The Revolutionist As the True National Knight: Retelling Major Isaac Boro Fifty Years After

One common character trait of revolutionists is that they often place their beliefs and commitments above their very existence. That is why, until the Treaty of Paris of 3rd September 1783, General George Washington and other Leaders of the thirteen colonies who waged the Eight-Year long ‘War of Independence or ‘The American Revolution’ against King George III of England and the British Empire were regarded as rebels, with prizes on their heads. Typically, revolutionists are often regarded as villains by the establishment. In contrast, they are esteemed as heroes by those whom they stand for. But it is in very few cases in history, like the exceptional experience of Major Isaac Jasper “Adaka” Boro, who combines accolades and honors from both sides. This is premised on the fact that Major Boro, with so much fire in his bones, found it impossible to keep quiet in the face of the atrocious drift in post-independence Nigeria. First and solely on behalf of his Niger Delta and later in the  defense of the Green-White-White flag. So he is today, idolized and immortalized in the South-South of the country as a revolutionist of first grade, especially amongst the Ijaw ethnic nationality. Beyond that, within the annals of Nigerian history, the gallantry, heroism and life sacrifice in the search of unity of the country, at the most critical hour, remains indelible and casted on steel; making him the ultimate Cavalier.

So the date 9th May is no ordinary day for the people of the Niger Delta and unitarists in Nigeria in general. On that date, fifty years ago (1968), the sun came to stand still as gloom, darkness and despair blew across Federal troops as one of their most trusted and needed, Major Isaac Jasper Boro had mysteriously fallen in the theater of war. A budding hero of the war in the tough ‘Third Marine Commando’, he was fearless, audacious and visionary hence earning the nickname ‘Adaka’, which means Lion in Ijaw language. But he succumbed to the lone bullet of a mystery killer, likely, from friendly fire in Ogu town, around Okrika in present Rivers state. The true story of the plot, conspiracies, intrigues are still shrouded in the recesses of the wicked hearts of some evil men.

Fifty years gone, gives not just the Ijaw and people of the Niger Delta but all of Nigeria, a good opportunity to properly discuss, the intellectual and ideological foundations of the Isaac Boro Revolution and the worth of his heroism at death.

The story goes that Boro and his lieutenants were appalled by the political, social and economic order which prevailed in Nigeria in the dawn of the country’s independence and decided to embark on the first futile effort on self determination and secession. This was in early 1966; even before Biafra was conceived. But when later convinced that “to keep Nigeria one is a task that must be done” under certain conditions which sadly do not appear to have been still fulfilled, the Adaka the lion moved into the creeks of Nigeria’s coastal belt with unimaginable doggedly zeal, to earn for himself a place as a Nigerian wartime hero.

Though power had been wrested from colonialists on 1st October 1960, the fifty six years old forced marriage between very diverse and heterogeneous peoples in 1914 by Lord Lugard, had only produced a country where ethnic, religious and social divisions as well as internal suspicions and antagonism were rife and palpable. At independence, perhaps like most of post-colonial African states, leading political movements such as Northern Peoples Congress (NPC), Action Group (AG), National Council of Nigerian Citizens (NCNC) were ethnically entrenched or tended to follow religious proclivities. At another level, the scenarios in Nigeria even from the beginning typified George Orwellian ‘Animal Farm’ situation, where “some pigs were more equal than others”. Although the Willinks Commission Report on Minorities of 1957-1958, set up by the British, had clearly adumbrated the fact that “the fears of the minorities around the country, were well founded and that the case of the Ijaws who live in the swamps of the Niger Delta was peculiar”, dominant political interests by the larger ethnic groups did little to assuage such concerns. The Minorities, from the very beginning of the life of the new country, therefore, nursed feeling of being treated as second class citizens, indeed in biblical allegory of “hewers of wood and fishers of water”.

The case of the Niger Delta was peculiar. Commercial quantities of Crude Oil had been found all over the area, and first shipments had left Oloibiri in present Bayelsa State where Boro was actually born on 10th September 1938. The mega dollars which now come with oil boom had not started to register at the time, but the numbers began to make a modicum of impact in the Eastern regional and federally distributive pool. Alas, nothing came in to the areas producing that smelly substance which the aboriginal tribes of the Americas once called “the excreta of the gods”. From those early day, a loom of gĺoom and despair began to spread across the areas.

