Bayelsa needs change on November 16 —Oribo
Mr Einstein Oribo, former chairman, the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) in Bayelsa State and one-time Senior Special Assistant (Mobilisation) to incumbent Governor Seriake Dickson, is the national coordinator of None APC Vanguard for David Lyon. In this interview by EBIOWEI LAWAL, he speaks on issues bothering on the forthcoming governorship poll in the state.
What does your group stand for?
It is a political organisation saddled with the responsibility of working with the All Progressives Congress (APC) to liberate and salvage Bayelsa from the shackles of poverty; from the gross darkness we have experienced for the past eight years; from incessant disrespect and disregard for ljaw elders; from bad roads, tyrannical and autocratic government and mismanagement of public funds. There are so many non-APC people in the state but they love the person of David Lyon for his humility and peaceful disposition. We also want to liberate the people of Bayelsa from being a civil servant state to the real sense of an oil-producing state. Even in the civil service, we don›t have high-ranking officers from Bayelsa. How come suddenly we have assumed the position of a civil servant state? That is why we are partnering the APC to enthrone David Lyon because of his antecedents. We have taken this decision for one single reason: the people have suffered a lot; they have passed through hell in the past eight years in the hands of one man. He fails to realise that, even in the law profession, he wasn›t the best. He has refused to understand that there are people called elders. One man has refused to know that there is what we call public funds and not law firm funds.
What exactly do you mean?
At the time the governor was practicing his law profession, nobody disturbed him for funds because he was running his private business. Now that he is a governor, through the magnanimity and goodwill of the people of Bayelsa State, he should know that he is in charge of public funds. We that know when this government came in, it came up with the idea of the Bayelsa Investment Company. All of a sudden, no one heard of the company again. These are the reasons this group has aligned itself with David Lyon to have leaders that must be acceptable to the people. The task before us is to make sure that those people who are not members of the APC spotlight the person of David Lyon and support him to make sure we end the suffering of Bayelsa State.
As an Ogbia man, why did you choose to work against the party of former President Goodluck Jonathan who is a political father to the Ogbia people and Bayelsans in general?
I am a full-blown Ogbia man. If you can recall, the government of Dickson was made possible by Goodluck Jonathan who is highly respected internationally. You are aware that the United Nations (UN) just honoured him with an international appointment. That is the kind of man we are talking about. But we have come to see a man that does not have regard for such a person. Probably, Dickson is one of those who would see someone who has grown far beyond his level and become jealous. In fact, this is one of the factors that invoked our anger to form this group. Jonathan is respected in the whole world and we see no reason an individual should disrespect such a person.
lf you mobilise against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the party eventually loses at the polls, will that action not amount to a disservice to Jonathan?
What the people need are good roads and good schools with affordable fees. Our retirees, who have put in 35 years in service, need to go home with their retirement benefits. These are the things Jonathan stands for. The political party is just a vehicle. If the candidate of the APC wins and imbibe those developmental principles that Jonathan believes in, he will be happy with the party. If David Lyon comes in and says his political ambition is not worth the blood of any Bayelsan, Jonathan will be happy with the APC. If the APC comes in and begins to construct roads and make school fees affordable in Bayelsa, Jonathan will be a happy man. Jonathan can never be more embarrassed than the way he has been embarrassed in the state; he has faced the highest form of humiliation. All of us have roots from the PDP but the question remains, how many square meals has the PDP been able to put on the table for Bayelsans? Must we continue to talk about the PDP while our people continue to live in fear, darkness and die in abject poverty? By six pm, you see people hurriedly locking their doors as if we are in a war zone. Even filling stations are not left out; they also lock their stations for fear of being attacked. It hasn›t been this bad in the history of our state. The only thing that will make Jonathan happy is respect for the rule of law and good governance.
The leaders of the PDP have always said that it is the only party of the ljaw people?
As a Bayelsan, I have always believed that the Ogbia, Nembe, Epie people are all ljaws. It is this government that brought the issue of core-ljaw and none core-ljaw. If the PDP is an Ijaw party, why is it not feeding her Ijaw children? Is it not good to make a friend that will feed you than to have a brother that will starve and impoverish you? I can tell you, there is no Ijaw party. The Alliance for Democracy (AD), where the governor came from to join the PDP, was it also an Ijaw party? The persons at the helm of affairs in the PDP, are they all Ijaw people?