…Says State In Safe Hands Under Diri
The King of Nembe Kingdom, Dr. Edmond Daukoru, Mingi XII, has urged the electorate in Bayelsa State to be wary of politicians that make empty promises during election seasons.
The revered monarch gave the counsel in his palace in Ogbolomabiri when Governor Douye Diri, his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) campaign trail visited him to seek royal blessings ahead of the November 11 governorship election in the state.
The king, who is a former Nigerian Minister of State for Energy and Secretary General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), also said his people will resist politicians whose stock-in-trade was to deceive the electorate with vague promises.
He commended Governor Diri’s passion towards the ongoing Nembe-Brass road project through his frequent inspection of the project, which he said has given the people of Nembe the assurance that the government and the kingdom are in safe hands.
Daukoru equally implored his subjects to be guided in their choice of who to vote on November 11 by the visible projects they can see in their domain and not by sweet talks and fancy stories of politicians.
He said: “Campaign time is when you have to explain to all that you mean well; that you need their mandate so that you can carry out your programme to the fullest.
“Nembe is going to vote and the people would not be bought over. We have to be guided by what we see. They can fool the people some of the time but cannot fool all the people all the time.
“Seeing is believing. People are to be guided by what they see not by fancy stories or expectations.
“Nembe is only an island rearing to become a city. So, we cannot afford any bloodletting if we are to grow in cooperation, in skills and in our contribution to the state.
“Your Excellency, I’m very happy that early in your campaign you found time to visit us. I do know that you come very often to see your beloved projects, to see things for yourself. That is the way it should be. It is an assurance that government and the community are under your view altogether as one unit and not an opposition to one another.
“Let us live to commission projects. Let us live to celebrate progress and not to be settling disputes and violence.”
In his remarks, Governor Diri thanked the monarch for his kind words and support, saying he is a statesman who believes in the wellbeing of his people and the state.
The governor restated his position that traditional rulers must ensure peace and prevent electoral violence in their domain as his administration would wield the big stick and dethrone any of them found wanting.
At the King Koko Square in Ogbolomabiri, Diri told the large crowd of party members and supporters that he was glad to return to campaign peacefully in the community where he was denied access in 2019 by gunmen that attacked and killed scores of his supporters.
He called for a minute silence in honour of the departed just as thanked the people for voting massively for the PDP during the last National Assembly elections that ensured victory for all the party’s candidates.
The governor reeled out some of the projects of his administration in Nembe Local Government Area, including the Nembe Unity Bridge, internal roads and the Nembe-Brass road.
He narrated the effort made towards accomplishing the gigantic project and how he met stiff opposition particularly from the former Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, who is his main contender in the November 11 contest.
He vowed that his commitment to actualising the Nembe-Brass road was no fluke, urging the people to give him their votes for a second term.
He equally promised to appoint a Commissioner for Blue Economy when he is re-elected.
Also, the immediate past deputy governor of the state, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John-Jonah (rtd), said Governor Diri stood a better chance to win in Nembe because of the love he had demonstrated during his first tenure.
Rear Admiral John-Jonah asserted that unlike the governor, Chief Sylva had severally exhibited the penchant for working against the progress of the Nembe people from his time as governor of the state when he said the Ogbia-Nembe road project was not “economically viable.”
The former deputy governor, who is also chairman of the state’s elders council, said Sylva equally allowed the state-owned oil field licence to be revoked and then diverted it to a private firm when he was Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.
He noted that if the APC candidate could resist development to his own local government area, then he cannot lead the state again.
His words: “The adage blood is thicker than water is not applicable in all circumstance. Sometimes, it is your own brother that would harm you while somebody from another blood might be the one to save you. That is what we are seeing today in Governor Diri.”
Similarly, Prince Gabriel Jonah pledged the total support of his ‘Otita Force’ for Diri, noting that no opposition would withstand their movement and support for the governor’s reelection.
Other speakers at the rally included Senator Barigha Amange, who just resigned from the APC, the Senator representing Bayelsa East, Chief Benson Agadaga and the Director General of the Governorship Campaign Council, Chief Mitema Obordor.
Others were the House of Representatives member for the Nembe/Brass Federal Constituency, Mrs. Marie Ebikake, member representing Nembe Constituency 1 in the House of Assembly, Mr. Oteigbayon George-Braah of the All Progressives Grand Alliance(APGA) and the immediate past predecessor, Ebi Ben-Ololo.