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Why Dickson deserves a second term – Joseph Ogbe

You’ve been silent since you failed to make it in the last election. What have you been doing? If you say I have been silent,…

You’ve been silent since you failed to make it in the last election. What have you been doing?
If you say I have been silent, perhaps you mean my absence at political gatherings and other places where politicians meet at social level. While I feel it is necessary to attend political gatherings for visibility, it is more important to be among the people who believe in your ability to touch their lives and make them happy. It is imperative to state that they are the ones who matter before, during and after election. And for that reason, your relationship with them should not be like the one that house-owners or landlords have with fire brigade officers when there is a fire.
It is equally necessary that I let you know that without the people of my constituency, I wouldn’t be in politics in the first place. Now, to really answer your question, those of us who don’t see politics as a do-or-die-affair, but are desirous of impacting the lives of the people, don’t see political office as the only means of achieving such. A political office gives you the opportunity to touch more lives. That is just the way I see it.
Does your professional background have anything to do with your youth empowerment programmes?
I am an engineer with love for human capacity development, and the youths are my primary constituency, because of the enormous energy at their disposal, which they could use to better their lives and those around them. If you don’t assist them in nurturing their talents or assist them in developing their skills, they stand a great chance of misdirecting their energies.  It may surprise you to know that most youths who took the wrong path in life, and become a liability to themselves and those around them could have ended up differently, with a little support.
In the last few months, we have been reaching out to some youths, assisting them in skill acquisition, to make them role players in the state. The decision to empower people can be taken with or without being in the midst of politicians, but that does not mean that you cannot see me in the gathering of politicians, because there are a few politicians in Bayelsa State that have spent almost all their lives working to uplift those around them. They are the ones that have strengthened my resolve to remain in politics, and use it to support the disadvantaged.
What is your take on the forthcoming governorship election in Bayelsa State?
That takes us to the age-long saying that in politics there is no permanent enemy, but permanent interest. That is exactly what is playing out in Bayelsa at the moment, where the interplay of political interests among the political class has made it to appear as if the state is on the verge of implosion. But I think that at the end of the day; after the governorship election, the people of the state will be better off. I think that Governor Dickson strongly understands the mood of the people of the state, and deserves their support to leave more development mark in the state.
You have not always been open in your support for Dickson; what changed?
To leave a lasting legacy as a governor, there has to be consistency in policy; consistency in governance, consistency in the execution of projects, so that those nearing completion are not abandoned by a government that lacks the kind of vision Dickson has for the growth and development of the state. I strongly believe that the governor will consolidate on the works he started, if he is re-elected. Take Rivers State for example, the monorail project appears to have been abandoned even though billions of naira went into it. Former Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi deserves blame for not completing the first phase of the project.
Then how would you assess the Dickson administration?
I think that he has proved to the people of the state and to Nigerians in general what a focused government can achieve within four years. He has demonstrated strong leadership, one that should be supported to speed up development in the state. We all know what we went through under the previous administration. If you compare and contrast their achievements, you discover that in the last four years, the people of Bayelsa could not have wished for a better leader.
I was among those who wrote him off, judging by the way the state was poorly governed in the past; but I must confess that he has held firm as a leader, reaching out to technocrats with ideas to transform Bayelsa. What can I say other than he needs the support of the generality of Bayelsa people within and outside the state.