”It is known that all over the state that our politicians and political leaders are the cause of our woes. They introduced several serious social ills into our society namely election violence with rigging, militancy, kidnapping and fraudulent mismanagement of our resources.” This was part of a speech delivered by Chairman of the G24 Embasara Foundation Summit, Chief Amba Ambaiowei, who attributed problems governance and development to the failure of the elected officer to follow laid down codes of conduct.
Yesterday, stake holders among Ijaw people, under the auspices of G24 Embasara Foundation, proved that good governance is possible. During a one-day summit held in Yenegoa the state capital of Bayelsa, the group offered a code of ethics, leadership and governance template which prospective political office holders needed to abide by. The warned that whoever would succeed Seriake Dickson, the current governor of the state, must abide by these ethics.
State Commissioner of Environment, Barrister Iniruo Wills, made the presentation of the template which was entitled “Ijaw Nation Code of Ethics, Leadership and Governance.” The template states that the next Governor and other elected political officers in the state needed to declare their assets, imbibe a participatory governance, abide by freedom of Information and ensure proper audit of government account by impartial Ijaw leaders.
The forum’s Ijaw stakeholders comprised politicians, past office holders, youth group representatives, as well as elders under aegis of the Ijaw Elders Forum, including, of course, former member of the House of Representatives, Honorable Walmer Ogoroba, former governorship aspirant, Reuben Okoya, former Secretary to State Government, Dr. Gideon Ekeowe. Interestingly, all were unanimously agreed that the successor to Dickson and other elected officers must adhere to the code of ethics for good governance In the State.
Chief Amba Ambaiowei was a founding father of Bayelsa State. He indicted politicians in the state for fomenting instability in their bid to win elections. He said the problems of militancy, kidnaping, and other vices” are mainly the handiwork of digruntled politicians.
According to him these politicians “also mismanage our resources and live an ostentatious life style of alliance while abandoning development, thus attracting public hatred public hatred and rebuke. Our legislator fail to play the expected role of team work with their respective constituencies in evolving developmental objectives.”
Continuing the former ambassador stated that “Constituency project in spite of funds collected, are yet to be seen executed across the state to supplement the State government’s development agenda. The expected team work and cooperation between state and national legislators to attract both Federal Government and international developmental projects to Bayelsa state are yet to manifest.”
Ifieye Brebina, a pastor, agreed that both the summit’s message as well as its key focus were timely. Representing Ijaw Elders Forum and Ijaw Professional Association (IPA), he congratulated the conveners, pleading that politicians would indeed abide by the template for leadership as provided. Speaking, he said thusly: “there is the need to agree on principle in Bayelsa over the issue of governance, environmental justice, self-determination and many others. If we have a common position, we will be rest-assured that no matter the political position, we will be assured of good governance.”
With a global implication in leadership terms, the summit was a demonstration of and pointer to brighter futures for Bayelsa State and Ijaw peoples worldwide.