Sylva is a ‘guy man’ governor, lacks focus to govern, says Dickson
The campaign for the Bayelsa State Governorship election slated for next Saturday, has reached a crescendo level, with the two frontrunners shooting at each other from the hips in different interview with our man on ground, Sam Oluwalana. You are a ‘guy man’ versus you are a ‘bush man’ for a sample.Excerpts.
How would you say, you have impacted the lives of the people in terms of development and politics?
We have changed the face of politics in this state as we have emphasized on the importance of the people as the centre of all development. Take the issue of accountability, as an example. Every month, we announce what comes in terms of revenue and how we spend them. It is empowerment of the people. We are empowering them mentally and democratically to take charge of their future.
Despite the fact that you have preached peace and security, there were still clashes between APC and PDP supporters that have even led to loss of lives.
Let me use this opportunity to condemn any act of confrontation particularly violent ones, especially when it leads to loss of life or injuries, irrespective of the party of the person affected. As the Governor, it is my responsibility to protect everyone and their properties.
A situation where a minister goes to his community and openly threatens everybody that if they do not keep an eye on their child on election day the child will be killed, that is criminal. We should condemn that type of utterances.
I have warned my party members that, I do not want to hear any quarrel about posters, billboards and banners, because they do not win elections. I take the pains to go round to communities because I want to educate people not through banners and billboards.
What do you think are your chances in Saturday’s election? Do you think that that you have you done enough to deserve a second term?
I have performed better than my good friend (Sylva), if we had built the number of schools we have built within this period in spite of the short falls in allocation, if we have done all these sort of things, my Government has done within this period. If I do not feel confident that I have done enough then I do not know the governor that should run for a second term.
Frankly, if a governor were to do the sort of things I have done, he will win. That is my view. I have interacted with our people and communities and they have all said, I deserve more than a second term. And so I am very confident.
What are you doing about allegations that the opposition party is distributing police and army uniforms to their supporters to pose as security agents to enable them rig the election? Secondly, you have severally, described yourself as the ‘countryman’ Governor and your opponent from the APC as the ‘guy man’. What ideological connotations do these terms have?
Lets begin with the ‘guy man’ label. It is a ‘guy man’ who in this environment of poor people, who are suffering unleashes violence on the people to intimidate them while purportedly campaigning for their support. He is a ‘guy man’ who has held political offices and was a governor for almost 5 years and does not have a personal house in the state capital to sleep in, not even a hut of his own.
Even in his own local government or community, no such thing, who then is to develop your community for you? He is more travelled than I am, so he is right when he refers to me as I hear as a ‘bush man’. I say he is a guy man, he says I am a bush man but our people say I am a countryman, because a countryman will use boat and canoe to see his country people which is the same transportation system they are used to.
In fact, he has no vision. You do not come to be a governor because of ego, because you want to blow siren or because you have friends in high places that can help you to get it. I was prepared for governorship. That was why, when I came, you can see how we have established a paradigm shift and if God helps and the people realize the need to protect their future, no guy man in Bayelsa can be governor again, because this job is a serious job
And I have slept in the entire local government areas including his own but he has not. I slept in Southern Ijaw. ‘Guy man’ should sleep there, not hop in and out. Even as a governor, he was hopping in and out of the country. That is a ‘guy man’ but he is my good friend though we disagree fundamentally in terms of vision.
In fact, he has no vision. You do not come to be a governor because of ego, because you want to blow siren or because you have friends in high places that can help you to get it. I was prepared for governorship. That was why, when I came, you can see how we have established a paradigm shift and if God helps and the people realize the need to protect their future, no guy man in Bayelsa can be governor again, because this job is a serious job.
A job that requires a passion and commitment to do the people’s business, to lift them out of poverty and under-development, not harbouring resentment or bitterness as a governor. When he was governor he surrounded himself with people who led him to abysmal failure instead of guiding him and then they abandoned him. When I came in as a governor, a number of them came around me and saw that ‘’khaki no be leather’’.
I want to advise our young ones to go and vote whomever they want instead of being used, because that will not work.
While going round the communities during your campaign, what are those things you noticed, that will influence your policies, if you are re-elected?
My campaign tour has opened my eyes more than ever before to the realities of rural life and particularly to the needs of our people. God bless our women, mothers and grandmothers! As we tour communities, we see them happy, showing heartfelt appreciation for one school or health center that was built or renovated.
I believe that with what I have seen in the course of my tour in the next tenure, community development will have priority over others, because I have seen that one little investment in a community touches and changes many lives.
I will find a way of emphasizing community needs in the budget particularly issues of women empowerment. Look at the fish that the Agudama Ekpetiama women gave to me, even the plantain, I could barely lift it. We had such from every community that we went to.
Touring the communities, I have fallen in love so much with our people, more than ever before. I now appreciate the challenges they face, more than ever before. I have made a promise that when we win the next election, in my usual way I will go round again to thank them.
I am the first Governor to go on a thank you tour after winning election. And as a countryman I will go back to my country people. That is what this job entails, not flying about in expensive choppers.
What I know is that I am in this business to serve and for me even life itself is for service to humanity, our society and God.
Like I have said, time and time again, he who serves God well serves man well. But we know, as humans we are not perfect. I am the first to admit that I am a bundle of imperfection, but I am very passionate about Issues I believe in. I am a man of conviction that does not go with the wind, and I believe that I have a clear vision as to where to take this state.