by Ferdinand Adimefe
We cannot deny that the last 12 years in Bayelsa state, has failed to deliver real development to the state. It is often said that a people get the kind of leadership it deserves, but I tend to disagree, I think if you examine this critically you will discover that the people only get the kind leadership that is available to them. This situation is what is obtainable in our state.
Over the years politics have been hijacked by people without principles, driven by deals and concession that has become the bane of our development. Politicians without any progressive ideas that has advanced the state or who have no business in politics have long dominated the state while credible professionals who can bring change are sidelined from the process. I am tired of this state of anomaly and so should you.
I recall Edmund Burke’s words of wisdom that evil men thrive when good men do nothing. For so long we mortgaged our future by settling for the mundane issues of ethnicity, party, tribe and language. These thoughts were still fermenting in my mind, when one of my mentors announced to us his interest in running for governorship in Bayelsa State. Given his refined and calm nature, a lot of us-his admirers-were duly bothered when he announced his venture into the unchartered territory of politics. Unexpectedly, a bit of persuasion on the ills of partisan politics did not dissuade him. Untold and uncountable pressure was equally exacted yet he stood his ground
On December 1st 2011, Kemela Okara emerged as the gubernatorial aspirant of the Action Congress of Nigeria for Bayelsa State. This is an encouraging milestone but is it only half the journey necessary, this Saturday will be the determinant of an effort of courage, passion and true desire to change using the Creek Heaven as a platform.
I thought it wise to tell you a bit more about this illustrious son, a noble and worthy ambassador; not just of the state but of the nation at large. He is by and large, a man of many parts.
KO as he is fondly called is a man who has exceptional records of achievements and proven capacities for hands-on leadership in diverse fields: faith, non-governmental, legal practice and, now, politics.
He has pastored and mentored countless young achievers; in the non-governmental sector, he has blazed many an uncharted trails; in his chosen profession, the law, he sits at the head of chambers with his partner, Chiagozie Nwonkonkwo and in politics, though seeming newcomers, he is grounded and can sufficiently hold his quarters on any policy or economic issues.
When all saw his conviction and passion, we understood that his vision is borne out of the need to restore dignity to the lives of the people of the state and to be the catalyst for the change that the state has been yearning for since its creation.
He has spent time, effort and resources at all levels in articulating and redefining what it is the people really need to thrive in a global world. He has articulated his systemic plans, his focus on building sustaining institutions and structures that would support the industrialization of the state to become Nigeria’s most prosperous state. This prosperity should not just be in terms of resources but by visible investments in human resources, infrastructural needs and services. Only few will deny that his plan is the way to go.
Creation of employment, a necessary by-product of the investment in human resources will not only boost the Per Capita Income of the citizens of the state but will make the state nimble enough to take advantage of outsourcing opportunities.
We know that he has the capacity to translate this holistic development and vision into reality, and we hope you join this movement of change.
As we look ahead to the election, please put away sentiments, tribalism, language and partisan politics and vote for the future of our state, for our children. Kemela is certainly the change we have been yearning for. Rarely do you meet an individual with energy, enthusiasm, purpose and kindness such as KO embodies.
Remember the proverbial saying “He who chooses the beginning of the road chooses the place it leads to”. This is the time to make the choice and embrace change.
We must lift up our eyes and look beyond the petty issues; we must see the ideal leadership and not destructive politics and retrogressive policies without principles.
Make a wise choice.