Isaac Boro was actually a trained teacher, who later migrated to have a secured career in the Nigerian Police Force. He later resigned to enroll at University of Nigeria, Nsukka to read Chemistry and was already on honours roll and set to graduate the following year. After failed attempts, he finally became President of the Student Union Government and embarked on some of the greatest welfare programmes, including Campus transportation, not seen before in that institution.

But he was a radical and very restless. He followed the unending political crises in Nigeria, ensuing from 1962 General Elections. He pained by the accusations and counters accusations of corruption, a very farmiliar cord amongst poloticians even toda. He bemoaned the violent and fratricidal instinct of the political class. The last straw that broke the Carmel’s back was the January 15, 1966 military coup and the gruesome killing of the Prime Minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, whom Boro regarded as a symbol of moral rectitude and moderation, along with Sir Ahmadu Bello, Chief Festus Okotie Eboh, Chief Samuel Akintola and many others. Boro questioned the legitimacy of such a violent change and needless show of disrespect for the 1960 and 1963 Constitutions which the Gen Aguiyi-Ironsi decided to set aside via the obnoxious Decree 1 of 17th January 1966. In his view this was the height of political intolerance and the trend towards imposition of unitary system of governance, a direct affront on the covenant of federalism agreed to by the founding fathers of the country. Major Boro was perfectly right! By 24th March 1966, while in incarceration, he heard of the almighty “Unification Decree” no 34 which abolish federalism.

So about five weeks after that military coup, i.e. on 23rd February 1966, Boro, who had spent ample time reading Franz Fanon, Ernesto Che Guevara and his associate Fidel Castro, declared the secession of the Niger Delta from the rest of the country, i.e. he proclaimed Niger Delta Republic! Typically, he recruited his army of young volunteers (Niger Delta Volunteer Force), mostly from his kith and kin from his home Kaiama, in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area, Bayelsa State and along with few close friends, decided to take on the Federal might and the largest army in Africa. His career, comfort, young family, including a young pregnant wife and even his own life were nothing compared to the common good and interest which he sought to pursue. Boro and his comrades in arms were determined, resolute and totally self abnegated. They envisioned a Niger Delta which will one day become the beacon of true human civilization and progress.

In his auto biography he entitled “The Twelve Day Revolution”, which lasted from February 23 to 6th March, 1966, he avowed his commitment to truth and justice. It was not only the first challenge to the lack of equity and fairness, but also a protest against political recklessness and unnecessary bloodletting in Nigeria. To Boro and his close associates, including Capt. Sam Owonaro (the only survivor of the ring leaders still alive), Captain Nottingham Dick, Capt. Boardman Nyanayo, Capt. George Amangala, etc, there was no possibility of failure. Despite the superiority and sophistication of the Nigerian Army and political establishment, they were sure of victory. Even in the face of possible death sentence before trial Judge Phiļ Ebosie of Portharcourt Assizes Court, they were unruffled and fully committed. They knew that if the death was not by the bullet from federal troops, they will have to face the hangman’s nozzle for treason. Not surprisingly, after their defeat and capture, those who were alive were initially sentenced to die

The Nigerian Civil War broke out shortly afterwards. By twist of destiny and irony of history, Major Boro accepted pardon in the hand of General Yakubu Gowon. Thereafter, he and his comrades-in-arms numbering about 150 young men decided to enlist in the Nigerian Army and due to their knowledge of the creeks of the Niger Delta, fought gallantly to liberate the most critical Oil and Gas belt of Nigeria. Adaka Boro liberated the very important export terminal town of Bonny, needed to nail a death-knell on the rebel efforts. His next move was to take on the liberation of Port Harcourt which he had already planned out. Sadly, this same Boro who took up arms to liberate his Niger Delta, ended up paying with his life and those of over a hundred of his men on behalf of Nigeria at the age of 30 years.

