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Date Published: 11/09/10

Timipre Sylva, enough of insult on non-Bayelsans By Odimegwu Onwumere

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It is very sad that some public office holders in Nigeria can do anything to stay in office. This is what we have observed the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Information and Strategy is doing. Nathan Egba blatantly said in an interview of Sunday Sun November 7, 2010, that the pelting of his state governor, Timipre Sylva, during President Goodluck Jonathan’s visit to that state, was the act of non-Bayelsans. Hear him: “...some people went to neighbouring states and brought in people whom they used, thinking they will embarrass the governor.”

Egba may have thought that he has made a glorious statement capable of boosting his office and that was capable of exonerating the leadership of the government he serves in, but was oblivious that he was in much haste to drag the governor into the mighty mud, because of the alleged improprieties and lackadaisical approach to governance that have always characterised that government.

How could Egba extirpate non-Bayelsans in what took place in Bayelsa without first taking caution to precise? Instead of Egba would advise his governor to look for a formidable approach to quench the spate of killings and other heinous crimes ongoing in that state and to protect the lives and property of non-indigenes, he is making flippancy and facetiousness utterances.

That Egba said it was non-Bayelsans that hulled whatever at Sylva, tantamount to calling everybody who is not a Bayelsan, rascals. Is Egba incriminating all Nigerians in that act which even only the Boys Scout can stop the attack on the governor, if there was any government in Bayelsa that is people-oriented?  Egba’s statement lacks sensibility and without a match.

For such a statement to come out from a man who is holding a sensitive position as the Information Commissioner has shown how doomed we are in this country. But we are not surprised about such hogwash from a man who has been in the government since 1999 and may be described as a stooge. We are not surprised by Egba’s unguided utterance because some people merited their offices whereas some are mingled into their offices

Egba lost his calculating dexterity and didn’t remember that had earlier said that “...Bayelsa is a small place...” He forgot that since Bayelsa is a small place that it will not be difficult for Bayelsans to notice that the governor is working or not. But come to think of it, since Egba said that Bayelsa is small, why has development not gone round the nooks and crannies of the state? What we see in Bayelsa is a governor coming to the screen to conduct questions and answer as if we are in a quiz competition. But does a man sing his own songs or the people do that? Any leader who comes to sing his own praise on the media, watch him or her, such leader may be lacking in governance, but devised such approach to cover up his lapses.

How could Egba say that it was non-Bayelsans that “disgraced” his governor and at the same time saying that “...I can say that the place (Bayelsa)... the people are indeed difficult to govern”? Egba went further to hinge his point on the alleged failure and incapacitation of Sylva to deliver in his Bayelsa, saying “...because we are homogenous... our homogeneity becomes the problem...”

We are sold on that if Egba is making excuses for the leadership of the government woes on homogeneity, what would he say of states in Nigeria that shares the same fate of homogenous? Are the South-eastern states that are homogenous not governable? We think a state could only be hard for a governor to govern when the governor is not in earnest elected by the people.

We think Egba is confused and perhaps have lost the vision in carrying out his duty. We advise he be focused and stop playing partisan politics with non-Bayelsans that is capable of making the non-Bayelsans stay in that state jittered. There is no gain in causing chaos. We advise he call the names of the people that were brought in from other states to “insult” his governor instead of running round the bush, since he sounded knowing them. We want to know. Failure to do that would amount to tainting the integrity of non-Bayelsans anywhere in Nigeria. And we would need an unreserved apology to Nigerians by Egba if he fails to drag his point down home. We advise that his statement was not induced by any substance, and we beseech that the leadership of Bayelsa doesn’t do drug, as it was alleged that many prominent people do, which makes them look down on those that repose on them for direction.

Odimegwu Onwumere is the Coordinator, Concerned Non-Indigenes in Rivers State (CONIRIV). Mobile: +2348032552855. Email: nirivpol@gmail.com

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