YENAGOA (Sundiata Post) – Unknown to many Nigerians, the change mantra of President Muhammadu Buhari and All Progressives Congress (APC), was pioneered by Bayelsa State, Governor Henry Seriake Dickson, said n Thursday.
He said the change happened because Bayelsa State was in a complete state of ruins which he alleged was perpetrated by his predecessor, Mr. Timipre Sylva.
Dickson stated this in Yenagoa, at the opening ceremony of the 11th edition of All Nigerian Editors Conference (ANEC), organised by the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) with the theme: “Nigeria, the change we need: Role of the Editor.”
He said, “I enjoin you to rise up as we fashion out a new national value that will bring a new Nigeria which has already started. Since I became governor, we have delivered change, even the change mantra started in Bayelsa State. I’m the original change governor. The change started from Bayelsa when we stopped young people from being killed on the streets of Yenagoa. On the day that I declared interest to run for governor, five innocent youths were shot dead just to scare me.
“We want to be the new Dubai of Africa, look at the quality of roads we have. Somebody was here for five years, killings increased. Apart from the economy and security, we must also build national consensus in education. We’ve invested N23 billion in building educational infrastructures in the last three years. We have done some changes in the eduction sector.”
The governor also frowned against the politicisation of the war against terrorism in the country saying if the trend continues, it would affect government’s efforts to stamp out insurgency.
Dickson said, “With this new government, we have realised that terrorism is something we should all unite to fight. We must observe the law and order on national security. We should not be pointing accusing fingers at the man in the presidency as being responsible for terrorism. That is a very wrong approach, we are at war, but change is needed in the war against terrorism and corruption, we shouldn’t politicise and ethnicize the war against corruption.
“These are the essential components of all the change that we need. If I had not studied law, I would have ended up being a journalist. I may end up being a journalist when I leave office. The duty of the media under the constitution is to hold every authority accountable. That is almost the same level with the duty given to the judiciary. The media is a powerful arm of the government.”
The governor also called on the Federal Government to look into the wasting oil resources in the Niger Delta.
“That is what we want the government to look into. My position has always been that after elections, everybody should unite to move the country forward because hunger and terrorism do not know state, ethnicity or religion. We should all collaborate with Buhari on the issue of national security on law and order and deliver on the economy for us to make Nigeria”, he stressed.
While commending the President for his efforts to increase the strengths of the police force, Dickson said there were still several other structural issues that were needed by Nigerians.