Fifty years down the lane is a good time to take stock. Its apt to evaluate how we have faired as a nation and how the Niger Delta has evolved. Yes. A lot has happened since then. From twelve states, we now have thirty-six states. But then, cries of marginalization, political intolerance, political violence, political exclusion and over centralization of political power in the centre are still loud and re-echoing. We know that election 2019 is at the corner and it represents a fresh watershed in the history of partisan policking in Nigeria. The season today is symptomatic of the mood during the days just before and after Nigeria’s independence, when each political, social and ethnic cluster had to canvass hard and convince all of its plans for the future of the country. Many questions trouble the minds of most Nigrrians. Like, who will be our Councilors, who will be our Local Government Chairmen, who will be our Assembly Members, Federal Representatives and Senators? Who will be the Governors, and for that matter our President? Will the status quo remain or alternative scenarios will surface at the different levels?

Fifty years after Major Boro’s death, do we have a mindset as a generation of political elite and leaders of men to ensure the building of a new Nigeria where truth, equity and justice truly reigns? The sing-song now is return to the original federalist dream of the great Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe- Zik of Africa, great Sir Ahmadu Bello,m- Sarduna of Sokoto and great Chief Obafemi Awolowo and the likes of Dr. Michael Okpara, Chief Tony Enahoro, Chief Harold Dappa-Biriye, etc. That is lets Restructure for a better nation. But are we prepared as patriots and civilized people whom we claim to be, to jaw-jaw and do away with the politics of sectionalism, sensationalism, atavism and division? After all other great and people nations are built by men of goodwill and Godly disposition; not by Angels.

Economically, Crude oil which was just beginning to bring in single digit figures in 1968 when Boro died in service, is now mega money spinner. According to Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), it has raked in over 96 trillion Naira to Nigeria since 1958. Gas which has continued to be flared in sacrilegious abundance has itself brought in over $11.8 billion in ten years of Liquefied Natural Gas exports (2004-2014) and about same amount in domestic gas sales. Today oil sells for $80 per barrel with a production level of 2.3 million barrels per day or about 65 billion Naira daily. Petrol-dollar has built Nigeria, built a brand new Federal Capital city and proceeds continue to keep Nigeria together, with monthly sharing of money. But the oil money itself is a metaphor of “resource curse” as we have abandoned agriculture, mining and other viable sectors. At another level, the Fiscal and Resource Allocation Regime remains contentious, a far departure from what was agreed at independence and were entrenched in the 1960/1963 Constitutions for which Boro died for.

At another level, oil bearing communities continue to cry of estrangement from the sector in terms of allocation of oil blocks and presence in the bureaucracy of the National Petroleum Company – Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its parastatals. The oil companies themselves tend to operate parasitically, preferring to keep their administrative and operational offices outside the Niger Delta, but fly in daily to carry out upstream activities in choppers and fly out at the close of work. No community impact, no downward integration, no local/community content and nor spread effect. The most devastating aspect is that the Niger Delta with a fragile ecosystem and biodiversity is today regarded as the most polluted territory in the world.

If Major Boro were alive today, he would have been about 80 years of age so possibly young and cerebral enough; and would have remained one of the moral consciences of Nigeria. He is likely to have been restless, uncompromising and fiercely incorruptible. He is therefore likely to have taken a good reflection and raised many questions, concerns and heartaches. The answer to these questions, many of which stare at our consciences is what we owe to many other fellow countrymen and women who at different times poured out every drop of blood in their bodies to water the Nigeria of today. Their spirits may be talking from the land of the dead and becking on us to leave enviable legacies for those beautiful ones still natal, or even yet unborn.

Oga Major, the Lion, be sure that your patriotic flame glows within the hearts and souls of many Nigerians and will one day fully consume us all for collective good of this country.

The author, Igali, is a Diplomat, writer and a Fellow of the  Historical Society of Nigeria.

Dickson’s Bayelsa State Failed to Invest, Industrialize

Investment and industrialization are twin concepts that are often interchangeably used in modern world economic system.
Industrialization is the process by which an economy is transformed from primarily agricultural to be one based on manufacturing of goods, where individual’s manual labour is often replaced by mechanized mass production and craftsmen are replaced by assembly lines while, in the economic sense, an investment is the purchase of goods that are not immediately consumed but are used in the future to create wealth.

In this circumstance, Bayelsa’s economic growth can be encouraged through the use of sound industrialization and investment policies at the business level. But at no point in recent times have calls for Bayelsa State to inquire into the nature and know causes of the wealth of nations through sound industrialization and investment policies been stronger than they have been lately.

