Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson at the weekend in Yenagoa carpeted critics of President Goodluck Jonathan, especially members of the opposition parties, over an alleged leadership failure arguing that Nigeria’s political woes and security challenges predated the present administration.
He, however, solicited the support of the various professional bodies and political class to enable President Jonathan achieve his lofty ambition of transforming the Country.
Absolving the President of the blame of the alleged leadership failure being harped on by the opposing political parties, the Governor at a one-day summit organized by the Nigerian Young Professionals maintained that the problem started accumulating right from the foundation days of the nation, adding that rather than castigating the person of Mr. President, he should be commended for mustering the needed political will and courage in addressing the myriad of challenges facing the Country.
Speaking through his Principal Executive Secretary, Hon. Douye Diri; the Governor submitted that as a group of professionals, they owed the nation a duty of setting an economic agenda aimed at repositioning the Country in line with the present administration’s Transformation Agenda.
Amalgamation of the Northern and Southern protectorates in 1914, according to the Governor, is not a mistake, rather, people should see it as a platform to promote unity, oneness and equity, as it is the only way to move the nation forward.
He posited further: “Some say the amalgamation of this County in 1914 which is now 100 years is a mistake. Well, everybody is entitled to his or her own opinion. But, even if this marriage is faulty, I don’t think the call for separation is the best option, considering the period that, the relationship has lasted. Instead, we should look for ways to make the marriage work. That is why the steps being taken by President Jonathan must be commended and supported.
“Every objective mind within and outside this Country can see the innovation and positive change Mr. President has brought to bear on the leadership of our nation. As young men and women, you cannot afford to stay aloof or join armchair critics to fan the embers of disunity.
I believe very strongly that the President of this Country, whom I even served as a Commissioner, while he was Governor of Bayelsa State, is one of the most detribalized persons. I believe that if we allow the President to do what he has in mind and do it to conclusion, Nigeria will be a better place for us. We, as young people should give that support and address our own needs.
I said from the beginning that we cannot part ways after 100 years; we are married to each other, whether we like it or not.
Hon. Dickson noted that the ongoing National Conference is one of the ways intended to solve the many challenges facing the country. He urged the young professionals to support and pray for the success of Jonathan.
He said the National conference was an indication that for 100 years, the country has continued to look for its bearing, noting that it was better to talk than engaging in violence.
He, however, disagreed with persons calling for the disintegration of the country, observing that after 100 years Nigerians should be discussing unity and love instead of secession.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman of the NYPF, Mr. Moses Siasia described the organization as a coalition of experts in various fields of human endeavour, who are working together to foster unity and purposeful leadership.
Also speaking, the Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission, Mr. Bassey Dan Abia urged the youths to re-evaluate their individual roles towards nation-building.
Represented at the occasion by his aide on youths, women and studentsaffairs, Mr. George Turner, the NDDC boss described the topic of the summit as apt, noting that it was in line with the Commission’s 3-point agenda of capacity building, employment generation and wealth creation.
In their separate presentations, Professor Chris Nwaokobia, Barrister Nneoma, Ebi Bright Fasintei and Dr. Katch Ononuju harped on the unity of the various ethnic groups in the Country and called for declaration of state of emergency in the education sector in the Northern part of the Country.
They also challenged the youths on acquisition of relevant skills and knowledge to enhance their self worth as well as get involved in the political process to be able to effect the desired societal change.