Siasia unveils agenda for Bayelsans
Ahead of the December 5, 2015, gubernatorial election in Bayelsa State, one of the governorship candidates, Moses Siloko Siasia, of the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM), believed to be the youngest Nigerian to aspire to that office unfold his agenda for the state in this encounter.
Youngest contestant at 35 years
I am shocked when people say I am too young. The developed countries are being led by people of my generation. So, is Bayelsa different from them? The few governors that have done well in Nigeria were younger in age and were adjudged more competent.
When you look around Bayelsa, you will find the spirit of entrepreneurship, self-reliance, mutual cooperation, respect and resilience. But sadly, the government has failed to harness these potentials. I believe the time has come for us to restore the glory of Bayelsa and her people.
I see the possibilities and the future if we can commit to excellence in thought and deed, championed by purposeful and people-oriented government. Certainly, this is why I am leading the movement for the restoration of the glory of Bayelsa.
I must tell you that things are going on well. We really appreciate the type of overwhelming support we are getting from people, most importantly our youths and women. This is the first time in the history of Bayelsa State that we have a woman as a running mate in the gubernatorial election. I believe women play a very strategic role when it comes to re-engineering every society. This is one of the surest ways my candidature would turn the challenges we are having as a people into windows of opportunities. I believe that the people are catching up and we will get there, one step at a time. You know they say ‘one with God is a majority. So, we will continue to trust God to lead us. We have delivered our manifesto to Bayelsans and everybody is quite pleased with the level of our promises and we believe when we get the mandate, we will ensure that all the promises that we made, we keep to them.
Agenda for Bayelsans
I have two-point agenda for the state.
The first is job creation. The rate of youth un-employment in the state is worrisome and it is a threat to her future, bearing in mind the societal problems associated with un-employment and under-employment. When elected as the governor of the state, we would build world-class skill acquisition and sports development centres in the eight local councils within one year of our administration. We will develop and strengthen the capacity and resources of existing institutions that provide training for skills and entrepreneurship. We would work with all lending institutions to provide special training for Bayelsans; they will be required to provide soft loan facilities for those trained to enable them start their business.
Our government will create 30, 000 jobs in one year; attract 500 companies to invest in critical sectors in Bayelsa. We would build a new deep-sea port to bring trade and facilitate the export of our goods. We would empower civil society groups to complement government institutions in all areas through training and mentorship. These are parts of what we will do in tackling the high rate of un-employment in the state.
We shall give strategic attention to education, which is the pre-requisite for building a strong and sustainable future, it is the bedrock of our development plan.
Illiteracy and ignorance reduce human confidence and self-esteem and impede the ability of an individual to effectively contribute to the society. For this reason, we will place a very high priority on education so that this generation will be 21st century compliant. We will collaborate with relevant agencies, stakeholders to uplift the standard of education in Bayelsa. Structures will be built to meet international standard, teachers trained and retrained; they will also be motivated in the discharge of their responsibilities.
When a child has good schools to attend, adequate learning materials, incentives such as bursary allowance, scholarships and free education from primary to secondary school with inspired and competent teachers, the child will be motivated and properly equipped to aim for higher goals.
We will revamp all technical colleges, ailing secondary schools and Science Centres for academic and vocational excellence. We would restructure the educational system by recognising certifications and associate degrees for employment and academic advancement as obtains in the developed countries.
In achieving this two point-agenda, we would also address the key strategic sectors like quality health delivery by ensuring that the health sector earns the trust and respect of the people. We will partner with the Federal Government and other stakeholders in the improvement of electricity. We would explore other sustainable sources of affordable energy. The rural areas will no longer be thrown into darkness. We would introduce electronic badge system for security.
The government will ease transportation by establishing a drive and own tucking system, build trailer parks, invest in marine taxi system for the riverine communities among others.
We would boost agriculture and make it attractive and rewarding. We will tackle the security challenges in the state to ensure that Bayelsans can go to bed with both eyes closed and also earn the trust of investors. Bayelsa will become the hub of tourism and technology advancement.
This government will not be the government that advertises the sinking of boreholes as achievements; rather we would build world-class facilities because we cannot achieve our aims without the required infrastructure. So we would build and complete the project.
Insecurity in Bayelsa
Those carrying arms are young people like me. I am aged 35. Have you ever seen an old man carrying arms in the state? It is because of the total neglect of my generation and some of us as young people are not realising that, that has been my major concern. We are the ones entertaining the elderly and now, we are saying that no way. We cannot entertain you anymore; we want to lead so that you can guide us to get to where we want to get. Now, the issues of militancy and kidnapping is on the increase, and the reason is because there is no inclusion in governance, they don’t see my generation as one that would help the state in terms of growth but what I will do as a leader is to create an all inclusive government, any state and country that fails to build these young people will plan to fail. I am not planning to fail. So, I have to carry the young men and women along in the scheme of things, I am not that leader that will give them guns, rather, I will give them what they will use to create sustainable livelihood for themselves.
Look, if some people have enriched themselves with the resources of the state and because they are seeking elective post, they decide to share part of the money to the people, let them continue. The people will collect the money and still vote their conscience. Many people have told me that ‘Moses, we will collect their money but we shall vote for you’.
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