Across the length and breadth of the world, Industrialization and investment are arguably the most talked about subjects among policymakers. So why have industrialization and investment processes in Bayelsa State failed to take-off in order to move the State to an enviable economic height.

Industrialization, Investment and water projects etc, in Yenagoa and its environments have been the campaign promises of the Restoration Administration-led by Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson with its acknowledged ability to bring prosperity, create jobs, employment opportunities with better incomes for all Bayelsans in 2012.
Yet, six years of the Restoration Administration, 2012-2018, Bayelsa State with its huge Oil and Gas deposits including its 13% Derivation Fund amounting to over #10bn monthly has no single industry nor investments for the youths and women to engage in the economic sector of the State.

In fact, the 13% Derivation Fund, Bayelsa receives monthly from the Federation Account is adequate to set up small-scale/agro-allied industries and investment opportunities to promote economic growth of the State; rather the State has remained stagnant without any industry of investments over the past six years.
Also, Bayelsa with its huge Oil and Gas deposits that accounted for more than 40% of Nigeria’s total oil revenue, yet this percentage that comes to Bayelsa has been grossly misused by its political leaders that lack entrepreneurial and investment initiatives.

As a result, Bayelsa’s industrialization and investment processes are likely to remain unattainable throughout the life span of the present administration which would come to an end by 14th February 2020. Besides, many Bayelsans thought the boom in 13% derivation would restore Bayelsa’s lack of industrialization and investment opportunities, but it failed to live up to the expectation of the people all these years.

Instead of effectively utilizing the 13% derivation fund to set up small-scale agro-allied industries and investment opportunities to stimulate the economic-sector of the State, the State under the Restoration Administration wastes the money on non-productive ventures such as visits to so-called Ijaw leaders in their various States, organized political rallies called mega rallies in support of this and that and even women prayer groups etc to the detriment of the State economy.
So also, Governor Dickson, who attended and fully participated in an Oil and Gas Summit, held in Houston Texas about two years ago in USA has neither attracted Industries nor Investors to establish industries and investments opportunities in Bayelsa to date.

Even, the Industrial Estate, an area of land developed as a site for factories and other industrial businesses located at Gbarain-Toru, a brainchild of the Restoration Administration is today moribund as no efforts are made to revamp and kick-start the project all this while.
States like Akwa-Ibom, Rivers, Cross-River just to mention a few for instance effectively use their 13% derivation fund to set up small-scale agro-allied industries, investment opportunities including solving short-term domestic and economic problems such as regular payment of salaries of civil servants and pensioners in their respective States; the reverse is the case with Bayelsa State.

Has Bayelsa leader heeded to advice from experts and pump the 13% derivation fund into productive ventures of the economy of the State, prosperity and economic well-being of the people could have been different today.

For how long will the State government forsake these organized groups dancing at political and mega rally activities and women prayers groups for stipends for a meaningful economic venture that will pilot the State to the Glory of All Lands remain a mirage.

According to Modern World System Theory, two systems exist side by side and are continuously in conflict with one another namely; Economic and Political Systems. While the Economy is the Sub-structure with its economic benefits derivable from the four factors of production known worldwide; politics is the super-structure that is superimposed on the economy for its continuity and existence.

Therefore Bayelsans must not depend on the super-structure which is politics for existence rather the people of the State must depend on the sub-structure otherwise called the economy for survival. The basic problem of how social order and human progress can be possible in a society is where individuals follow their own self-interest and not to rely on politics for survival, because individualism will lead to order and progress.

It is a well known fact that in order to make money; people produce things that other people are willing to buy and not surely from political platforms, mega rally dances and women group prayer sessions for a living.

Therefore what the Restoration government should do, if it really has the interest of the people it governs at heart in this trying period is to provide a sound economic policy that is geared toward setting-up small-scale agro-allied businesses, industries and investment opportunities that will engage the youths and women groups into productive ventures based on the concepts of economic liberty.

Bayelsa Business Council (BBC): Another Conduct-Pipe Like BDIC in Bayelsa?

As Governor Dickson inaugurated another 22-Member Bayelsa Business Council (BBC) to formulate polices aimed at attracting local and foreign investors to the State and as well to shore up her revenue base; the question descending minds are asking is; when will the Restoration Administration tell Bayelsans the “Gain-Income, Increase-Capital and Safety of Principal” from the #10bn Bayelsa Development and Investment Corporation (BDIC) inaugurated in South Africa and London in May 2013?

