“The man and the hour have met. Prosperity, honor and victory await his administration” — William L. Yancey
Bayelsa State is a new state, a new state that suddenly finds itself at a crossroad as a result of the elevation of Governor Goodluck Jonathan to the position of the PDP Vice-Presidential Candidate. This time, more than any time in its nascent history, it must make the right and correct decisions in terms of its leader and leadership. The good people of Bayelsa State — a people with proud, glorious and gallant past — is now faced with the task of selecting and electing the man or woman who is best qualified to manage their resources. The party and people are about to decide, on whom can best project their will and hope.
Governor Goodluck Jonathan did his best. The people are appreciative of his leadership. As the Honorable Chief Goodluck Jonathan moves to the center, the responsibility of carrying the state forward must now rest with a new leader who is mandated by the people of Bayelsa State. At this junction, let me say that the coming election is not a popularity contest. It is not a beauty pageant. It is not a generational issue. It is not about who can spent the highest amount of money currying favors. It is not about who has traveled the world wide and far. It is not about who has amassed all manner of diplomas. It is not even about who has spent the most amount of time in the corridors of power in Abuja and elsewhere. No!
The coming selection and election is simply about the man or woman with the best and viable vision, ideas, integrity and strength of character. And about who can positively impact the lives of the people. Elections are about ones hope for the future. And so the imminent selection, along with the 2007 elections, is about hope and posterity and about doing what is right and righteous for our people. It is about service. Indeed, leadership is about service to the people. It is about how best to better ones land and people.
We owe our life and our conveniences to our creator and to all those who came before us. We are in debt. We may never be able to repay all the debt we owe. We must however, repay future generation: our children and grandchildren. Essentially therefore, the next election is about honest service to the people and to posterity.
One man will be mandated during the 2007 election to govern the state. He will be entrusted by the people to manage their resources. By and large, they will decide on the man who can best manage the state’s human and natural resources. This man and his team will then work hard to move the state forward, elevating the standard of living of the vast majority of the people vis-à-vis human, infrastructural and spiritual development.
At this junction, the question then becomes: “who amongst the current crop of leaders is best suited and best qualified, and who can take our people to Canaan, to the Promised Land? Who? The answer is simply: FRANCIS AMAEBIKIDOU DOUKPOLAGHA, a man ready and able to do the will of God and the will of the people. Nothing is possible without the grace and blessings of the omnipotent, omnipresent and almighty God.
Chief Francis Doukpolagha was born on May 9th 1944, in Agbere in the Sagbama LGA of Bayelsa State. He also has deep roots in Odi, Kaima, Sabagriea in Kolokuma/Opokuma LGA. Record shows that “he started life from the grassroots and rose to the exalted position of General Manager of a renowned bank.” It is also on record that “he undertook and successfully achieved employment for over 400 Bayelsans into various institutions and banks where he worked. At least 25 of them became senior bank managers.”
In addition, “he successfully fought for the recognition of the Ijaw territory in Warri South as oil producing area. He was responsible for the retention and reactivation of the US$300 million Risonpalm Lowland Palm Project at Yenagoa which was at the brink of being cancelled by the European Union (EU).”
The development of his land and people has always been a top priority, a personal but fulfilling crusade. This is a man who enjoys challenges especially if such challenges will benefit the Ijaw group. For instance, he was a “leading figure in the struggle for the creation of Bayelsa State, where he galvanized and energized the elders and chiefs to resolve a last minute crisis that was about to halt the state’s creation.”
It is also noteworthy to note that Chief Doukpolagha has, at various times, been the
“Patron and Father of many Ijaw students Unions. He is also a patron of several other organizations, including the National Council of Women Societies (NCWS). He is an active member Bayelsa Forum and INC, and recently, a representative of Bayelsa State in the last National Constitutional Conference in Abuja.” He is also an active member of some national and international professional organizations.
No matter the standard of measurement that is used to measure genuine leadership, accountability, transparency and service (to one’s land and people), Chief Doukpolagha meets and exceeds all those yardsticks. He has always answered his people’s call to service, serving them with distinction.
