Letter Of Astunt To Concerned Citizen Of Bayelsa State

By Thomas Peretu

The SDD Honeymoon gradually ebbs
(Part 1)

I am not the least perturbed nor bemused or serenaded by the calibrated din evinced by my supposed review of the SDD (for the uninitiated, SDD is the acronym for Senator Douye Diri) days in office as Governor of Bayelsa State. A miraculous outcome totally unexpected by the polity.

No thanks to the grace of the Almighty God. And we in the fold were happy for the turn of events. Don’t ask me if we popped champagne to celebrate the pyrrhic victory.

It’s been four months and twelve days of great expectation; yet we ramble in the woods, unsure where the horizon lies. Hope has virtually become an endemic commodity. Hence, our people grope in the dark murmuring in silence as they go about their daily toils to make ends meet. Many today are heart broken as a result of the pains of living.

Though, too short a period to afford any meaningful, cerebral scrutiny? Especially given the prevailing circumstances under which the government operates.

What with all the plethora of litigations and the overwhelming presence of Covid 19, the pandemic that is hell bent on abridging the lives of our citizens albeit untimely. Besides other competing centrifugal forces determined to tear down the roof of governance..

A Yoruba adage, none the less, asserts that you can ascertain the future of a child from the early days of its birth. In other words, we can without fail pontificate and foretell the direction of a government by implication.

I do not by any means abrogate to myself some forms of clairvoyance or psychic abilities. What’s more you don’t have to be a prophet to forecast the direction of a government. It’s simple. From its initial activities you can tell how well it will perform. There are always tell tale signs to serve as a guide. All the signposts point off the bull’s eye.

From the calls received as a result of my promo, I can deduce twin motives for the avalanche of emotions for the suscitation: some people believe either rightly or wrongly that I would give voice to their private prayers while others think I am trying to ventilate my personal mischief against this government. This is far from the truth.

The purpose of this self sponsored assignment, is not propelled by mundane, selfish, parochial tendencies but rather driven by an indomitable zeal of patriotism and professionalism.

Come to think of it, this is the only state i can call my own. Yes, I was born here but grew up in the north. It is true that I spent my formative years in Bida and I can jolly well claim to be a citizen of Niger State. Afterall, I was a beneficiary of the state’s scholarship grant.

Again, it’s on record that I spent a better part of my adulthood in Lagos specifically in Ajegunle. Even so, I can not lay claim to be an aborigine of any of those wonderful states. That’s besides the point though.

Let me add very quickly too for the sake of emphasis that I do not pretend to be a Bayelsan, I am a bona fide Bayelsan — blood and flesh.

No body, I repeat no mortal being owns this great state more than I do, not even those privileged few tenants in the corridors of power. Their tenancies will expire no sooner than you think. And we shall be equal stakeholders in Project Bayelsa.

When in 2006, I was marshalled to this state, as a result of my integrated marketing and reputation management skills, I knew precisely what I wanted to do for the good of our people.

I came as a patriotic citizen to contribute my quota to the development of our dear state. And i make bold state that i am professionally fulfilled, having been engaged in marketing the tourism potentials of the state.

For six years, I was in Creek Haven, the seat of power as a media aide to the immediate past deputy chief of staff, Mrs Ebizi Ndiomu Brown. She, it was who drafted me from Bayelsa State Tourism Development Agency where I served as the head of the media unit. She brought me to government house not because I was a good person or a relation but because of my competence as a public relations practitioner.

Just so you should know where I am coming from and where I am headed.

Perhaps, I should affirm here that i was part and parcel of the SDD campaign train. I risked all to be part of the team. No body paid me a dime for the time spent in the field, during the campaign period.

We travelled round the creeks campaigning for SDD because we believed in the candidate. As a matter of fact, It was by the grace of God that one escaped the massacre in Nembe city, at the close of the campaigns.

Many of us cheated death by the whiskers. Need i reiterate that many patriots lost their souls on that fateful day.

As a committed patriot and a senior member of the PDP family, it behoves on some of us to point out the inadequacies of the government where necessary. Our desire is to offer constructive criticism when glaring mistakes are made by those who should know.

We can not at this critical moment feign ignorance or turn a blind eye when the right steps are not taken to ameliorate the pains of the people. To whom much is given much is expected, they say.

The government I must confess as done well in certain areas such as prompt payment of salaries of civil servants, payment of gratuities of pensioners, just to mention a few.

This article continues

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