Junketing Delta Legislators and more! Featured

Tuesday, 01 December 2015 00:00 Written by  Published in Niger Delta Watch Read 1048 times
Goveror Ifeanyi Okowa with DSHA Speaker, Hon. Monday Igbuya Goveror Ifeanyi Okowa with DSHA Speaker, Hon. Monday Igbuya

Legislators in any political setting or locale are meant to represent the electorate and the welfare and interests of their constituents should be paramount. But that is not so with the members of Delta State House of Assembly.

 

 

Instead of them to make laws for the good governance and progress of the state and check the excesses of the executive arm of government, they are busy junketing round the globe under the veneer of some education tour and seminar. In October 2015, the twenty-nine member House under the leadership of the speaker, Honourable Monday Igbuya are in the United States of America undergoing some tutorials on parliamentary procedures. Getting education is not a bad idea but in a climate of near financial insolvency of the state that found expression in the debt burden of N637.22 billion and a recent debt of N10 billion incurred by the Okowa administration, the tour is either a waste, misplacement of priorities by the government or at best, a variant of prosperity agenda for the legislators. It is also possible that our universities are equipped to teach these adult learners.

It staggers the imagination and simply confounds economic realities that the legislators should feel happy embarking on such a tour when pensioners are not paid their entitlements three years running. It is also incredible that a government that sacked thousands of workers employed between December 2013 and May 29, 2015 can sponsor such a frivolous trip. The tour will cost the state government about one billion naira. Such huge amount of money can go a long way in fixing schools or health facilities. But our legislators are not perturbed about that. One legislator with conscience simply painted the education tour as a jamboree. This is how he puts it:

“If the figures should be revealed, Deltans will stone us and protest, especially in this era of almost zero allocation. If I must tell you the truth, my brother, this is the second time I am attending such training as a lawmaker and the training is actually nothing but a kangaroo training or jamboree. If you say you won`t attend, you will be tagged as the black sheep in the House”.

Deltans are very incensed about this waste of scarce resources and the legislators and the state governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa should know that history and posterity shall record them in that light.

Fallouts of Alamieyeseigha’s Death

Politicians are a funny breed of human beings and they would go to any length to get the people`s votes and be in power to feather their owns nests, that of relatives and friends. Instead of the politicians to grieve about the death of the former Bayelsa state governor, Chief Diapreye Alamieyeseigha, the two foremost governorship candidates, Honourable Timipre Sylva of the APC and Honourable Seriake Dickson of the PDP are trading blame on who should be held responsible for the death of the former governor. The PDP candidate said that the death of Alamieyeseigha was caused by the APC that was hell bent on probing the former governor despite the presidential pardon granted to him by President Goodluck Jonathan. They alleged that it was that fear that made the former governor not to travel abroad for treatment, resulting in his demise.

On the other hand, the APC reminded the PDP that they were behind the impeachment of the former governor and wondered about the so called love for Alamieyeseigha. Neither side is winning the argument nor are they in the scramble to get the votes of the Bayelsa people. Instead of these two governorship candidates to tell the electorate about their programmes and how they intend to improve the welfare of the people, they are chasing shadows and exploiting the death of the former governor to climb the political ladder. The people are no fools and they can recognise their friends and politicians who really have their interests at heart. It is rather unfortunate that despite the huge allocation from the federation account, Bayelsa as an oil producing state is yet to get the desired impact. It is also a thing of regret that the five years of the Jonathan presidency did not impact on the development of the state. Yenagoa, the state capital has no running water and the roads are very bad. Yet the political elites are comfortable with having their mansions in Abuja and Port Harcourt and only come around during elections. Even those elected do not spend their weekends and holidays in Bayelsa State. The state capital remains a glorified local government headquarters. The salvation of the people of the state is still very far as the politicians of the PDP hue and APC stripe are only after their political fame and the economic benefits therefrom.

Rivers’ Political Battles

It was one Chinese leader in moment of political illumination that postulated that politics is war without blood while war is politics with blood. This assertion is a true reflection of the political struggles for supremacy in Rivers State that pitched Honourable Rotimi Amaechi, a former governor against the incumbent governor, Barrister Nyesom Wike. The political battles shifted to the National Assembly and the judiciary. In both, Amaechi won, with his screening and appointment as a minister of the federal republic of Nigeria, and the election petition tribunal ruling in Abuja that Wike did not win the governorship election.

It is really unfortunate that former friends are now dreaded foes. It is on record that Amaechi brought Wike to limelight but the moment he became a federal minister, he saw it as his job description to not only denigrate his former benefactor but to fight him politically. Wike then had the support and understanding of the former president, Goodluck Jonathan. Today the political tide has changed and the political efforts of Ameachi as the director general of APC presidential campaign organization have paid off. The political battles going on are not meant to serve the interest and welfare of the people, rather the ego and interest of the political gladiators. Politics of principles and service have been thrown to the dogs.

Whoever wins the political war at the end of this titanic struggle should remember that the electorate is in dire need of social and economic services and how their living standards could peak. If the people could not get the dividends of democracy, then the political battles are just fruitless.

 

Last modified on Monday, 09 January 2017 15:25
Ajalakpo Oweh

Ajalakpo Oweh, is a seasoned journalist who writes in from Delta state. He covers the southern sub-region of Nigeria for the magazine.