It would be recalled that Governor Dickson inaugurated Bayelsa Development and Investment Corporation (BDIC) with an initial take-off grant of #10bn, which gesture according to him was to enable the State to diversify from Oil and Gas sector of the economy.

Disclosing this at the inaugural Board Retreat of BDIC, held in Yenagoa, Governor Dickson said this would assist the Corporation in performing its statutory functions, which include attracting local and foreign investors to the State, boosting its economic profile and providing an economic blue-print for the State.

Governor Dickson who in addition stressed the importance of the Board members of BDIC to participate in the present administration’s efforts to turn the economy of the State around added that it has become imperative for the State to diversify from Oil and Gas sector of the economy in view of the non-renewable natural resources and emerging global economic market trends.

On the issue of funding, Governor Dickson disclosed that, “BDIC will enjoy from now till the end of the current budget year a capital injection of between#5bn-#10bn from the government of Bayelsa State to enable BDIC performed effectively and described Bayelsa State as Nigeria’s best-kept secret and investment destination while opening an investment office in London.

According to the State Chief Executive, his administration’s strategic vision is to attract private sector within and outside the country to open businesses in the State in order to create job opportunities as well as create alternative sources of revenue for the State noted with delight that with the opening of the London Office, the State was making a bold statement to the World at large and the investing public, that it is ready for business and eager to promote an excellent bilateral realties with Britain and the Commonwealth at large and used the occasion to disclose that BDIC Office would also open an Education Desk to assist the large number of Bayelsa Students, who are presently on scholarship in various Institutions of Higher Learning in the UK.

In their separate remarks at the official opening ceremony of BDIC’s International Office in London, Governor Dickson said BDIC’s London Office is principally intended to compliment the efforts of Nigeria High Commission in the United Kingdom by promoting trade and investment potentials of Bayelsa State and Nigeria, while the Special Guest of Honour and Nigeria’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Dr. Dalhatu Tafida commended Bayelsa State Government for the bold initiative taking in opening an office in the UK., noted that Bayelsa State is one of the youngest and smallest States in Nigeria, yet one of the most enterprising in the country.

He further stated that the event marked the first time a State in Nigeria opened such an Office in the UK and pledged full support and assistance of the High Commission while the event was attended by members of the diplomatic community, business leaders including the Chairman of West-Minister Business Group, Mr. Lawrence Robertson and a high powered delegation from Bayelsa State made up of King Alfred Diete-Spiff, the First Military Governor of the Old Rivers State and Amanyanabo of Twon-Brass, Chief Timi Alaibe, former MD of the NDDC, Major Lancelot Ayanya, Chairman National Oil Spill and Response Agency, Barrister Kemela Okara Commissioner for Trade, Investment and Industry, Tam Alazigha Deputy Managing Director BDIC, Barrister Funkazi Koroye-Crooks, BDIC/London Office, Cyril Akika, Special Adviser to Bayelsa State Governor on Investment among others.

In a related development, Governor Dickson, 10th June 2017 inaugurated a-22member Bayelsa Business Council (BBC) to formulate policies aimed at attracting local and foreign investors to the State and as well to shore up her revenue base with members of the council as Chief Ephraim Faloughi–Chairman, Mr. Harcourt Adoke-Deputy-Chairman, Ambassador Godknows Igali-Vice-Chairman-Public Sector, Mr. Gesiye Asamowei-Vice Chairman Private Sector, Mr. Tam Alazigha-Secretary, Adikio Warmate-Assistant Secretary. Others are Ken Etete, Mrs. Ebi Fumudoh, Dr. Eruani, Professor Azaiki, Mr. Didi Ndiomu, Mr. Guy Murray Bruce, Mr. Elvis Donkemizuo, Mr. Samson Siasia, Mr. Joe Penewou, Chief Fumudoh, Chief Timi Alaibe, Mr. Denzel Kentebe, Mrs. Funkazi Koroye-Crooks, Ms Patience Abbah, King A.J Turner and Dr. Daru Owei.

