Einstein Oribo has been one of the voices to the processes that led to the emergence of the incoming All Progressives Congress (APC) government in Bayelsa state. A former senior special assistant to the governor and one time chairman of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) in the state, Oribo spearheaded a socio-political pressure group christened ‘Who Grammar Help’ to canvas support for the election of the APC governorship candidate, now governor-elect, Chief David Lyon.
In this interview with JOHN ODHE in Yenagoa, he thanks Bayelsans and speaks on the need for governments to be accountable to the people and regrets that the anti-graft agencies and lawyers would soon begin to beam their searchlights on monies allegedly stolen by the outgoing government.
How do you feel as February 14 is drawing closer?
As February 14th, 2020 gets closer, l wish to sincerely express my joy and appreciation to all Bayelsans for getting the state back on track and wish all of us a glorious and happy ‘LyonMas’ celebration in advance. I am sure our founding fathers, both the living and the dead, would be so impressed with you all. Someone would definitely write a play on this great revolution, self actualisation and determination, where the roles played by our different characters in this position trajectory will be copiously documented for posterity.
What is the significance of the November 16, 2019 governorship election in Bayelsa state?
The truth is that even our brothers and sisters on the other side of the struggle who erroneously or ignorantly opposed this heroic stride would one day be thankful to the revolutionists. Those majority of Bayelsans who defied all kinds of pressure and partook in the revolution will go down in history as brave and outstanding Bayelsans who fought so hard for our constitution, integrity, unity and development. It is a fact that November 16th, 2019 wasn’t about the political parties or the local government area you belong to, but the difference between right and wrong, respect and disrespect to our elders, development and underdevelopment, unity and disunity of our only homogeneous Ijaw state. Thank you, your dedication to the election was really so astute and eloquent. Your ability to remain calm and focused for a good eight years of insanity, pains, poverty and gross dehumanisation is an amazing thing to be recorded. Brilliant, honest and hard-working minds are always the true heroes in any society. You brilliantly weaved our democratic, constitutional and moral facts like wonderful tailors, that even the opposition were amazed. For the first time in eight years, democracy prevailed in Bayelsa, justice had a fresh breath and truth celebrated. History will serve you well, because what you did is the true definition of patriotism and statesmanship.
It seems you are on a different page with the outgoing government. What is your worst regret about the restoration government?
The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and other anti-graft agencies have already advanced to Mbiama, our border community, waiting to decide on our stolen money from those who have robbed us over these years. The lawyers, Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) are already dusting their chambers to collect their share of our stolen wealth. The 419 experts who connived with the system and got Bayelsa’s federal monthly allocations lavishly and devilishly stolen and kept in their possessions, both in foreign and local accounts, are already unfriending and deleting the contacts of those who deprived Bayelsans of their basics such as roads, electricity, water, good education and food. However, since justice must take its course and the evil that men do will at this time rather stay with the perpetrators, we must all be alive to witness and aid where necessary. I am very sure that by 14th February, 2020, the EFCC will be at the Onopa gate to perform their constitutional duties.
What then is your advice to the incoming government and Bayelsans?
I don’t have much advice for the incoming governor, Chief David Lyon. The reason is simple. David Lyon is a man who does not derive pleasure in the suffering of his people. All Bayelsans can attest to that fact. He has demonstrated it severally in words and in action even as a private individual. Out of his personal sweat, the governor-elect had always strived to put smiles on the faces of as many Bayelsans as possible through job creation as well philanthropy. I am not in doubt that David Lyon is going to make a selfless leader. He has repeated it several times that Bayelsa’s common wealth does not belong to him. He has often reiterated that Bayelsa’s money would be used to develop Bayelsa and Bayelsans and l strongly believe in him. However, l implore Bayelsans, especially those who would be privileged to work with the incoming government, to imbibe the same mindset that the governor has. To the rest of Bayelsans, please, for the next four years, let us in the same strength, integrity and patriotism that brought the incoming government, stand with our governor-elect, chief David Lyon, for a better Bayelsa. Once again, l wish us all a fabulous LyonMas, come 14th February, 2020.