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Issues In The News, Transformation Agenda

Bayelsa Restoration Team Sworn-in: Dickson and Jonah Take Oath of Office

The newly elected duo of Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson and Rtd Rear Admiral John Gboribiogha Jonah were today, February 14th, 2012 sworn in, in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State in the presence of a mammoth crowd of hopeful Bayelsans and friends of Bayelsa alike.

Governor Seriake Dickson signing the Restoration Agenda into action

LEADERSHIP Newspapers reports:

Hon. Seriake Dickson and his running-mate, Real Admiral Gboribia Jonah were on Tuesday, sworn-in as governor and deputy respectively, even as they declared a 4-point agenda that will witnessed the massive infrastructural development, the proactive reforms in the Education sector, security and intolerance to violence and zero tolerance to corr…uption among officials of government.

Dickson, who was sworn in by the State Chief Judge, Justice Kate Abiri at about 3pm, before a large crowd at the Peace Park, said that by virtue of the mandate handed to him through the votes recorded at the election, the journey for the restoration of the state have commenced and immediately declared a state of emergency in the education sector.

Dickson told the indigenes of the state, including the First Executive Governor, Chief D.S.P Alameiseigha,the Former NDDC boss, Mr. Timi Alaibe, the Director-General of his campaign organization, Chief Fred Agbedi, the members of the state Assembly and the numerous women and youth groups, that his administration will have zero tolerance to corruption in the state.

He said the days of corrupt practices were over and that past experiences of funding of a few in the governance of the state and the open display of greed will not be tolerated.