While inaugurating the BBC at the Conference Room of the new Governor’s Office Yenagoa, Governor Dickson said the council has as part of its responsibilities the laying of a solid economic foundation and formulation of economic policy that will be private-driven.

He further said the mentality of total independence on the government has to change and the only way to achieve this is to formulate policy that will have direct impact on the people and the present administration carefully selected this set of leaders to lay foundation for a private sector driven development of the economy of the State.

In his words; “The State heavily relies on government and her resources and this mentality has to change. Our State is a land of opportunities; our State has potentials to grow its economy. “In order to change the age long mentality of our people and reposition the economy of the State and make it private sector-driven, we need our business leaders who have done well in their private businesses to come together to explore and exploit the abundance business opportunities in the State. “We need your inputs; your professional advice on how to change our story. We expect you to organize Bayelsa in such a way that her story will be told everywhere as a place that is investment-friendly; a place that is ready for investment and as a place that understand the rules of a private sector,” and assured the council of his administration’s support especially in the provision of an enabling environment to enable it function at optimal level.”

According to Governor Dickson, his administration has invested a lot in all the sectors of the economy, especially in security, education, health and capacity building to mention but a few, further stated that the administration has made a lot of investment in security such as that our State by all ratings has been adjudged as one of the most peaceful States in the region. If we create peaceful environment, the next thing is to see how businesses can be developed and grow. However, we can attract people from all sectors to come and live here and do business and called on the people in the region to embrace peace and work together for the economic development of the region.

According to him, the region is fast losing businesses while our businesses are closing down; other areas are smiling to the banks, therefore we need to work for peace and create peace in our State.

In an earlier speech, Commissioner for Trade, Investment and Industry Kemela Okara (ESQ) said the inauguration of the Council would attract investment to the State and encourage various entrepreneurs while in his remarks, Chairman of the Business Council Chief Ephraim Faloughi thanked the governor for giving them the opportunity to serve and reposition the economy of the State through private sector participation, further stated that Bayelsa has suffered over the years, however, with the present administration’s initiative of bringing together businessmen and women to rub minds on how to reposition the economy; the State will regain its glory. The initiatives according to him will assist the State’s new economic champions that will take over the economy of the State.

Accordingly, he said, we will tutor the younger ones; we pledge to share our personal experiences with younger generations to develop our economy; we need patience, dedication and perseverance as these are the keys to economic success,” end of quote:
As a matter of fact, it is easier said than done. The words of our political leaders; they said are now the words of knowledge and wisdom but to what extent these sweet talks and flowery speeches made by Governor Dickson in the past six years of the Restoration Administration concerning the economic growth and well-being of the State is yet to be felt by the people.

Besides, apart from the likes of Professor Steve Azaiki, an astute administrator and founding of Azaiki Public Library in Yenagoa, Chief Faloughi said to be a businessman operating in Lagos, Mr. Harcourt Adoke, Proprietor of Gas Factories in Port Harcourt and Yenagoa, Mr. Denzel Kentebe and Mr. Moses Siasia who are also known entrepreneurs; the rest are unknown in the business environment apart from being active participants in politics whose performance in the economic sector of the State have not positively impacted on the people, but continually engage in power-politics for self-upkeep and sustenance in the State.

Asides, in spite of this gathering of egg-heads at its inauguration in South Africa and London where powerful speeches and encomiums were showered on Stakeholders and State-actors, BDIC has neither attracted industries nor investors to establish industries in Bayelsa to create job opportunities for the teeming unemployed youths; rather BDIC turned out to be a political Jamboree, Paper Tiger and an economic retrogressive Investment Corporation to the peoples’ commonwealth since May 2013 to date.

In fact, BDIC has turned out to be one of the biggest economic wastes, political monster, conduit-pipe and a predator of the peoples’ commonwealth in Bayelsa.
Like the BDIC, let BBC never turn out to be another Barbarossiac and plutocratic cartel, aimed at conduit and siphon Bayelsa State funds to personal and family members’ pockets. Experience has shown that since the inauguration of BDIC, it has not attracted any single investor either local or foreign to the State and that in itself is an indication of a total failure either on the part of the government that established the BDIC or the leadership of BDIC, an investment Corporation that lacks clue, focus, credibility and sincerity or probably dead at inauguration.

