Elders and Traditional Rulers from the existing Eight Local Government Areas of Bayelsa State on Friday described as “misplaced” and “Mischievous” the position of critics on the style of Governance and Policies of the present administration of Governor Seriake Dickson in the state.
According to the Bayelsa Elders, though the people of the State are free to express constructive and fair opinion about Governance in the State, the recent critism by the opposition groups led a former President of Ijaw National Congress (INC), Prof. Kimse Okoko, are mischievous and meant to destroy the genuine intentions of government.
The Bayelsa Elders, under the aegis of the socio-cultural Organisation known as the Bayelsa Elders Forum, has advised a former President of Ijaw National Congress (INC), Prof. Kimse Okoko, warned the opposition to avoid mischief and destruction of genuine intentions of government.
According to the Elders,in a statement signed by the President of the group, Elder Ebi Johnson Wariowe, entitled: “Prof. Kimse Okoko: Army of propaganda and hate chiefs”, stated that “The former Ijaw National Congress (INC) president did not betray his emotion to attempt to rubbish the governor as his harsh tone accentuated that assertion. We hold our peace knowing that he left a disunited INC for which he has done nothing to repair”.
“As an elder statesman we would have loved to ignore because of respect for his age the gibberish he spewed in the said interview but we have decided not to. Our reaction is mainly to correct every wrong impression he has created. Okoko claimed that there is no development in Bayelsa State today. This is certainly a lie! However he can be excused for that since he resides outside the state and only visit whenever he has a funeral event or in the past on Government sponsorship. The projects carried out across the length and breadth of the state by the Restoration Government speaks for them”.
“We are happy that he acknowledged the fact that the state has a very minimal IGR. However this has slightly improved looking at the figures announced in the last Transparency Briefing (which is in fact a positive development) but we are perplexed that Okoko could shamelessly argue that the government received over 19 billion naira as overall allocation for the month of June from FAAC. The true allocation to the state for which the state government has openly and repeatedly pronounced can be viewed on the state website (Bayelsawatch) as well as the website of the Federal ministry of finance”.
“The professor needs to be reminded that the present unimpressive condition of living is not only in Bayelsa but across the country due to the economic contraction for which the Federal Government has declared that the country is in deep “Recession”. The state government with its current meager resources is still working to complete her projects and pay salaries.
“As a visionary government, the Dickson led Restoration government in view of the future, constructed the flyover bridge at NNPC junction which leads to the Central Business District, already housing the Central Bank, Federal Secretariat and the three Transparency Buildings. When the state becomes an economic hub it is expected that the flow of traffic will be huge. To avoid a steady gridlock in that axis of the state capital, it was therefore a wise decision.
“On the issue of the University of Africa, the elder statesman did not hide his anger. Perhaps he has not followed all the explanation by the government concerning the new university. As an educationist, the professor should have known more than anyone else the importance of the university and it’s attendant positive educational and socio economic impact. We will join ourselves in the suit should he make good his threat of going to court. We challenge him to do so and be ready to meet us in the temple of justice”.
“Finally, in other states, Okoko’s contemporaries attract a lot of things to further boost educational facilities and programmes and complement their government in that regard. Sadly, in Bayelsa state, Prof. Kimse Okoko and his army of propaganda and hate chiefs are rather trying to destroy genuine and bold moves of the government. We will not allow them!.”
It would be recalled that the pro-Chancellor of the University of Uyo (UNIUYO),Professor Kimse Okoko had on Monday in an interview with a region news tabloid in which he faulted the style of governance of the administration of Governor Henry Seriake Dickson.