My Dear Good People of Bayelsa State and the Ijaw Nation,
Today marks the climax of the journey we started several months ago when I announced my intention to run for the office of Governor of our dear state on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). In the course of our campaigns we promised change and restoration of our lost glory. Today that change has come. Today our Restoration journey begins.
Let me thank you all for your prayers and support and the confidence reposed in me by your overwhelming mandate. I also must thank you for the sacrifices made and the risks taken to ensure our victory at the polls.
I wish to particularly thank my boss and elder brother, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, for his fatherly support and unflinching commitment to a better, prosperous and secure Bayelsa State and Nigeria. I also want to place on record our deep appreciation to the First Lady, Her Excellency, Dame Patience Goodluck Jonathan, for her motherly support all the way. Similarly, we salute the Vice President, Arch Namadi Sambo, who as Chairman of the National Campaign Committee, provided uncommon leadership which contributed immensely to our victory at the polls.
Let me also thank the President of the Senate, Senator David Mark and my worthy brother and friend, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and the entire members of the National Assembly for their solidarity  and their abiding support.
Our immense gratitude also goes to all the leaders of my party particularly, the Acting National Chairman, members of the National Working Committee and all the members of the National Campaign Committee for Bayelsa Governorship campaign. Of course, this victory couldn’t have been possible without the phenomenal work of the various party organs and structure in Bayelsa state. Let me specially thank the Right Honourable Speaker and Members of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Chairman of our party, Deacon James Dugo and members of his Executive Committee. I salute the efforts of the Elders committee ably led by our former Governor, Chief D.S.P Alamieyeseigha and our Campaign caucus under the capable leadership of my dear brother, Chief Ndutimi Alaibe.
Permit me to also extend my sincere appreciation to all our teeming supporters, KEME2KEME volunteers, party faithfuls and most especially, members of “The Restoration 2012 Campaign Team” led by the Director General, Chief Fred Agbedi for their  dogged determination in driving this campaign to its final destination; resulting in our party’s resounding victory at the polls. We are truly grateful and eternally indebted to you for your invaluable contributions to the success of our campaign
We thank you the good people of Bayelsa State for your peaceful conduct before, during and after the polls. By your conduct at the polls, we have proved our detractors wrong. We have shown to the whole world that we will not succumb to violence and that we are not a violent people.
I am humbled by the overwhelming support and mandate freely given to us by Bayelsans. Accredited observers, both local and international have adjudged the election to be free, fair and credible and probably the best in the history of our dear state. Let me thank INEC and the security agencies for conducting a free, fair and violent-free election.
As a product of the Ijaw movement, I am aware that I was not just a candidate of Bayelsa State but of the entire Ijaw nation. Let me therefore thank all the Ijaw people at home and in the diaspora for their prayers and unflinching support. To all ijaws wherever they may reside, let me reaffirm that Bayelsa will be continue to be your Jerusalem and I will be your Governor too.
We thank all friends and well-wishers of Bayelsa State for their keen interest and partnership. We specially thank all those who contributed materially and otherwise to the success of our campaigns and subsequent victory at the polls.
We sincerely thank all the Clergy men for their prayers and unyielding support. I personally want to thank them for their steadfastness in prayers for me and my family all through the course of this campaign.
We must at this point thank the Chiefs and Elders in all the communities we visited to solicit for votes. The campaigns offered us further insight into your problems and potentials. We assure you that you will hear from us soon in very specific terms.
To all my brothers who took part in this electoral contest with me on the platform of other political parties, yesterday we were opponents but today offers an opportunity for partnership in the service of our people for a greater tomorrow.
To you my good people of Bayelsa State, who have voted for change and restoration, let me say a few words about the cardinal focus of the Restoration Agenda.
We shall undertake fundamental reform of the governance culture to emphasize transparency, accountability, due process and value re-orientation by all institutions and functionaries of government, beginning with my humble self. For emphasis, there shall be zero tolerance for corruption under my administration. The days of enrichment without labour and funding the greed and avarice of a few at the expense of the development of our people is over. I will work hard to plug all leakages and sources of corruption which have been the bane of our development. I will rather use our common wealth to fund the construction of good roads, education, promote tourism, generate wealth and develop agriculture than fund corruption and greed. Be prepared therefore for a fundamental paradigm shift in the governance culture, values and lifestyle of public officials. I am aware that we will face resistance, we may be misunderstood but we shall always do what is right in the interest of you the people.
To do nothing now about the corrupt, decadent and self-serving status quo, poses a clear and present danger to the very existence of our state and will be the greatest disservice to our aspirations as Ijaw people. If Bayelsa fails, the Ijaw nation also fails and so will the Niger Delta with grave consequences for national stability.  This, we cannot allow to happen. We will therefore take the necessary decisions and actions, however difficult, however painful, however controversial those decisions and actions may be. Even when you have a different perspective, which is your right to hold, be rest assured that our actions will always be in your interest and you will be consulted regularly. As part of our commitment to transparency, we shall announce and publish all revenues accruing to the state beginning from now.
In the course of our campaign, we promised massive investment in education, critical infrastructure, agriculture, health, as well as peace and security. The development of human capital is our most compelling and urgent need. That is why we promised you free and compulsory education for all our children in primary and secondary schools with emphasis on computer literacy, science and technology. I hereby announce with effect from today the take-off of free and compulsory education at primary and secondary school levels across Bayelsa State. The rebuilding of our educational infrastructure commences forthwith. Our curriculum will emphasise the study of Ijaw language, history and culture.
We will invest in the development of other aspects of human capacity for our teeming youths, such that they will be able to unleash their creative capacities as well as enhance their drive for entrepreneurship.
We shall construct roads and other infrastructure to link our people and fast track comprehensive development. The completion of the three senatorial roles will be given high priority. But all these will not be possible without an atmosphere of peace and security. We must therefore strengthen our consensus as a community to have zero tolerance for criminality and insecurity. As a government, we will make all the necessary investment to create and sustain a secure society governed by the rule of law.
Our concept of security includes a commitment to protect our communities from all forms of environmental terrorism. We are willing to partner with all corporate entities operating in our state but we will insist on the highest standards of   responsible corporate citizenship. Similarly, we will not condone the irresponsible acts of our own people who through criminal acts damage the ecology and environment.
We shall review and emplace an institutional framework for promoting investments with the active collaboration of the private sector. So to the rest of the country and the world, we declare that the new Bayelsa State is ready to welcome genuine investors and investments in an atmosphere so convivial, that beyond rhetoric, Bayelsa will be your home away from home. We are determined to make Bayelsa a foremost tourism and invest haven.
Fellow Bayelsans, it is true that no great enterprise or society has ever been built without a grand vision. But vision alone, like an architectural drawing, no matter how beautiful has never built anything without the labour of many skilled, semi-skilled and even unskilled hands. We have cast a beautiful vision of restoration for our beloved Bayelsa, the Glory of all lands. Now we must labour to make it happen and it is to this labour we now summon every man, woman and child – Hear the clarion call – To thy work oh Bayelsans– Let the Glory of all lands be restored again!
Judge me by this – I will not play politics with your development. I will not play politics with crime, criminality and violence. I will not play politics with the protection of the Ijaw National interest within the context of a united, democratic and peaceful Nigeria.
A new dawn has broken;
The New Bayelsa beckons;
With your support and prayers and by the grace of God, Bayelsa State and the Ijaw nation will NEVER be the same again.
 GOD bless Bayelsa State!
 GOD bless the Ijaw Nation!!
GOD bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!

