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Bayelsa gov. wife and the opposition

Posted by Dr. John Akhionbare on 2006/09/17 | Views: 490 |

Bayelsa gov. wife and the opposition


I AM not a seer, but something tells me that our nascent democracy may derail (God forbid!) on account of desperadoes who now masquerade as politicians in

I AM not a seer, but something tells me that our nascent democracy may derail (God forbid!) on account of desperadoes who now masquerade as politicians in

Nigeria. As the 2007 general elections draw nearer, the culture of violence seems to be on the rise. Sadly, this violence is taking all kinds of dimension. In physical terms, we are witnessing murderers and assassins lay siege to the political landscape. The other form of violence that I find worrisome is the way and manner rumour and disinformation are being elevated to an art today by politicians all in a bid to discredit one another and gain advantage. Take the case of Bayelsa State, for

instance.

That aside, I sometimes pity the long-suffering people of this riverine state, especially in view of its recent history. The Alamieyeseigha saga is still fresh in public memory. However, the purpose of this write-up is not to defend or castigate the immediate past governor of the state. Let that be a topic for an article another day.

But there seems no redeeming features among the political leaders of this state who seem to prefer devoting their time and resources to fighting one another - mostly on the pages of newspapers - instead of joining forces to lift their homeland from the morass of under-development.

As evidenced by the recent suspension of the state chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by the national secretariat over alleged gross misconduct,

in-fighting is now the order of the day. The party is now polarised into two camps over who should fly the party’s flag in the 2007 gubernatorial election. Recently, a story started to circulate that the wife of the state governor, Dr. Jonathan Goodluck, was caught with millions of dollars while trying to “export” it via the Lagos

airport. It was very easy to predict the source of the story. Political opponents of the governor were not only too eager to authenticate the story but also took a step further to rub it in by running commentaries on it on the pages of newspapers.

Immediately I heard that, I almost lost my sanity, saying to myself: “There, they go again”. I wanted to believe that there could be no smoke without fire. Of course, my anger was on the grounds that I simply couldn’t believe this could happen just when one had thought that one or two lessons had been learnt from the Alams saga.

But my curiosity was further fueled by a statement issued by the governor categorically debunking the story. He did not stop there.

He claimed that his “political opponent” was behind the story. Actually, what has been established now is that one Mrs. Nancy Ebere Nwosu is currently facing

charges of money laundering. According to an expert application before a Federal High Court, Abuja, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had detected a suspicious movement of fund in a bank transaction. But how that concerns the Bayelsa First Lady is now a question of high-stake intrigues. Following Goodluck’s denial, I waited for days for the governor’s statement to be punctured by the opposition. I have so far waited in vain. Much as I would encourage the spirit of competitiveness in politics I did not subscribe to a situaion whereby fables are presented as facts or gossip as gospel truth.

Jumping to conclusion

I don’t think it is fair enough to simply jump to conclusion that Goodluck’s wife engaged in money-laundering simply by trying to establish any form of relationship between her and the lady in question. One can understand the governor’s bitterness and suspicion that the report was a hatchet job against his person.

Ordinarily, a balanced report would have both sides of an argument. But, the governor, through his spokesman, said neither was his own view reflected in the report nor was he approached for comment before hand. The motive seems: Damage first, rejoinders later. At this point, one can only hope that the judiciary will uphold justice in this matter and ensure that the truth surfaces at the end of the day.

The state is now being positively projected based on the worthy events it has hosted in the last couple of months. We have had the movie stars convention and lately the convention of the Guild of Editors. It takes someone with foresight to realise that such activities go a long way to repositioning the state in terms of public perception.

Visitors are likely to go away with new vistas on the positive sides of the state instead of the existing stigma of being the haven of swamp-dwellers or den of“hostage-takers”. That is the kind of thing I want to see in Bayelsa. That is the kind of thing I think the long-suffering people of Bayelsa deserve. I believe the state

would benefit more if more attention and resources are devoted to real governance rather than this in-fighting by the political leaders over who should carry the party’s flag in 2007.

* Dr. John Akhionbare, an oil and gas expert, is based in Port Harcourt.


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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.