*Unfolds peace, development, and security agenda
Former Managing-director of the Niger-Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Timi Alaibe, yesterday gave life to pressures from his political supporters when he picked the Gubernatorial Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms yesterday at the PDP national headquarters, Abuja. He reeled out his agenda for seeking to fly the flag of the party and probably become the number one citizen of Bayelsa state with the slogan Glory of All Lands. MYKE UZENDU reports.
Alaibe is not new in national and especially Bayelsa State politics. With his pedigree at the corridors of power and his avalanche of achievements at NNDC, it was no wonder hundreds of his supportes from all the eight Local Government Areas thronged PDP, singing and dancing, eulogising Alaibe’s astute qualities. And even expressions by staff members of the party indicated that Alaibe is seen as emancipator and a man cut out to vigorously putsue develoomental strides billed to connect the mainland with the riverine areas in the state; a programme to strengthen the strides set by the incumbent Governor Seriake Dickson, under the leadership of gentleman former president Goodluck Jonathan.
Although some pundits see Alaibebe as serial contestant, he is not perturbed but sees his repeated search to hold the mantle as one he is convinced will revolutionise the well being of the people of the state.
According to him: “There is no big deal about the fact I have been in the race more than once. It is also true that sometimes, I had to step down for others. Anytime I did that it was based on certain political exigencies.
“For instance, I believe that the party is supreme. So, when the leadership of the party says something, we have to abide by it. But that era is over. It is different this time because I have carried out extensive consultation with the stakeholders both at the state and national levels. I can only say that I am humbled and overwhelmed at the magnitude of support I have received.
“Am back to the PDP and am grateful to my state governor, His Excellency Hon. Seriake Dickson, and former President Goodluck Jonathan and other party chieftains who welcomed me back. Don’t forget that I am a founding member of the party”.
Little wonder then he pursues his vision for Bayelsa as a bigot, without any doubt such that remains the surest way to emancipated his people who have no doubt they are bottled up in squalor, poverty and neglect in spite of the huge resources they contribute to the national till from crude oil and other derivatives tapped in the state”.
Said he: “My vision for Bayelsa State can be summarised this way: I believe in a shared economic prosperity through government as a social investor and as an enabler. It is my desire to transform Bayelsa State to a centre of sustainable economic development, peace and prosperity”.
With the pedigree of having managed 145 LGA while in NDDC, it is believed that managing the well being of people in eight LGAs will be small assignment. Nonwonder he is convinced that the state would easily become the dream land for both foreign and local investors as well as several Nigerians in the implementation of his belief in shared economic prosperity through government as social investor in schools, hospitals, envirinment and for securing the enabling environment to invite private sector capital, experience and strategy for the development of critical and accelerated development which is core through “SME support, tourism and culture, ecological remediation and flood control, implementation of blue ocean economy, sustainable economic growth, creation of jobs without disrupting the ecosystem, we shall move into urbanising our state capital”.
He is optimistic that with Bayelsa state having the longest coastline bereft of access roads to such coast lines, the state must accord priority to the opening up of access to such coastlines and the construction of sea ports.
“If we do this, we won’t have the calamitous problems we face in Apapa. There is great wealth around the beaches. People from Baylesa for instance, who operate marine businesses park their marine infrastructure elsewhere because we don’t have such infrastructure there in Bayelsa state.
“So, I have plans to link the coastal areas and islands to the state capital. I am a planner. We are going to have a coordinated grandiose action plan to criss-cross the riverine areas and link them up to the state capital. The current governor has commenced this laudable vision with road construction which is advancing to Ekeremor and soon we shall move from there to other areas. The bed rock of my government will be the blue ocean economy which is dear to me.
“I have equally put in place action plans that will also involve peace, security and social harmony, institutional strengthening, governance and efficient service delivery.
“I will build on the great works that the current governor has done. He has done marvelously well especially in infrastrural development, education, health, etc and we need a leader who will appreciate what has been done in order to take off wherever he stops.
“You know I have that capacity. I have the network, I am a bridge builder, I have the capacity to deal with multi sectoral investors, I have the goodwill, the connection and the reputation. I will build on the goodwill of the current governor and sustain on it. He has a strong personality and understands governance.
“I am coming into the race with vast wealth of experience both in the public and private sectors. I have never been a failure in anything I set out to do. And I will not fail my people as a governor. I have a strong network of friends and partners to draw development ideas and resources from at any critical moment for the good of my state”.
With events and interests still unfolding, the stage seems set for a battle of the gladiators in the next couple of weeks. Only time shall tell where Bayelsans want to pitch their tent. But from what happened at the PDP headquarters, Alaibe seems good to go.