Meanwhile, an outspoken and passionate Bayelsan, John Idumange, a chieftain of the Niger Delta Integrity Group (NDIG) has thanked those who made change possible and proffered possible agenda for the freshly sworn-in Restoration team:


On behalf of our very dynamic and highly cerebral campaign team members, especially those who supported our aspirations when we vehemently advocated a regime change in Bayelsa State, I wish to thank all you all, who saw our cause as germane and legitimate. We owe a debt of gratitude to members of the Niger Delta Integrity Group, who in spite of very obvious security concerns, found time to support the wind of change and Restoration in Bayelsa State. The Group covered all major political activities, Ward Congresses, PDP Primaries, the Grand Finale of the flag-off as well as observed the Feb, 11, 2012 Governorship Elections in THREE LGAs of Bayelsa State. Some of the members are credited to be the first to open facebook pages to provide the locomotive for change and RESTORATION. The Media Team of the NDIG also provided adequate coverage and robust, objective reportage of events in Bayelsa State and even beyond.

We wish to place on record that so many people to whom we sold the change-centric ideology bought the vision and ran with it on the crowded facebook pages even before the popularization of KEME2KEME- the Bayelsa version of Neighbour2Neighbour Campaign outfit. For all those who identified with our cause, the Victory of the PDP at the polls is a crystallization of our time-honoured aspirations that in a true democracy, only the will of the people prevails.

We congratulate Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson and his running mate Rear Admiral G.J. Jonah Rtd on their landslide victory at the polls. The huge margin of victory was anticipated because Bayelsans had for the past four years asphyxiated by the suffocated fumes of massive corruption, extra-judicial killings, tantalized hopes, blurred vision and broken promises.

Special thanks to King A. J. Turner – the inspiration and spirit behind the RESTORATION TEAM; Chiefs Timi Alaibe, Fred Agbedi Dr. Mrs. Gesiere Dorgu, Party stalwarts and the several supporters and foot soldiers who trooped to all campaign grounds and lent a voice to the mantra of Change and Restoration. We are grateful to those who provided financial and moral support to break the barriers and obstacles on this tortuous journey to Restoration. We thank all other political parties especially the sustained efforts of the CHANGE ADVOCACY PARTY, THE ACTION CONGRESS OF NIGERIA AND THE CONGRESS FOR PROGRESSIVE CHANGE who put up a strong showing at the polls. We do hope that the administration that would emerge from the debris of the recent past, shall be all inclusive. We all owe Bayelsa State a duty to insure and secure the future of our children.

Let it be noted that total restoration is a daunting task that requires the active involvement of all stakeholders in the State. In a few days from now, the in-coming administration will roll our short, medium and long term policies and programmes to address much-needed development concerns in all departments of governance. Supporting government policies also involves constructive criticism, proffer useful suggestions and work towards the actualization of government policies and programmes for the greater good of all.

It was Theodore Roosevelt – the 26th US President that said and I quote It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat unquote.

In the final analysis, what is being celebrated as electoral victory today does not belong to those who have fought so hard for RESTORATION; It is a victory for democracy, a victory for women, children and the elderly who will reap the sumptuous fruits of democracy dividends. More importantly, it will strengthen our democracy and our desire to demand accountability from those in power.

If our collective resolve for change is strong; if we are courageous enough to implement policies in the benefit of the people; if we renew our commitment and push for the greater good of all, then verily, Bayelsa State shall OVERCOME those man-made obstacles to transformation and become the Glory of all LANDS that it should be.

AGENDA SETTING FOR THE FIRST 18 MONTHS: SECTORAL CONCERNSA. EDUCATION… 1. DECLARE A STATE OF EMERGENCY FOR THE EDUCATION SECTOR AND SET UP A 5-MAN COMMITTEE TO LOOK AT THE PRIORITIES. THIS REPORT WILL BE SUBMITTED IN 21 DAYS2. UNDERTAKE a comprehensive reform and overhaul of the educational system from Primary to Tertiary levels including vocational and technical education.

3. Redesign and model primary schools with modern facilities will be built.

4. Re introduction of Model boarding secondary schools at least ONE IN EACH LGA OF THE STATE

5. COMPLETION OF THE SCHOOL for the GIFTED AND TALENTED CHILDREN.The school will be equipped and put to use.



8. REVIVAL OF THE IJAW LANGUAGE THROUGH THE IJAW LANGUAGE PROJECT will be established for the training and retraining of our teachers. This will be a project that will run throughout the life of the new administration.


The Completion of these projects will begin the EDUCATIONAL REVOLUTION IN BAYELSA STATE.

About TransformationWatch

TransformationWatch is an online news site founded by Henry Omoregie It is focused on keeping tabs on the Transformation Agenda set out by the Nigerian leadership in the Local, State and Federal Governments. My mission is to observe, analyze and report milestones or slowdowns in promised service delivery in all the facets of governance in Nigeria (2011 and beyond). Readership is open to all Nigerians and friends of Nigeria alike, regardless of Tribe, Religion or Political divide. We are all in this together


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