By Samuel Oyadongha, Yenagoa
The candidate of Accord Party in Bayelsa State, Barrister Ebizimo Diriyai in this interview, bared his mind on the forthcoming governorship election, his vision for the state and expectation from INEC and the security agencies.
What are the chances of your party at the forthcoming governorship election in the state?
As the candidate of the Accord Party, I stand a better chance of becoming the next governor of the state. I am not a third force. Am in the mainstream and that is why I will not relent in my consultations and door-to-door campaigns so that when Bayelsans go to poll on November 16, I will be their only choice.
Vision for Bayelsa
I have a mission and vision to transform Bayelsa. Most times, some politicians just do wonderful write ups and just read it out. It is beyond that, I have it already in me, so I will birth them when I come on board. Bayelsans need total transformation and we will do that in every area. Talk of insecurity in the state, the issue is bordered on a lot of factors like unemployment, lack of power and poverty among others.
I don’t always want to accept that Bayelsa is as bad as it’s been painted. I have travelled around and have seen incidences worst than what we have in Bayelsa. What we have are pockets of crime that can be handled.
We will deploy technology to curb them all but in starting we must create employment for the people “there’s this popular saying that an idle mind, is the devils workshop”. Our people must be employed, either self employment, or through private or public organization. We have to create an enabling environment to ensure companies come to the state.
The Bayelsa palm will be repositioned; Bayelsa is the only state that has an oil well which is a very lucrative and viable oil well that can generate so much revenue, which means that with such monies we can fast track industries to employ more youths.
We also have tourism potential that will engage more youths. Bayelsa is so rich that we don’t have to complain that we don’t have money, and our youths remain unemployed. When we come on stream, we will ensure jobs look for our youth rather than them looking for youths. When we have all this happening it will eliminate crimes completely.
The election is just few days from now, are you hopeful that INEC will conduct a free, fair and credible election in the state?
INEC is an unbiased umpire; I don’t think they’ll want to give the commission a bad name. If INEC has no plan on conducting a free and fair election, they would have told us from the beginning that they are supporting a particular party and there was no plan for a credible election. I believe that am going to win, and that is why am in the race, if I don’t I won’t have bordered myself, and I will follow it to the end and I will win.
Let’s look at the issue of flooding, in Yenagoa we suffer flooding, if elected what will you do?
I mentioned this during the debate, the issue of flooding is of two types, the first is rain flood aspect, Bayelsa has a master plan and I don’t want to blame anybody. Am sure when the master plan was been developed, some of this were taken to consideration. If this part is lowland and you make the DPC high when building, so that when the floods comes your house will be in the water but the water will not enter the house.
Like the principle in Venice in France, they live in water and know their terrain and tackle it the way it is. This issue of flooding won’t have been a problem if properties were not destroyed. Look at the master plan what and what has been distorted and what has been uttered, and then we will start by correcting the mistakes.
Then on the perennial flooding, Netherland has similar terrain like Bayelsa, they are below sea level and don’t flood while Bayelsa is not below sea level but we are always flooded, so we need to ask them what they did to overcome the flood.
There is a university in Netherland that focuses only on their terrain; we have universities that we can bring to teach our universities so that we can get it right in Yenagoa. This issue of flooding can be addressed, because the easiest way to succeed is to follow someone who has succeeded in the same thing.
It will amazed you that most times after flooding and the water empties into the ocean, it shows the water has where it can recede to, then why not channel it to where it can go. We must find a permanent solution. Whether you like it or not it slows down economy, we must talk to the Dutch on flooding, it will amazed you that they already done the area mapping of the state and what was left is who to implement it.
There is the claim in some quarters that there must be a connection between the state and the centre before things can work better, do you subscribe to this?
I will give you an example, Fashola was governor in Lagos State when the PDP was at the centre, he did very well and everybody accepted he did well, when someone is failing he begins to look for who to blame and give excuses; there’s no way that President Buhari will see what is happening in the state and not support it. It will be a pride to Nigeria, Dubai is a state in the Emirate but people will know about Nigeria because of Bayelsa. My main focus is Bayelsa and Bayelsans and not a personal thing, which is my drive.