Long before the Ijaw Struggle became common currency, he has been at it, talking and working with others to achieve a common goal that is beneficial to all; long before environmental degradation, poverty and unemployment and other social ills and injustices became topics for discussion in the media, he has been at it, alone and in concert with others — finding solutions to Ijaw problems.
Doukpolagha is not a man who only recently joined the bandwagon; he is not a pseudo-activist, not a two-face talker. He is a doer, an achiever. He is a bona fide servant of the people; a man who has spent most of his adult life in the service of his people.
And so, as the good and honorable people of Bayelsa State contemplate who to nominate as the next PDP Gubernatorial Candidate for the 2007 general election, they should seriously think about, and nominate CHIEF FRANCIS AMAEBIKIDOU DOUKPOLAGHA. They should because he is the best candidate. He is the most qualified amongst the current aspirants. He is the man with the ability to bring about progress and positive change. He has the ability to inspire others. He has the ability to move Bayelsa State in the right direction.
No man or woman can get to leadership position without the freely expressed mandate of the people. The will of the people is the will of God; and the will of God is the will of the people. The Ijaw people — from Elembiri, Oporomo and Peretoruggene to Kaiama, and from Amassoma to Ogbia town to Foropa and all spots in between — should take the good and endearing qualities of Francis Doukpolagha into consideration, and then nominate him as the PDP candidate. It should not stop there.
Come Election Day, every registered Ijaw man and woman in all the local government areas of Kolokuma Opokuma, Brass, Nembe, Sagbama, Ekeremor, Ogbia, Yenagoa, Ijaw north and Ijaw south — should go out there to vote for Francis Doukpolagha. There are a million and one reasons why the people of Bayelsa State should vote for Doukpola. Here are just a few of the reasons why Bayelsans should vote for him:
-As a former bank manger, he has a deep and well-rounded understanding of finance and budgetary matters. This is a man to trust with the state finances;
-His desire to become the next governor of Bayelsa State, with the blessing of the people, is rooted in his profound and sincere desire to move the state forward especially in the areas of human and infrastructural development, i.e., nutritious food, good roads and bridges, potable water, constant electricity, quality education and quality health care, employment, and the alleviation of poverty;
-He is a believer in law & order, and will be guided by God, the people, and by the constitution in providing for the state and in the pursuit of a common development agenda;
-He is a consensus builder. He listens. He acts in a timely manner, but he is never hasty or impetuous. He will continue to do the things that are in the best interest of the Ijaw people;
-He does not forget or abandon his old and new friends; neither does he sanction his critics. Moreover his believe in the goodness and possibilities of life is unwavering;
-This is a man who mentored and “fed” hundreds of Ijaw sons and daughters, and who also taught hundreds on how best to take care of their future. In other words, this was a man who took the welfare and wellbeing of all Ijaw sons and daughters, far and wide, to heart. He will continue to do so as the people-chosen governor of Bayelsa State;
-He does not believe in “camps,” i.e. Alaibe Camp, Alamieyeseigha Camp, Jonathan Camp, Igali Camp or any other camp. He unites people, a builder; not a divider. For him, there is only one camp: the camp sanctioned by the people and by God Almighty;
-He is a good Christian, a believer in the goodness of mankind. He forgives and gives second-chances. And when he offends, or err in the conduct of his state duties, he will come before the gracious people of Bayelsa State, to explain himself and then make amends;
Long before he ever thought of the governorship position, he has been in the constant service of his people. For CHIEF FRANCIS AMAEBIKIDOU DOUKPOLAGHA therefore, service and leadership has always been a natural extension of his being.
This is not a man who woke up last night and decided he wanted to be the governor. No! He has earned his stripes. He earned his stripes, along with the support of the people, decades and decades and decades ago. Come Election Day, he is the man to vote for.
Mr. Kenneth Abidde is a professional in the banking and accounting field. He lives in the State of Georgia, and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org