Posted by By Ogbonna Nwuke on
Former Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha has spoken from his hospital bed, saying despite the very turbulent and trying times he is passing through, he remains committed to Nigeria as a nation.....
Former Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha has spoken from his hospital bed, saying despite the very turbulent and trying times he is passing through, he remains committed to Nigeria as a nation.
Governor said in a press statement e-mailed to the Telegraph, "I remain committed to Nigeria, both as a fundamental idea and as a fact of life."
" I urge all our compatriots", he went on, "to remain loyal to this great country, including those, like me, who today for a multiplicity of reasons, sojourn in the valley of the shadow of death."
Alamieyeseigha in reaction to accusations that he is behind the crisis that has enveloped the Niger Delta said the allegations could have been laughable if they were not so grave.
"How can I be held responsible for the swirling anger of the people of the Niger Delta", the Ijaw Messiah stated, "which since the days of Isaac Boro has found expression in actions such as we see today?
According to him, "What is going today only places in bold relief the yeoman's job we did in office to guarantee the peace."
For the benefit of our readers we are reproducing the entire text of the press statement issued by the man once described as the Governor General of the Ijaw Nation:
"Ever since fate brought me to my present state, I have had sufficient time to ponder on this journey called life. The latter day events of my life afford us all an opportunity to learn that it is only Almighty Jehovah that has the final say in the affairs of man.
It is to Him we must give all the glory and praise, taking counsel in the knowledge that he is the all-wise God.
"I am eternally grateful for the life I have had. And knowing that the future belongs to Him and Him alone, I am at peace with myself. I thank all Nigerians, who no doubt have keenly followed the Alamieyeseigha story. And to them I say whatever point of view you take does not matter. What matters is that you are patriots committed to a greater, better Nigeria. My only plea to you is that when I am finally in a position to tell my own story, unburdened by these fetters, you will listen with the same attention you gave to the accounts of others.
"I remain committed to Nigeria, both as a fundamental idea and as a fact of life. I urge all our compatriots to remain loyal to this great country, including those, like me, who today for a multiplicity of reasons, sojourn in the valley of the shadow of death.
"Reports reaching me indicate that there are allegations that I am the sponsor of the on-going violence in the Niger-Delta. There are also opportunistic suggestions in some quarters that I am backing some candidates in the gubernatorial contest in Bayelsa. Some politicians even drop my name in brazen pursuit of their private ambitions.
"But here I am, trapped on a hospital bed with unresolved cardiac issues, denuded of resources and the capacity to be the master of my own destiny. As I lie here, I am unable to meet the expensive legal bills foisted on me by the many strategies of those who prosecute me. My medical bills are piling, and as each day passes, I wonder who is going to pay the EFCC or me? If I am going to pay, then I am truly in trouble!
"Why do I need to sponsor violence? Am I not the one who, leading patriots and like minds, intervened over and over again in the Niger Delta crisis, until we were able to secure an armistice with these same militants? While in office, did we not guarantee the safety of oil workers and installations for six and a half years? How many times did I personally intervene in hostage situations, and win victory for the cause of peace and progress? Can any one quantify the tremendous personal sacrifice we had to make to ensure that the anger of our youths was reined in, to guarantee and sustain the peace we had for six and a half years?
"In the events that began on September 15 last year, leading up to my return home to a heroic welcome on November 21, why wasn't there widespread anarchy and violence? A full arsenal of federal military might, made of a composite deployment of Army, Air force and Police troops, backed by tanks and artillery pieces, moved into Bayelsa to give effect to my controversial and illegal impeachment. If I were not a man of peace, was this not the time that maximum violence should have been of strategic value? Is it now that I have lost it all that I would resort to sponsoring violence?
"These allegations would have been laughable if they weren't so grave. How can I be held responsible for the swirling anger of the people of the Niger Delta, which since the days of Isaac Boro has found expression in actions such as we see today? What is going today only places in bold relief the yeoman's job we did in office to guarantee the peace. Were we not all witnesses to statements of a leader of one of the militant groups endorsing my impeachment and ensuing public flagellation? Sponsoring militants indeed!
"In this valley where I temporarily find myself, and from which I fully hope to one day emerge, I am sickened to see the desperation to nail me at all costs.
"To my fellow Bayelsans, let me make myself clear: pursue your destinies and ambitions within the confines of the law, and God shall give us the peace which passeth all understanding. I also reiterate for the avoidance of doubt that I have endorsed no one for the gubernatorial race in the state. I have no inclination, nor am I in the position on this hospital bed, to do so. Where I am today, I remain alive only by the grace of God. For this, I am eternally grateful."
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