably, responsibly and properly and until the government can do so naturally and without efforts amount to nothing.
It is also a general belief in governance parlance that moral virtue is a matter of avoiding extremes in behavior and finding instead the mean between the extremes. For instance, the virtue of courage is the mean between the vices of cowardice at one extreme and foolhardiness at the other.
Similarly, the virtue of generosity is the mean between stinginess and wastefulness. Therefore government has probably been the single most influential work in all literary criticism which examines the nature of the tragedy that has befallen the people and takes as its prime objective of ameliorating tragedy that afflicts the people.
It is a generally held views that when tragedy affects a people by arousing the emotions of pity and fears resulting in non-payment of workers salaries and wages; it takes sincere and honest government to purify and cleanse the people of these emotions.
By doing so, it clearly exemplifies a serious and people-oriented government other than a dictatorial government that is full of deceit, greed, selfishness, egotism and self-enrichment.
The present government in Bayelsa should not continuously attribute its inability to pay workers salaries to dwindling revenues. After all, Bayelsa under the self-styled restoration government in the past four years 2012-2015 received huge sums of money from the Federal Government without completing and commissioning any of the projects embarked upon.
So also, there is no known project executed and completed with the [#95.4bn] received between May 2015 and June 2016 except frivolous expenditures in the circles of power politics and power-play in the state during the last governorship election.
Bayelsa with a population of a little over two million people requires good governance and not a government of the wicked for the wicked and of the wicked equals to dictatorship as superimposed on the people by Jonathan and his self-styled PDP political elite.
After all a pot cannot call the kettle black neither the kettle can call the pot black. Between 2011 and 2015, the Goodluck Jonathan-led Federal Government awarded 38 contracts for different projects in Bayelsa State. Though the total sum is worth Two Hundred and Nine Billion, Six Hundred and Seventy-Nine Million, Seven Hundred and Seventy-one Thousand and Seventy-five Naira [#209.690, 779, 771 . 75K], the projects which are meant to benefit Bayelsa people were all abandoned after due payments were made to Jonathan’s contractors.
Where on earth can this happen and the person goes scot-free if one may ask? It can only happen in a state like Bayelsa where political leaders and elders in their late seventies and early eighties serve as sycophantic parasites and gofers to every government that come on board because of lack of skills in entrepreneurship.
Even those who were opportune to go to either state Assembly for eight years and later House of Representatives or the Senate for another four years come back home to seek even a Local Government Chairman or Special Adviser, Senior Special Assistant appointments for survival just because they have nothing upstairs economically and become drawers of wood and fetcher of water, hence Bayelsa’s industrial development atrophies.
At the political level they claimed to be the best in the circles of politics whereas at the entrepreneurial level, they lack even a single segment of skill and experience to even move their families economically not to take of moving Bayelsa State to economic prosperity.
It is high time these political juggernauts, caterpillars, bulldozers, folk-lifts and swarm-buggies as they called themselves think of keying into the economic sector by creating investment opportunities for our jobless youths and for the state to move economically forward rather than perpetually engage in politics of sycophancy and parasitism.