As a matter of fact, since its inauguration in 2013, BDIC has neither brought economic welfare nor economy of abundance to the people of the State and as a result Economic Observers and Analysts see it as a total failure on its part to attract foreign investors to the State.
According to Economic Watchers, Governor Dickson, who also attended and fully participated in an Oil and Gas Summit held in Houston Texas about two years ago in USA has neither attracted Investors nor Industries to establish in Bayelsa to date.

No wonder, the State is littered with numerous abandoned projects, investment and job creation opportunities while government has not been able to give priority attention to all the investment and job creation opportunities as they are left to rot away in their various project sites cut across the length and breadth of the State thereby unable to create jobs for the teeming unemployed youths including women, rather engage them to dance at political platforms and reception grounds for crumbs in the State.

The driver of Bayelsa’s problem today is failure of leadership, poverty of leadership and leadership of poverty to holistically encourage, set-up and develop Industries, Investments and job creation opportunities to attract genuine investors both local and foreign to invest in order to turn around the economic fortunes of the State.

To state the obvious without any equivocation; it is extremely difficult for both local and foreign investors to come to invest in Bayelsa due to insecurity of their investments, criminal militancy; lack of investment by stakeholders who have been in power over the years, plutocratic activities of the ruling elites and other unwholesome practices of mandarin millionaires masquerading as political leaders in the State.
Even the few foreign construction firms that constructed few roads in the past were unable to effectively perform without either fully-armed Mobile Police Squads or Military boots on ground to guard and protect their interest otherwise their safety at job sites were unguaranteed.

For instance, in the past one-year or so the State witnessed several assassination attempts on prominent citizens, several cases of kidnaps, cultism including kidnapping of a nursing mother of nine weeks old-baby and other robbery-related cases reported in the State capital Yenagoa and its environs.
Consequent upon the above, who are those foreign investors that would come and invest in Bayelsa, inebriated with such heinous crimes and criminalities? Besides, the worst violence and criminal militancy ever experienced in other parts of the country is what Bayelsa experienced.

Therefore, Bayelsa’s failure to escape from poverty after over six years of several billions of Naira including Federal Allocations, ecological funds, NDDC Intervention Funds, Bail-out Funds, Paris/London Club Refunds and others are squarely as a result of leadership failure, poverty of leadership and leadership of poverty.

For instance, how would one imagine in a small State like Bayelsa with a population of not more than three million people at most got between #16bnand #18bn monthly from February 2012 to September 2015 before the economic recession is unable to judiciously utilize these funds for the economic growth and development of the State.

Even, during the economic recession period that lasted from October 2016 to the 3rd quarter of 2017, Bayelsa received not less than #12bn monthly allocation and also got several billions of Naira from Paris/London Club Refunds for salaries arrears, yet only one and half months paid, so also in August against September 2017, Bayelsa received #12bn; yet salaries of workers, pensioners and others were not fully paid.

To state without rhetoric or embroideries, the major trouble with Bayelsa of today is that Dillingers, Barbarossas, and Freebooters who should be inhibiting maximum security prison yards are the ones occupying seats of power, residing in government offices across the length and breadth of all the local government areas masquerading as leaders in the State, hence no end to workers’ verification exercises, so also mandarin millionaires and office plunders and their likes are the best leaders occupying lucrative offices.

Also, crooks and quacks who in civilized crimes should be banished to the internal realm of collective disdain are canonized as political demigods, godfathers, heavy weights, political bulldozers and juggernauts and Saints in Bayelsa’s political amphitheaters.

As a result, Bayelsa is marooned aground in the sandbank of underdevelopment because these Dillingers, Barbarossas and Freebooters exchanged their primeval jungle playgrounds for citadel of power.

They have been in the helms of affairs since the return of democracy in 1999, shamelessly celebrating monumental failures, grotesque incompetence and the kind of visionless kleptomania unparalleled in the history of governance in Bayelsa State.

No wonder, Bayelsa State that recorded a total of #12.56bn as Internationally Generated Revenue (IGR) in 2017 and received the sum of #105.25bn from the Federation Account in the same year, yet her domestic debt owed by the Bayelsa State government under Governor Henry Seriake Dickson stands at #219.46bn according to a data obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Website, Tuesday 2nd April 2018.